#4 Why QWERTY & not ABCDE?

We learned alphabet as A, B, C, then why does a keyboard have all these letters in such random order? Let's find out!

#4 Why QWERTY & not ABCDE?
Photo by Jay Zhang / Unsplash

Welcome to the 4th edition of our fun + informative "Arey Pata Hai?!" newsletter.

Every week, we share:

  • 🤯 An Aaj Pata Chala! info
  • 💭 A random quiz for you (with the answer at the end)
  • 🤗 Our Arey Pata Hai?! update
  • ❤️ A comment that made our week

🤯 Aaj Pata Chala! info

Last week's edition about the bumps in F & J keys brought another interesting question from one of our readers:

Asked by Simran Nandu from Mumbai :)

Luckily, this topic was also on our bucket list too! So let's go:

🧐 Why QWERTY and not ABCDE??

This has a history...

Our keyboards are descendants of Typewriters. And QWERTY is an inherited property from the Typewriters.

But why?

In a typewriter, keys are connected to metal arms. At the end of each arm was the symbol of the letter.

When you pressed a key, it made a metal arm go up, and this symbol would hit an inked ribbon between it and the paper, imprinting the letter or symbol on the paper.

2-second gif to visualise this:

In this process of the metal arm swinging back & forth, the arms of keys next to each other would clash and eventually jam the typewriter.

Like this:


QWERTY layout.

An arrangement was designed in a way that the keys frequently used together were placed further apart.

This arrangement helped prevent jams. It optimized typing speed by reducing mechanical issues.

Mohit also explained this fact in one of our older 1-minute explainers here.

🔫 Random Quiz for you

A font gets its name from a famous British newspaper. It was the first time that a newspaper had designed its own typeface!

They wanted to create a new font that was narrower (so that it could fit more words in one line) but also readable in a newspaper.

What font is this?

🤗 Our weekly update in photos

We compiled every single question from the quiz videos we have made so far into one document. 1012 questions, to be precise!

What a task it was!

We want to make something special out of this ❤️

Lesson re-learnt: One thing we did right was saving all the videos we made and keeping them in one place – even when we had single-digit views & double-digit followers. We had no idea when they would become useful again, but here we are!

This is your sign to document it all and stay organised ;)

💌 A comment that made our week

We always get those kind words about how our videos are helping you gain knowledge & learn something.

But this was the first time we saw it help you more tangibly!

Thank you :)

💡 Share your Aaj Pata Chala! moment

If you learnt anything new this week - any random fact, any small or big trivia, just share it by replying to this e-mail.

We would LOVE to know your "aaj pata chala!" moment.

And if we find your learning interesting enough to share it with everyone else, we will share that fact in our upcoming newsletter and give you due credit, promise :)

✅ Quiz answer

Times New Roman it is! It gets its name from London's newspaper "The Times".

The difference in the newspaper's old font vs the new can be seen in this pamphlet published by The Times around the time of the font change (1932).

Source: New York Public Library

👋 See you next Wednesday!

Keep learning, keep documenting, keep growing! ❤️

Team APH

PS: We personally revert to every single reply on this newsletter. Waiting to know if you liked it :)

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