QWERTY is neither a word nor an acronym. It is simply an invented name which revers to the common English computer keyboard of Latin characters. "QWERTY" is nothing more that the first six letters on a keyboard of this layout. This layout was originally designed for typewriters, to reduce the jamming of keys by spreading out keys which where commonly used in sequence.
In August 27, 1878, Christopher Latham Sholes was granted a U.S. patent (number 207,559) to his new type-writer with the QWERTY layout. This layout was entirely new and seemed "crazy" to some. However, people learned it and it became a success. Unfortunately, this layout does reduce typing speed (as it was intended to).
At the time, slowing a typist down was important, but when the modern digital computer became popular, it has became an unneeded hindrance. Some theorize that a new layout will become the norm, but with computers everywhere, and so many people knowing how to type on QWERTY keyboards, a change would be very difficult. However, efficiency will probably win win over ease eventually. Perhaps the keyboard as a whole will become nearly obsolete as dictation or other kinds input become more popular. Perhaps more likely, however, is that a new layout will be added to QWERTY keyboards. The typist may then switch between QWERTY and the new layout depending on which he or she knows. Already, modified layouts have been released, such as the XPeRT layout, in 2003.
- QWERTY has sometimes been used as character names in novels and computer games
- There are at least five (and probably many more) QWERTY replacements, all of which keep with the use of the keyboard's key order as names (though not all use the first six)
- Some replacements for QWERTY are AZERTY, QWERTZ, Dvorak, Colemak, and Maltron