The Universe and Me

Friday, March 09, 2012

The qwerty effect

I don't know about anyone else, but right now I'm trying to type around a big fat cat body. Because of this, my right elbow is jutting out towards the front porch and the right side of my neck is scrunched up. This means that letters I'm typing with my right hand are significantly harder than those with my left hand. I suppose one could infer from this that I like the letters on the left side of the keyboard better because they're easier to type. I know my favorite password is all typed on the left side.

But wait. There's two linguists named Kyle Jasmin and Daniel Casasanto who may have never had to type around a big fat cat body. In their newly published paper, they argue the opposite. They state that because the QWERTY keyboard has more letters on the left than the right, it's easier to find the correct letters for right-side dominated words. Also, letter combinations for those right-side dominated words are easier. Therefore, words dominated by right-side letters "acquire more positive valences." That is, we like 'em. Well, do we kitties?


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