Should I switch to Dvorak?

November 10th, 2007

Typing tests with QWERTY peg me between 70 and 80 words per minute, but that’s copying other people’s text in a typing test. When I’m typing my own thoughts (like now), my speed is highly variable, but can go above 90 words per minute when I’m really cooking.

I’ve tried using the Dvorak layout before. It makes a ton more sense. But QWERTY is my native tongue.

This post by Cory Doctorow makes me wonder whether I should switch.

Does Dvorak simply make so much more sense that I ought to switch, as folks should switch to compact fluorescents? Or is it one of those hyper-rational things, like Esperanto or the metric system, which operate along admirable lines, but which are unnecessary for those of us content with the world’s natural languages or with the avoirdupois system?

I’m polling the crowd, at this point. You tell me.

3 Responses to “Should I switch to Dvorak?”

  1. Librarian Marn Says:

    Knowing you like I do, you could switch to Dvorak and still get things done. I on the other hand, am so locked into QWERTY, there is no way I could do it any other way.

    I didn’t even know there was another layout other than QWERTY, but when you’ve done it so long, I don’t know how you could make the swap. I don’t even think about my typing when I do it, but I’d have to hunt and peck if I switched to Dvorak.

    Maybe they should give the option to young people just starting typing, but come to think of it, they don’t even offer “typing” as a class in school anymore. Everyone just does their own thing.

    I’d like to put my hands on a Dvorak board and see what it feels like, but I’m pretty sure, I’m stuck with QWERTY.

  2. Rob L. Says:

    Is it true that QWERTY was developed deliberately to slow typists down, to prevent them from jamming up the arms of the oldest manual typewriters? I’ve heard that but have never been sure if it’s true or just urban legend.

    If it’s true, then it does seem like it’s time for us to move on.

    Matt Mullenweg (lead WordPress developer) is a strong DVORAK advocate, and he’s done alright for himself.

    Even so, I wonder if there’s another programming-friendly layout that makes it especially easy to use lots of square/curly/angle brackets, plus a healthy dose of parentheses and semicolons. You could even go crazy and create programming-language specific layouts optimized for each set of syntax rules…

  3. What I’ve Learned So Far » Blog Archive » A random note about typing. Says:

    […] No, no one asked me about it, but I happened across a post I wrote about Dvorak more than two years ago and wanted to close the loop. […]

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