Qwerty is an official word in the English dictionary (though highest usage is still in all-caps), describing the most common kind of keyboard. The first modern typewriter was created in 1867, and it utilized the more obvious abcde format. But because often-used letter combinations like s and t punched in close succession would jam the typewriter, manufacturers had to think of a different combination. So in 1874, the qwerty variation was introduced, arranged so that there was more space between frequently-used keys. Then it stuck and nobody wanted to get rid of it. While we're talking about keys, this would be a good time to mention that the tab key is a shortening of tabulate key (for it was used to construct tables) and the shift key caused the typewriter carriage to change position. How antiquated.
Adam Aleksic is a 219-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam is awaiting his college rescissions and loves writing about himself in the third person.
The Etymology Nerd