How the keyboard of our PC has changed the way we perceive words

How the keyboard of our PC has changed the way we perceive words

The abandonment of traditional methods of reading and writing on paper by users of new technologies has greatly affected our way of writing.

The beginning of the era of SMS, when we had to summarize what we wanted to say if we didn’t want to pay two messages, it led to a large number of shortened words, such as CNTXTA, and also other ways of summarizing, such as substituting the what for the k or the syllable by for an X. Unfortunately, it also gave way to a excessive saving on axes who ended up extrapolating to writing on paper, little by little, the keyboards of mobile phones and computers became the best alibi for those who could not avoid committing spelling errors.

All that was left behind with the arrival of messenger apps how WhatsApp, in which there are no reasons to shorten words, but the truth is that we continue to do it to the point of introducing expressions such as: WTF or OMG (And no, we are not referring to genetically modified organisms). But the thing does not stop there, because in a study recently published in arxiv, a group of scientists from the Zurich Institute of Technology and the Leibniz Institute of Social Sciences, has shown how the use of QWERTY keyboards has changed our perception of the meaning of the words.

What does the QWERTY effect consist of?

The QWERTY effect It is a phenomenon developed from the moment that writing began to spread on this type of keyboard and consists of the most positive interpretation of those words that contain a greater number of letters than the right side of the keyboard (from y, h and n).

To verify this, they carried out a series of interviews with participants from English speaking Spanish and Dutch, concluding in all cases that the connotations of the words on the right side of the keyboard were very more positive.

In addition, they decided to check it in two other ways as well. On the one hand, they analyzed the baby names most prevalent since the year 1960, verifying that as the use of new technologies increased, the number of names in which most of the letters were after the y, the h and the n increased remarkably.

The same is also true for movies, series, books and music acquired through platforms such as Amazon, since those in which the letters at the end of the keyboard predominated, were best rated by the usurers.

Why might the QWERTY effect be?

After the presentation of the study in the International World Wide Web Conference in Montreal, several proposals have emerged to explain this curious phenomenon.

On the one hand, some claim that the effect is simply because the words whose keys are to the right of the keyboard are more easy to write, because there are fewer letters on that side.

On the other hand, certain experts think that the culprits of this association are the vowels, since the vocal sounds on the right side (y, u, i and o) are those that normally have more positive associations. This theory makes a lot of sense if we consider that when we really print emotion in a word we give it more to the vowels than to the consonants and, in addition, most of onomatopoeia they express positive emotions they use this type of vowels.

Undoubtedly, this is a discovery that deserves to be studied in depth by psychologists, to delve into the true reason that leads us to suffer this effect. Don’t you think

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