Look at the keyboard of any standard typewriter or computer. "Q," "W," "E," "R," "T" and "Y" are the first six letters. Who decided on this arrangement of the letters? And why?
People tried for centuries to invent the typewriter. In 1714 in England, Henry Mill filed a patent for a machine called An Artificial Machine or Method for the Impressing or Transcribing of Letters, Singly or Progressively one after another, as in Writing, whereby all Writing whatsoever may be Engrossed in Paper or Parchment so Neat and Exact as not to be distinguished from Print. That machine probably didn' t sell because no one could remember its name!
The first practical typewriter was patented in the United States in 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes. His machine was known as the type-writer. It had a movable carriage, a lever for turning paper from line to line, and a keyboard on which the letters were arranged in alphabetical order.
But Sholes had a problem. On his first model, his "ABC" key arrangement caused the keys to jam when the typist worked quickly. Sholes didn' t know how to keep the keys from sticking, so his solution was to keep the typist from typing too fast.Sholes asked his brother-in-law to rearrange the keyboard so that the commonest letters were not so close together and the type bars would come from opposite directions. Thus they would not clash together and jam the machine.The new arrangement was the QWERTY arrangement typists use today. Of course, Sholes claimed that the new arrangement was scientific and would add speed and efficiency. The only efficiency it added was to slow the typist down, since almost any word in the English language required the typist' s fingers to cover more distance on the keyboard.
The advantages of the typewriter outweighed the disadvantages of the keyboard. Typists memorized the crazy letter arrangement, and the typewriter became a huge success. By the time typists had memorized the new arrangement of letters and built their speed, typewriter technology had improved, and the keys didn' t stick as badly as they had at first.
Questions 1 to 5 are based on the passage above.
1.We know from the passage that the inventor of the first practical typewriter is_____.
A.Henry Mill B.Christopher Latham Sholes
C.Sholes'brother-in-law D.Allbert Einstein
2.The author thinks the machine invented by Henry Mill could not be sold because_____.
A.it was difficult for people to accept new things
B.there were great disadvantages of the keyboard
C.the machine could not be distinguished from print
D.the name of the machine was too long
3.Sholes decided the QWERTY arrangement of the keyboard in order to_____.
A.arrange the letters in alphabetical order
B.cause the keys to jam when the typist worked quickly
C.solve the problem of the keys jamming
D.compete with "ABC" key arrangement
4.It is inferred that the QWERTY arrangement of the keyboard_____.
A.is the most scientific arrangement B.adds speed and efficiency of typists
C.keeps the typist from typing too fast D.is easy for typists to memorize
5.Which of the following can be the best title of the passage?
A.The Arrangement of The Letters on Keyboard
B.The Story of Christopher Latham Sholes
C.How to Invent The Typewriter
D.The First Practical Typewriter
1.patent n. 专利，专利权
The government patented the device to its inventor. 政府给予发明者专利权。
2.transcribe vt. 转录;抄写;改编，改写
He transcribed the poem written by Edgar Allan Poe last night. 他昨晚抄下了埃德加·爱伦·坡的诗。
3.whereby adv. 靠那个，借以
The law whereby all children receive free education has been passed by the Congress. 国会通过了使用所有儿童享受免费教育的法律。
4.whatsoever adv. (用于否定句中以加强语气)任何
I have no money whatsoever. 我一点儿钱都没有。
5.lever n. 杠，杠杆;途径，工具，手段
The worker is levering at the rock. 工人用杠杆移动岩石。
1.选B。本题为主要细节正误题。第三段第一句说“The first practical typewriter was patented in the United States in 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes.”，由此可知，B选项正确。
2.选D。本题为观点态度推断题。第二段最后一句“That machine probably didn't sell because no one could remember its name!”可推知，坐着认为机器可能卖不出去是因为它的名字太长了，没有人能记住。
3.选C。本题为观点态度推断题。从第四段“……his "ABC" key arrangement caused the keys to jam when the typist worked quickly. ”可知，肖尔斯决定“QWERTY”这种排列是为了解决“ABC”键这种排列所引起的“键堵塞”问题。
4.选C。本题为主要细节正误题。从第四段中的“……his solution was to keep the typist from typing too fast.”和“The only efficiency it added was to slow the typist down……”可知，QWERTY排列只能让打字员的打字速度慢下来，C选项与其意思一致。
5.选A。本题为主旨归纳题。第一段的“Who decided on this arrangement of the letters? And why?”是全文的主旨句，文章后面的内容都是围绕这两个问题展开的。[/hide]