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pgarlan1
11-17-2006, 10:03 AM
What is the longest word you can type with only the left hand? The right hand? Also, does anyone know how the letters were arranged on the keyboard?

scr4
11-17-2006, 10:30 AM
I've often heard "databases" is the longest word that can be typed with the left hand, but I suspect there are more obscure words that are longer.

Here's The Master's article (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_248.html) about the history of the QWERTY keyboard.

biqu
11-17-2006, 10:39 AM
I've often heard "databases" is the longest word that can be typed with the left hand, but I suspect there are more obscure words that are longer.

There is at least one classic counterexample, unless you count "stewardesses" as more obscure than "databases" (12 letters versus 9).

I used both hands to type those words, because my keyboard layout is Dvorak. It's mighty hard to type anything on Dvorak using only one hand, due to the placement of vowels on the left side of the keyboard.

psychonaut
11-17-2006, 10:49 AM
The longest word I can type with my left hand is "jipijapa" (a palm-like plant used to make Panama hats).

The longest word I can type with my right hand is "crwth" (an archaic stringed musical instrument).

The longest words using letters from the top row are "fly", "ply", and "cry".

The longest word using letters from the home row is the 19-letter "instantaneousness".

I can't type any word using the bottom row only, unless you count abbreviations like "mm" and "km".

(FTR, all the above were discovered by grepping regular expressions from /usr/share/dict/words. YMMV.)

Santo Rugger
11-17-2006, 10:55 AM
The longest word using letters from the home row is the 19-letter "instantaneousness".

"I", "N", "T", "E", "O", "U" are not on the home row.

psychonaut
11-17-2006, 10:56 AM
"I", "N", "T", "E", "O", "U" are not on the home row.
Maybe not for you, but they are for me.

Alive At Both Ends
11-17-2006, 10:56 AM
It's been said that the longest word that can be typed using only the top row of letters on the QWERTY layout is... "typewriter". Does anyone know if this is true? Is there a longer word with this property? (I hope not - "typewriter" has a certain appropriateness.)

lazybratsche
11-17-2006, 10:58 AM
I bet they are on a Dvorak keyboard.

*checks*

Yep. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard

psychonaut
11-17-2006, 11:01 AM
One further curiosity: the longest word which can be typed with alternating hands is "phenomenological" (16 letters). If we stipulate that one has to start with the right hand, then you have the choice among the 14-letter "deliberatively", "deliverability", "misalphabetise", "rehabilitative", "sulphanilamide", "symptomatology", and "verisimilitude".

psychonaut
11-17-2006, 11:03 AM
It's been said that the longest word that can be typed using only the top row of letters on the QWERTY layout is... "typewriter". Does anyone know if this is true? Is there a longer word with this property? (I hope not - "typewriter" has a certain appropriateness.)
I couldn't find a longer one, but I also found the following ones of equal length: "perpetuity", "proprietor", "repertoire".

The Dumbest Guy in the Room
11-17-2006, 11:03 AM
I just typed pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis using only my left hand. :D

Giles
11-17-2006, 11:08 AM
I just typed pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis using only my left hand. :D
And I type only with my right index finger (a bad habit I learned about 50 years ago, but since I type reasonably fast with one finger, I've never bothered to learn the correct way).

Santo Rugger
11-17-2006, 11:31 AM
I bet they are on a Dvorak keyboard.

*checks*

Yep. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard

Thanks, I had never heard of Dvorak before, and assumed those were the first 6 letters on the top row. Whoops!

Looks like the Dvorak layout is useful for more than just typing fast, however:

There are also Dvorak arrangements designed for one-handed typing, which can provide increased accessibility for those who have difficulty with typical keyboards. Other users enjoy the ability to simultaneously type and control a mouse. Separate arrangements have been designed for each hand.

Robot Arm
11-17-2006, 11:50 AM
(FTR, all the above were discovered by grepping regular expressions from /usr/share/dict/words. YMMV.)Regexp, *nix and Dvorak? Let me guess, you're also fluent in Esperanto.

slortar
11-17-2006, 12:01 PM
With only my left hand?

Does "morejpegsplzthankyoutakeoffyourshirtnow" count? :D

diggleblop
11-17-2006, 12:11 PM
I started a thread yesterday asking a legit question and it was locked because people said I could've used google to find my answer. Well, I just googled (http://www.google.com/search?q=longest+word+that+can+be+typed+with+left+hand&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a) your question and found the answer in the second link. Yet this thread remains open. Odd.

samclem
11-17-2006, 12:38 PM
I started a thread yesterday asking a legit question and it was locked because people said I could've used google to find my answer. I locked your thread yesterday to stop the bickering, not because it could be answered by using Google.

samclem GQ moderator

groman
11-17-2006, 02:09 PM
I never learned the "proper" way to touch type, but after having it explained to me I firmly believe that it is fundamentally retarded. Using one finger per key is ridiculous and sounds like it is just asking for a repetitive stress injury.

The longest word I can type with any subset of my fingers from 1 to 10 is the longest word I am willing to type. For example this entire message up until now has been written with just my left hand at probably about 40 WPM (Just a guess).

However switching to just using my right hand I can type faster and almost without looking at the keyboard. The basic principle I use when typing QWERTY (I didn't really get the hang of DVORAK because I started off on DVORAK using a blank keyboard and it didn't work out that well), is for the next key I use "the closest available finger at a convinient angle". So typing numbering fingers 1 for left pinky, 5 for left thumb, 6 for right thumb and 10 for right pinky I will type the following words as follows (with a certain degree of probability, it's not consistent typing to typing and if I have a cut I can't let that slow down my typing speed just because one finger is out of comission):

"Jingle bells": 7,8,7,7,9,3,7,3,9,9,2
"Debauchery": 4,3,4,2,7,4,7,3,4,4
etc.

But that's just the way I learned. I had to type fast and I wouldn't let anybody teach me the mind numbing home row system. The fastest typist I have ever seen did not use fixed 'home position' nor did they pay attention to the rows. If I pay attention to how I type I think I mostly stay on the top row with my middle and ring fingers wiht my index fingers (if extended) at a roughly 110 degree angle.

For reference I type English at about 80-85WPM full speed (net) and only get tired after a dozen or so pages if I don't take breaks.

USCDiver
11-17-2006, 02:12 PM
Right hand only on QWERTY: monopoly

The Octagon
11-17-2006, 02:54 PM
I never learned the "proper" way to touch type, but after having it explained to me I firmly believe that it is fundamentally retarded. Using one finger per key is ridiculous and sounds like it is just asking for a repetitive stress injury.
You must have pretty small fingers. I can manage to push down the key using only one finger, using two or more is fairly difficult.

Sutremaine
11-17-2006, 03:37 PM
Using one finger per key is ridiculous and sounds like it is just asking for a repetitive stress injury.
It's more like a minimum of one finger per three keys, and when I touch-type (which is slowly and, strangely, much more accurately than when looking at the keys) my fingers rest loosely on the home keys when not in use and my wrists hover about two inches off the level of the keyboard.

ftg
11-17-2006, 03:43 PM
On a QWERTY keyboard, for some reason I just love "pleasing".

bibliophage
11-17-2006, 03:53 PM
An excellent source for word trivia is Jeff Miller's A collection of word oddities and trivia (http://members.aol.com/gulfhigh2/words.html). He has a whole page about typewrtier words (http://members.aol.com/gulfhigh2/words8.html) from which we learn that the longest left-hand-only QWERTY words are AFTERCATARACTS, TESSERADECADES and TETRASTEARATES (14 letter each) and the longest right-hand-only is JOHNNY-JUMP-UP (14 keystrokes including hyphens)

psychonaut
11-17-2006, 04:27 PM
Keep in mind that words that can be typed with only one hand are great if you're typing while on the phone, eating a donut, or masturbating, but they're the slowest words to type. Words where the the letters alternate between the hands are much faster to type, since the fingers of one hand can get into position over the correct keys while the other hand is typing. The principal advantage the Dvorak layout has over QWERTY is that the former is designed to maximize alternation between hands. (Having all the vowels on the left home row and the most common consonants on the right home row helps immensely.) The fact that the longest common words I can type with my left or right hand alone are pathetically short compared to the longest words typable one-handed on a QWERTY keyboard is therefore a Good Thing™.

snailboy
11-17-2006, 04:28 PM
(FTR, all the above were discovered by grepping regular expressions from /usr/share/dict/words. YMMV.)

Can you tell me what command line you used for those? I use FreeBSD and Dvorak, and looking at the man page, I thought "grep [aoeui]+ words" would give me words with only vowels for instance, but it doesn't give me anything.

psychonaut
11-17-2006, 05:01 PM
Can you tell me what command line you used for those? I use FreeBSD and Dvorak, and looking at the man page, I thought "grep [aoeui]+ words" would give me words with only vowels for instance, but it doesn't give me anything.The following will give you words that consist only of vowels:
grep -i '^[aoeui]\+$' /usr/share/dict/words

Bippy the Beardless
11-17-2006, 05:36 PM
The longest word I can find using only adjacent keys is SAWED are there any longer?
(Or would you allow TREWSED for someone wearing trews ? )

The Octagon
11-17-2006, 07:35 PM
Keep in mind that words that can be typed with only one hand are great if you're typing while on the phone, eating a donut, or masturbating, but they're the slowest words to type. Words where the the letters alternate between the hands are much faster to type, since the fingers of one hand can get into position over the correct keys while the other hand is typing. The principal advantage the Dvorak layout has over QWERTY is that the former is designed to maximize alternation between hands. (Having all the vowels on the left home row and the most common consonants on the right home row helps immensely.) The fact that the longest common words I can type with my left or right hand alone are pathetically short compared to the longest words typable one-handed on a QWERTY keyboard is therefore a Good Thing™.
I don't know, it seems like all I'd need to masturbate is stewardesses and CTRL+ENTER.

PS Please stop turning this into an xbox vs playstation thread.

spinky
11-18-2006, 04:47 AM
using a relatively vanilla unix dictionary (e.g. not very complete):


(for word in `egrep '^[qwertasdfgzxcvb]*$' /usr/dict/words`; do echo `echo $word | wc -c` $word; done ) | sort -n | tail -5 | awk '{print $2}'

vertebrate
wastewater
aftereffect
desegregate
reverberate

(for word in `egrep '^[yuiophjklnm]*$' /usr/dict/words`; do echo `echo $word | wc -c` $word; done ) | sort -n | tail -5 | awk '{print $2}'

lollipop
monopoly
polonium
polopony
polyphony

Annie-Xmas
11-18-2006, 07:56 AM
The name of the first musical based on ABBA's songs is a left-hand one: ABBACADABRA