Will the order of the alphabet ever change thanks to keyboards?

♫ Q double-you E R T ♫
♫ Y U I O ♫
♫ G H J ♫
♫ K L Z ♫
♫ XCV, B ♫
♫ N and M ♫

Seriously, do you think the order of the alphabet will ever change due to the prominence of the QWERTY keyboard, or will it remain ABDCEFG into the distant future?

There’s nothing that holds momentum more than a traditional elementary school song. The “ABCs” will be around for the foreseeable future.

Now, let’s talk about moving that Q over, it’s far too high in the alphabet for how often it comes up. Stick it in between T and U. Q & U were always meant to be together.


See? Doesn’t that look like it makes more sense?

Until there’s shown to be some logic to the order of letters in any alphabet, I suspect tradition will carry a long way. By the time most of us have reached an age to question it, the rote learning has already set in as a defacto standard.

I’ve often though that either shapes of the letters themselves or the phonetic ordering that I have seen on occasion – where placement of the sound-making parts of our mouths and teeth and lips and all progress in the forming of the usual pronunciation of the vowels and consonants the letters tend to represent – might be a way to do such a thing logically.

What’s your proposal for the time after the keyboard starts annoying people who just like to change stuff that’s old?

The order of the alphabet has remained the same, with minor tweaks (e.g. their letter for the “g” sound became our letter “C”), since the Phoenicians started using it thousands of years ago. I don’t think it’s going to change any time soon.

Kids learning their Qwerty in school?

Probably not.

That keyboard is connected to a computer, which has a billion applications that sort things A-Z. There’s no chance of that being outweighed.

I’ll go a step farther and predict that keyboards are a technology we will one day move beyond, just like clay tablets. Possibly with an intermediary step of a touch screen allowing the user to arrange letters in any fashion, but eventually to voice and then thought-activated input. It is the keyboard that is temporary in your scenario, not the order of the alphabet.

In addition to what’s been said, it’s worth noting that a trmendous amout of information has been alphabetized - dictionaries, indexes, databases, etc. It’s definitely not worth it to change all of that.

Plus it’s so ingrained in our heads this way. I mean, in my fingertips, I can touch type without thinking “Q is next to W.” I just type and it comes out. But if you asked me, “What’s next to what?” I’d never know. It would be such a hassle to learn that when we already have naother system ingrained.

I wondered casually at what point kids will know how to type before they know how to write. I’d imagine it’s a lot easier, from a manual dexterity standpoint, to learn to touch-type.

The French and other people with non-Qwerty keyboards would yell high murder at the suggestion, methinks.