Tuesday, November 1, 2011

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, er, write a qwerty

In a comment added to his own blogpost that started all the activity in my preceding post (over 30 comments at this point, some of which are -- full disclosure -- my own), Dr. FTSE suggested a new game. Specifically, he wrote:

“Now then folks, for your next homework...a 26-line poem where the first word of each line starts with the QWERTY letters...in reverse order if you like.”

First of all, may I suggest that that is two games, or three, or four, as we now have the following options staring us in the face:

1. A qwertygram (a 26-word passage using the familiar QWERTY...VBNM pattern.
2. A reverse qwertygram (a 26-word passage starting at the other end of the familiar QWERTY pattern and working backward; that is MNBV...YTREWQ.
3. A qwertoem (a 26-line poem in which the first letter of each line starts with the QWERTY letters).
4. A reverse qwertoem (I think you have enough information by now to figure out what this is by yourself).

Class, if any of you need need to leave the room for a few minutes to clear your head, do it now. We will wait for you.

While they’re gone, the rest of us will listen to this (2:27).

There now, wasn’t that fun? You there, in the back, stop rolling your eyes.

Some seem to be taking longer to clear their heads than others. While we’re waiting for the stragglers, let’s listen to that song again, sung this time in a more laid-back style by Perry Como with backup singers that could be the Lennon Sisters. It is guaranteed to remove all tension from your body for the rest of the day.

Okay, now that everyone has returned, we will continue.

We have a fifth option!

“Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute,” you may be saying. “I’ve had quite enough of QWERTY.” Maybe you are sick unto death of QWERTY. Maybe you wish you had never heard the word QWERTY. Maybe you wish never to hear the word QWERTY again. Be careful what you wish for! Remember Philip Nolan!

Anyway, as I was saying, we have a fifth option, and it is DVORAK!

Not Dvořák the Czech composer. I’m talking about Dvorak the computer keyboard. Here is the layout:

Yes! That’s right! QWERTY ain’t the only keyboard in town!

So let’s review.

We have eight options in all, four with a QWERTY keyboard and four with a DVORAK keyboard.

The pattern for a qwertygram or qwertyoem is QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM.

The pattern for a reverse qwertygram or reverse qwertyoem is MNBVCXZLKJHGFDSAPOIUYTREWQ.

The pattern for a dvorakgram or dvorakoem is PYFGCRLAOEUIDHTNSQJKXBMWVZ.

The pattern for a reverse dvorakgram or reverse dvorakoem is ZVWMBXKJQSNTHDIUEOALRCGFYP.

Knock yourselves out. Just identify in your comment what it is that you have created, a qwertygram, a reverse qwertygram, a qwertoem, a reverse qwertoem, a dvorakgram, a reverse dvorakgram, a dvorakoem, or a reverse dvorakoem.

In case anyone is counting, I have coined four words in the past two days: qwertygram, qwertoem, dvorakgram, and dvorakoem.

There are padded rooms in mental institutions for people like me.


  1. You don't need to wait for me to clear my head. Thank you for the kind offer, but I'm quite content to take an incomplete for this course.

  2. Lol I think I'm going to have to sit this one out. Gah, I'm failing this class. Always knew I should have stuck with psychology

  3. Blimey, what did I do when I tipped you the wink for this one?! lol

  4. No takers? I'm disappointed! Fortunately, Frances Garrood did submit a qwertoem (my term, not hers) on Dr. FTSE's blog, which is here.

  5. I'm still clearing my head. Once it's cleared I will return with whatever it will be. It may take a while. It may never happen. Who knows ;-)

  6. Thanks RWP. I had never heard of the DVORAK keyboard. I will research it via Google and Wiki. Not sure have the energy or inventiveness to try one or other of your suggested forms, but best thanks for the invitation and for your own response to my original QWERTY challenge.

  7. Reverse dvorakgram, just for you.

    "Zounds!" vacuous words mocked.
    Borderline xenophobia kept jeopardising Queenie's Spanish
    neighbours; thinking had developed into utterly evil overload, although laughable ripostes could go far.
    Yummy prospect!

  8. Ya never know, I might try the poem at some point... no promises, but I'm a sucker for word games. Have you seen my sestina? They are quite a challenge and I've only managed the one.