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AZERTY & QWERTZ keyboards.

Previous editions of Word Ways have identified the longest words and names which can be typed on each of the individual rows of a standard QWERTY keyboard. For example, PROTEROTYPE is one of the longest words which can be typed on the QWERTYUIOP row of a standard keyboard; FLAGFALLS is one of the longest words which can be typed on the ASDFGHJKL row; and BZZZBZZZ is the longest word which can be typed on the ZXCVBNM row.

But how do things change when using other keyboard layouts? Here I'll examine two alternative keyboard layouts-the AZERTY and QWERTZ keyboards.

The AZERTY Keyboard

AZERTY is a specific layout for the characters of the Latin alphabet on typewriter keys and computer keyboards. The layout takes its name from the first six letters to appear on the first row of alphabetical keys. It is modelled on the English QWERTY layout. It is used by most French speakers based in Europe. Here is the layout of the AZERTY keyboard, ignoring most of the non-letter keys:

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The differences compared to the more familiar QWERTY keyboard are these:

* A and Z replace Q and W on the top row;

* Q replaces A on the second row;

* M moves to the second row from the third (bottom) row;

* W replaces Z on the third (bottom) row.

What does this mean for the longest words typable on each row? The top row now has all of the vowels, but only three potentially useful consonants, P, R and T. The second and third rows now look decidedly clunky, containing only consonants.

The AZERTYUIOP ROW

Here are the longest words which can be typed on the top row:
15 letters
 
AUTOPORTRAITURE     (W2)
13 letters
PROPRIETARIAT       (W3) PROPRITIATORY  (W2) REAPPROPRIATE      (W3)
12 letters
APPROPRIATOR        (W3) AUTOPORTRAIT   (W2) PREPITUITARY       (W2)
PRETTYPRETTY
 (Century Dictionary 1889) PROPITIATORY        (W3) PROTOTRAITOR   (W2)
PYROTARTRATE       (W2) REPROPITIATE        (W2) TAPPIETOORIE   (W3)
TETRAPARTITE       (W2)
11 letters
APPROPRIATE         (W3) ITATARTRATE    (W2) ITEROPARITY        (OED)
PARATROOPER         <W3) PERPETRATOR    (W3) PERPETUATOR
(W3) PORTRAITURE         (W3) PREOPERATOR    (W2) PREPARATORY
(W3) PRIORITIZER         (Wiktionary)             PROPITIATOR
(W3) PROPRIATORY         (W2) PROPRIETARY    (W3)
PROPRIETORY
 (W3) PROTEROTYPE         (W3) REPATRIATOR    (Collins  2015)
TETRAZOTIZE         (W3) TRITURATURE    (W2) 


Inthe list above, the two italicised words can also be typed on the toprow (QWERTYUIOP) of the QWERTY keyboard. (Dictionary sources areindicated by: W2, Webster's Second Edition; W3, Webster'sThird Edition; OED, the Oxford English Dictionary)

The QSDFGHJKLM row

On the second rowof the AZERTY keyboard, the number of available words which can be typedis severely limited by the absence of vowels. The longest examplesappear to be these:
6
 letters
SHSHSH (OED)
4 letters
MMMM  (OED) SHHH (Collins English Dictionary, 2015) 


The WXCVBN row

On the bottom row ofkeys, there aren't any dictionary-listed words. But there areplenty of abbreviations (such as BBC), Roman numerals (such as CCCXXXV),symbols for the chemical elements (such as Nb), and call signs for USradio and television stations (such as WXCW).

TheQWERTZ keyboard

The QWERTZ keyboard is a slight tweak on the tried-and-tested QWERTY layout. It isused predominately in central Europe (Germany, Austria, the CzechRepublic, and other nearby nations). Here is the letter arrangement ofthe QWERTZ keyboard, Ignoring most of the non-letter keys:

Some implementations of theQWERTZ keyboard have additional accented letters to cope with thenuances of various European languages-for example, a U-umlaut(U) at the rightmost end of the top row; and an O-umlaut(O) and an A-umlaut (A) at the rightmost end of the second row. I shall ignore theseadditional accented letters for the sake of keeping things simple.

The differences compared to the more familiar QWERTY keyboard arethese:
 
   * Z replaces Y on the top row;
   * Y replaces Z on the bottom row. 


The longestwords which can be typed on the QWERTZ top row are almost the same asthose which can be typed on the QWERTY top row-except that any of thelong QWERTY words using a Y (such as PRETTYPRETTY and PROTEROTYPE) areno longer typable on the QWERTZ top row. The longest word typable withthe newly-positioned Z is the 10-letter TERRORIZER (W2)-but this wastypable, anyway, on the AZERTY keyboard top row.

As thesecond row of the QWERTZ keyboard is identical to that of the QWERTYkeyboard (le the keys ASDFGHJKL), no different words can be typed.

The third row of the QWERTZ keyboard gains the letter Y (and losesthe Z). The longest words typable on the bottom row are: MYNNY (an earlyspelling of 'minnie', in the OED), NYNNY (a 16th centuryspelling of 'ninny', in the OED), MYNY (an early spellingof the verb 'mine', in the OED), NYM (W2) and NYX(W2).

Footnote: the longest word common to the top row of thethree keyboards QWERTY, AZERTY and QWERTZ can only use the lettersERTUIOP. Examples include these 10-letter specimens:
 
   PIROUETTER  POURRITUREPROPRIETOR
   REPERTOIRE  REPETITEUR 


There's moreinformation about AZERTY and QWERTZ keyboards at:mentalfloss.com/article/52483/6-npn-qwerty-keyboard-layouts

Darryl Francis

Brampton, Cumbria, England

darryl.francis@yahoo.co.uk
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Author:Francis, Darryl
Publication:Word Ways
Date:Nov 1, 2015
Words:990
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