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QWERTY keyboards have changed how we feel about words

As keyboards have become part of daily life in the modern world, their layout has changed how people feel about certain words, New Scientist reports. In particular, past research has shown that words that use more letters located on the right side of the default QWERTY keyboard have come to be viewed more positively by people, even when the words are made up. Scientists have now found evidence of the “QWERTY effect” online—product, movie, and book names that use more right-side letters (Platoon versus Braveheart) tend to be better reviewed on sites ranging from Amazon to RottenTomatoes, though the products were not bought more often. The researchers aren’t sure what’s behind this effect—it could be because the right side has four vowel sounds (a, i, o, y) that have been linked to positive meanings, or that the right side has fewer letters to type and is thus easier to use.

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