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glossary Q

quad
An em. Also called mutton or quad.

queue
An organization of elements that can be removed only in the same order in which they were inserted. The most common form of queue in computer use occurs when printing to a laser printer or other high resolution print device. A queue of documents is a line of documents waiting their turn to be printed. The first one sent to the printer is the first one that will be printed and thus removed from the list.

quoin
A small wedge, usually of wood, used for tightening or locking up forms or galleys in pre-electronic printing.

quoin key
A metal key used to tighten wedge shaped wood quoins to brace and secure pages of type in preparation to be printed.

QWERTY
The first six letters in the top alphabet row on a typewriter keyboard. That combination of letters is often used to name the standard keyboard in contrast to other keyboards. When Sholes made his first typewriters, he arranged the letters in alphabetical order. Typists found that the letter bars frequently jammed against each other during typing. Sholes therefore determined the most often-used combinations of letters and separated them as widely as possible so they would not get in each other’s way. The result was today’s QWERTY alpha-numeric keyboard. Sholes made his keyboard before touch typing had been developed. Most typing was done by men, and they used the “hunt and peck” system common to those who have never taken typing courses. For touch typing the QWERTY arrangement is not the best. It favors left-handed people and makes the typist do much more work than on other keyboards. In the 1930s a teacher, August Dvorak, at the University of Washington introduced his Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. It groups commonly used letters together. Decades later another arrangement was devised by Lillian Malt and Stephen Hobday in England. It makes typing easier by tilting the keyboard to accommodate hand and body positions, and it requires much less dexterity to type. Like the Dvorak keyboard, however, it has not been adopted. Manufacturers — and computer word processor makers as well — continue to install the traditional keyboard. The minimum number of keys on a board is 44. Some of the newest electronic typewriters have many more. In addition to the letters, there are keys for numbers. The number keys have other functions when the shift key is held. Other keyboard features include the space bar, margin stops, a margin release, tabulator stops, a return key, a shift lock, and a back space. There are also punctuation keys and assorted keys to make fractions, degree signs, plus signs, and equal signs. There are special-purpose typewriters available. It is possible to get machines with type for mathematical and chemical symbols and for many foreign languages. Oriental typewriters have been developed in which the paper travels vertically instead of horizontally after each character is typed. There are braille typewriters for the blind (see Braille). Teleprompter typewriters print large characters that can be read from a distance of 20 feet (6 meters) by television performers. Music publishers use machines that can print musical staffs and notes.