Stupid Keyboard Tricks

The Saga Behind it All

Many moons ago, I took about 10 minutes and wrote a little Perl program that, as a programming exercise in regular expressions, spits out all the words from UNIX's /usr/dict/words that you can type on just the left side of a QWERTY keyboard, top, middle row, et cetera. Incidental to the program, I posted the output of the program here.

Much to my surprise, the results of this exercise in algorithmics garnered notice, allusion, more notice, awe, and shock from various sites, as well as attention from the surprisingly huge number of intrepid Net users who go to Yahoo and run searches on "stupid" -- many of whom write me email (usually in all lowercase, sometimes all uppercase) asking me "hey thats funny how long did it take u 2 figer out all them hard words it took u a long time i bet".

It all goes to show: you never know how many people on the Net will dare to be stupid.
Not until they email you, that is.


The Unix wordlist has strange gaps in it. It has obscure words like "wastewater" and "polonium", but not "I" or "punk" or, as someone wrote me to point out, "oink". But such is life. If you want a more complete list, run my script on a better wordlist. Then you too can be stupid.