In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Kirk and crew travel back in time to 1986 to bring some humpback whales to the 23rd Century. Scotty is tasked with building a tank for them, and uses a computer to create a design for a material. After unsuccessfully talking to the computer, he says "a keyboard, how quaint" and starts typing.

Scotty initially "hunts and pecks" for keys with his index fingers, but later uses multiple fingers. The speed at which he types, and that he appears to be able to do so while largely not looking at the keyboard, shows that he's quite familiar with the layout of QWERTY keyboards (the type that would be used in the United States).

Is there any evidence that QWERTY keyboards are available in the 23rd Century (perhaps one that is on-screen)? I'm especially interested in any that Scotty might have used to develop his rapid typing skills.

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    I don't think he's had any prior experience. He's just a really fast learner. Jul 17, 2019 at 8:37
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    @HarryJohnston: Precisely. Our heroes can become experts in anything (typing, Latin, archeology, lawyering, almost any technology or physics) in a few seconds to a few hours because it's the future and they are that smart Jul 17, 2019 at 15:24
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    @ThePopMachine, and that's just the ones who aren't genetically engineered. :-) Jul 17, 2019 at 17:24
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    Trek characters sit down at alien consoles all the time and proceed without hesitation to operate starships or time portals or whatever gizmo system. Ye Olde QWERTY English would be a dawdle.
    – Blaze
    Aug 30, 2019 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


Yes. There is some evidence that they exist in the 23rd century.

The fact that Scotty says "how quaint" indicates that he's familiar with keyboards - he just sees them as outdated technology.

If they didn't exist, he would say something more like "keyboard? what?".

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