A new series of Fry’s English Delight starts on BBC Radio 4 tonight, with the first episode looking at the origins of the Qwerty keyboard.

Fry asks how we became so reliant on this odd layout of letters, and wonders what impact Qwerty has had on languages.

But did Sholes really doctor the configuration of letters to slow the typist. Would an inventor really hobble his own brainchild?

If so, argues Fry, then the Qwerty keyboard and its inventor could be accused of “conspiracy to pervert the course of language and to limit the speed of creativity and language input, endangering billions with repetitive strain injury”.

Qwerty can be seen, he argues, as “a deliberate spanner in the works of language, metaphorically and technologically”. (Source: BBC News)

You can listen to Fry’s conclusions on Radio 4 at 2130 BST or afterwards using BBC iPlayer.