Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Is the Gear Shift Pattern So Crazy?????

OK, I have this question for you, because I couldn't figure out how to search for it on Google to find out what I wanted to know.

So, here goes .....


You know how we're pretty much stuck with the QWERTY arrangement on the computer keyboard, because the inventor of the typewriter had to figure out a way to slow down the typists to keep them from jamming the slower mechanical device?

Well, I'm wondering if there's some such devious reason why the PRNDL order of our shift pattern on automobiles is also so illogical. Or maybe it's just me that finds it illogical?? Here's what I mean ........

want to go forward? pull back on the gear shift
want to go back? push forward on the gear shift

I have to think of it like jet propulsion to get it to work in my mind. Isn't that crazy? Up until a few short years ago, I didn't dare shift gears without looking at the letters, as I didn't trust myself to get it right, and I've been driving for 40 some odd years! LOL

I know it gave me a whole heap of trouble when it came to learning how to drive, and it still can get me confused, if I'm not really careful. Of course, I've always thought I was a borderline dsylexic, anyway. You should see the mental struggle I go through with anything spatial. It's not pretty.

So, now back to the original question. Does anyone know why it's PRNDL, instead of some other order?

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10 comments:

Moobear said...

I have no answer for your question as I am pondering the idea that there are people that think like I do. Most every night that I cannot go to sleep which is nearing all the time, I get up and wander to my "thinking" stool, I often wonder extreme things like this. Why are we like this I ask?-- Dunno, but we are. Good blog you have btw,I am always stopping in.
God Bless!

Dirty Butter said...

Uh Oh, you mean I'm not the only one whose mind gets all tied up in knots over earth shattering questions like this???

Thanks for the compliment, moobear. I appreciate your kind words, and I look forward to your next visit.

Jan said...

This is the exact reason that when I started ordering my own cars, I have always ordered and driven 5 speeds. Five on the floor. I don't have to think about what letters to use. I don't have to think about anything because shifting is internalized. I feel an involvement when I drive. I would never have an automatic again.

Dirty Butter said...

More power to you, Jan, if you can enjoy a 5 speed. I could never get past the stage of learning where you're grinding the gears. Every time it made that horrible noise, it would scare me, I'd take my foot off the clutch, and, of course, that killed it. I'm just meant for automatics.

Naomi said...

Hi Rosemary

Nice blog. Your post made me smile. I know exactly what you mean about automatic transmission. I'm from England and the majority of us Brits (including myself) drive manual 5 speed gear shift cars over here. Not many people drive automatic. My Mum is one of the few people that does and whenever I drive her car, I always feel strange and always have to glance down when going into gear!

Dirty Butter said...

It's nice to know that other people get hung up on PRNDL just the way I do, Naomi, but I'm still not getting an answer to my original question.

Interesting, as it looks like nobody knows why it's like that. I'm going to have to go hunt up some vintage car buffs and ask them, I guess.

Chana said...

not a clue friend..but don't feel bad of your struggles, i confuse the brake and gas pedals still at least once a year...now that, ain't pretty...

hugs.

Dirty Butter said...

Uh Oh!! I think I'll stick to having to look at the little letters before I change gears!! You be careful with those footsies, Chana, and be safe ROTFL.

Chana said...

glad you liked the posts..the little girls holding hands in front of the sea i found through google images..i was searching for a picture that would describe what i want for the world...i'm not sure who it belong to originally.

glad blog village is thriving. might proud of you.

Dirty Butter said...

Now that Mama Mouse is on leave, you're my first blog stop, after I get through taking care of all the BLOG VILLAGE business every morning.

I've been surprised at how much time is involved in cultivating a good toplist. I am determined to make it top quality, so I put the time required into it. I've also been surprised at how much time I've had to waste checking out blogs that applied that don't qualify. They must not read the rule first, or think they can sneak by. I don't know what they think, but it bugs me, anyway.

The photo is adorable, and I will figure out a way to use it, as it fits so well. Thanks!