The Washington Post on [tech] Innovations that Reinvent the Wheel points to ActiveWords, a Windows user interface addition. You can type words from anywhere (so no menus) and these words are commands to "launch programs, jump to websites, send email, substitute text, and more".

Sounds like a cross between LaunchBar for Mac OS X and Jef Raskin's 'Command' key from The Humane Interface: "to invoke a command you press and hold a Command key, and while holding it type the command. The command appears in transparent text as you type". Commands are universal, and primarily used for basic interface tasks (copying, swapping characters). In Raskin's The Humane Interface, I believe commands were intended to be sold in sets by vendors, and activated not only be typing but selecting too (and hitting Command).

Interestingly, Raskin's ideas are based on the idea that keystrokes are quicker than the mouse. Bruce Tognazzini contends that the mouse is faster overall because while deciding which command to type is a high-level cognitive task, using the mouse is a low-level, boring, task, during which the user can think about other things. A tiny productivity gain, each time.