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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Typing Skills

I loved the interview with Pat Conroy in the new, August issue of Southern Living. I learned he writes in longhand because his dad made him drop out of typing classes. Conroy knew he wanted to be a writer and realized typing would help. His dad had other ideas. Fighter pilot, for example. Where he'd have sergeants to type for him.

I, on the other hand, am a fast, (mostly) competent two-handed typist because I learned in 8th grade typing class and followed up with a high school class which enabled me to charge my fellow college classmates for typing their research papers (especially boys, whose fathers probably also thought typing was an unnecessary skill).

Did you know you can type more than 3,000 words with your left hand? And only 300 with the right hand alone? That's assuming you use the correct finger position, of course. Think about words like "exaggerate" and "stewardesses." Why is this? Early typists were so fast they jammed their machines, so in the 1870s, frequently-used letters like A, T, and N were separated on the keyboard.

Now you know.

3 comments:

Joyce said...

Oh, that is so fascinating! I am always amazed that my fingers remember so much about the keyboard when my mind doesn't actually know where things are.

Sometimes I type with one hand if I have a sandwich in the other. From now on I'll pay attention to which hand has the sandwich!

Lee Stokes Hilton said...

How did I miss this the first time around? What a fun post. I learned to type in high school -- the only class I got a B in, so I dropped it the second semester! But that skill was invaluable me in college, as I typed my own papers and made extra money by typing friends' papers.

Carol Baldwin said...

High school typing classes. I'm afraid that dates us! Now it's keyboarding in 4th grade...or perhaps earlier?? I liked the Pat Conroy quote too. So true.