From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

How many fingers do you type with?

Traditional keyboarding or otherwise?



Blogger at workI learned to type from Miss Tibbits, who ruled a roomful of manual, Royal office models with an iron hand.

Miss Tibbits didn't tolerate any weird fingering of the typewriter keys. I learned to place my fingers in "ASDF JKL;" position and to use my right thumb for the space bar. I think it's called "touch typing." I still type that way!

When I worked in classified ads at the newspaper and typed like crazy every day, I even learned to reach up and hit the numbers fairly accurately as I sped along.

Dennis is a hunt-and-pecker. He uses three fingers total (two on the right hand, and one on the left.) He says when he gets enough typing practice on a regular basis, he builds up speed.

Keely types as I do, more or less -- all eight fingers on the keys plus a thumb for the space bar.

Today, I learned that Isaac types with three fingers on each hand -- his thumbs, pointers, and middle fingers. He doesn't use his ring fingers or pinkies at all. He says he goes pretty fast, and I agree that he does.

I'm amazed that his keyboarding teacher allowed him to type that way! Obviously, she was no Miss Tibbitts.

I am also amazed that he hits letter keys with his thumbs. My thumbs can't even imagine that.

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6 comments:

Sarabeth said...

I type like you. My typing teacher in high school was quite rigid. I typed faster and more accurately if I could twist in my chair. Mrs. Rigby would grab the back of my chair so that I couldn't twist. I'd always make mistakes when she did that.

What amazes me is to watch my 18 year old babysitter type text messages on her phone. She's so fast, even with multiple letters on the keys. It is things like that which make me feel older.

Collagemama said...

My kids all found keyboarding class to be the most useful class they took in high school. I don't watch their technique, but I know they are really fast.

My own jr. high typing teacher was Mrs. Anderson. We practiced on those Royal manuals using carbon paper and chasing the quick brown fox and the lazy puppy. I typed all my term papers on my dad's old 1928 Remington Noiseless. I'm sure Mrs. Anderson is totally opposed to the use of mouse pads and wrist supports.

Mark said...

I learned to type when I decided to major in journalism, back in my previous life. My mother taught me, and I used a paper keyboard most of the time. I touch type pretty well, and it has served me well in my current life, where the only thing we produce is reports. I have found that the transition to computers has made me faster but somewhat more prone to mistakes, because of the ease of correction. Overall I would highly recommend learning touch typing.

Mourningdove's Serendipity said...

I am a 'four fingers on each hand' person. I worked at a newspaper too and had to hire typesetters back in the late 70s and early 80s. I hired one woman who told me in her interview that she could type 100+ words a minute and made "no errors". I didn't believe her. But on her first day she sat down at the old Compugraphic and typed a 6 foot galley of type. No errors!! I have never met anyone since who could do that. She is still my friend and has taught me how to can and preserve food among many other things. One of those amazing, talented people...
By the way, the link on my name doesn't work and I can't seem to get Google to change it. The address should be: http://mourningdoveserendipity9.blogspot.com/

Genevieve said...

Mourningdove, we had a girl in our typing class who could type over 100 wpm with 0 errors. She was also a highly competent pianist so she had limber fingers.

I'm sure all the old-time typing teachers would disapprove of the ease of error correction on computers. It does relieve the pressure of avoiding a typo. There are still some jobs out there that use typewriters, though.

And I am very slow at text messaging. I don't do it often enough to develop much skill!

RunAwayImagination said...

I learned to type on a manual typewriter during the summer of my 15th year in 1961. Proper placement of fingers was requried in order to avoid jamming the mechanism. My dexterity was aided greatly by nine years of piano lessons, so once I memorized the keyboard the rest was simple.

The skills I learned during those few weeks have benefitted me more than any other schooling before or since.

I still type with ten fingers, just as I was taught back then.

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