Vague ramblings

Hale the tyop kong

Posted in Musing by Ian Cundell on 21 August, 2006

I was brought up in an era when anything with a keyboard attached to it was assumed to be something for secretaries to use. At school, and even at university, essays had to be hand written and my undergraduate dissertation was ‘typed up’ by my sister. I first encountered typed essays at LSE when American students under my supervision handed them in (it was usually horribly over-written, but that is a separate issue). When I started work at a firm of chartered surveyors, I was chided for typing my own material. It was a secretary’s job, you see?

In short, I grew up in the era before the personal computer.

The result is, I was never taught to type. Several years ago a workplace ergonomist (seriously) visited my then place of work and this was one of the things we discussed. He said that, as a fast ten-finger typist, it was too late for me to learn to type properly. I took his word for it.

I do not know if this is true, but I do know that it is the source of much frustration to me. My spelling is fine – it always has been. I have a couple of blind spots (their/there), but from my first drafts you would never know. I have to take twice as long proofing stuff than I feel I should because I am all too aware that transposition, mechanical errors (hitting O rather than I for instance) and other problems that arise from trying to do something I’ve not been properly trained in too fast.

Was I right to take the ergnomist’s word? Is it too late to learn to type?

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