According to Wikipedia, Christopher Latham Sholes, a newspaper editor and printer, invented my beloved QWERTY keyboard. His basic 1878 design still graces the majority of keyboards and touch-pads today. That’s pretty amazing if you think about it! He sequenced the letters on the keys so the typist must alternate hands when typing words. This speeds up the typist as well as prevents jams in the original typewriters when two letters next to each were pressed too quickly.
I can remember play “typing” on my dad’s old type writer and jamming the metal arms when I rapidly pressed the keys as I pretended to be a writer. In high school I took a typing class and actually learned how to type without causing a pile-up on the type writer. Not to age myself too much, but I learned on an “electronic” type writer that actually had correction fluid built-in. I have to say for all practical purposes and real life uses, this was one of the best classes I ever took. I use my typing skills everyday of my life. I did a quick typing test and came out at 46 words per minute. Not too shabby.
I didn’t move to a computer until my first year in college. Computers and word processing programs made my life as a budding typist and writer even better as now I didn’t have to start over because I wasn’t paying attention and typed off the edge of the page or made a mistake. Cut and Paste and the Backspace key are my heroes.
I now do all my writing on a little netbook. The keyboard fits my hands and fingers perfectly. While I do use my smart phone for quick emails, I’m nowhere near as fast touch-typing. I’m awed watching kids quickly type out texts and Facebook statuses with their thumbs or index fingers. I’ve heard some schools have even stopped teaching keyboard. That makes me so sad. I’ve thought about moving to a tablet, but I know I couldn’t live without my QWERTY keyboard.
What about you? Do “hunt and peck” or do your fingers know where to find the letters on the keyboard seemingly on auto-pilot?