FW: Obsolete term: touch typing

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Dec 4 10:23:21 UTC 2002

Allan M said:

Talking with a smart student tonight, I mentioned "touch typing" and she
asked What's that? I explained it was typing using all of your fingers,
without looking, what you learn in a typing class. To her, that was just
"typing." Maybe there are no two-fingered typists left, to contrast "touch
typing" with?

I would say that this is evidence that the term is generational and perhaps
fading, so maybe to be labeled "older" or even "obsolescent".  But I and
millions of others have it in our passive vocabulary, at least.  I remember
touch typing courses and books, from the 50s and 60s.  In my high school
(all boys) a typing class was required (I graduated in 1969).

More evidence would be needed to nail down the status of this term.  But
this is a telling incident you're telling us, Allan.  Same kind of thing is
happening re dial telephones (and the word "dial" re use of telephones),
glass milk bottles (now in antique stores here, though still in daily use in
the UK), inkwells, and other such once-familiar aspects of our society, now
fading or moribund.  Typewriters may soon join that list, but I still see
them here and there, and there are some die-hard users of manual typewriters
around.  One can still buy typewriter ribbons, maybe even at Staples, or Wal

Frank Abate

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