Obsolete term: touch typing

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Thu Dec 5 18:34:42 UTC 2002

From:    Dodi Schultz <SCHULTZ at COMPUSERVE.COM>


: So what do you call it? The kids, Allan reported, just call it
: "typing." Most of the grownups I know do, too. Even though
: there's no longer *type* attached to, or moved by, the keys.

I have to admit that i'd *never* made any connection between the verb 'type'
and the noun 'type' referred to in the last line there. Now that i see it,
it makes perfect sense, though.

Anyway, since i was born in 1970 and thus part of what probably counts as
the leading edge of The Generation Without Typewriters<tm>, here's my take:

'Typing' is what you do with a keyboard.

'Keyboarding' is a term for 'typing' like 'sanitation engineering' is to
'trash collector'--something to make it sound less low-<insert whatever
here> than it is.

'Touch typing' is a specific kind of typing. I don't think i've ever used
the word actively (before this paragraph), but if i had to define it, i'd
define it as 'the sort of typing they teach in typing classes'. Now, of
course, lots of people (including me) learn to type without ever being
taught some specific method.

Personal experience to the point: When i was in high school, i had to type
something (using a typewriter), and i was sent to some part of the school
office where they had a typewriter i could use. I started typing
(*fast*--end of high school/beginning of college is when i was at my
personal peak for typing speed, 75-80 wpm). The typing class (which i never
took) teacher happened to be nearby. She watched me typing, and then said
"You can't type like that!" (My self-taught method has, for all intents and
purposes, no home keys, unless the spacebar counts.) I was suitably amused.

Incidentally, typewriters are still a serious necessity, even for those of
us raised with dedicated word processors and then later PCs--if you have to
fill out a pre-printed form, nothing beats a typewriter. For this reason,
all through college i found that i could guarantee a supply of devoted
friends simply by letting it be known that i owned a typewriter.

David Bowie                                         http://pmpkn.net/lx
    Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
    house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
    chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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