Tuesday, October 19, 2010


'Tis a curious thing that now when everybody needs to type, typing is no longer taught in schools. I questioned my sister and her girlfriend about the matter and both learnt typing at school, however, neither touch type. I too learnt typing at school, but I did not get to touch typing. I only really learnt once the internet arrived. I watch the screen and not the keyboard, unless I need a symbol or whatever. I will add that I need to become familiar with a keyboard first though, as no two seem to be the same.

Typing class at school was where you were taught how to type, of course. But not only that, you were also taught how to compose and arrange a letter. You were taught about paper sizes and the correct way to address an envelope. I think there were also business classes, which would have started off with the basics we learnt in typing.

Now, I suppose by the age of ten everyone can type, but how well?


  1. I think as long as you can type as fast as your thoughts are coming, it doesn't matter what form you use.

    These days, it seems a lot of people are typing on their Blackberries and other such devices. I haven't mastered that yet. It takes me about five minutes to get out a simple sentence. Tim's really good at it though.

  2. I learnt touch-typing when I was 'encouraged' to be my captain's PA when I was serving national service. It's amazing what you learn after typing away for 2 years endless documents and memos and minutes of meeeting and reams of official documents.

    I progressed from clucky typewriters to Word Perfect to Office and now just about every keyboard on handphones/smartphones/netbook/notebooks but oddly enough not much on PCs anymore.

  3. Children are exposed to texting and to computer keyboards at such an early age now that typing skills have become second nature Gen X or whatever they are called.

    Letter writing appears to be a lost art but where do those whose occupations require them to compose letters learn today?

  4. I learned to touch type at school on a jolly old typewriter. Not sure why that was, I suppose they were cheaper than computers!

  5. Yes, they can type - happily spelling and grammer have been twittered to death so no longer required. There are also the endless platforms to enhance communication - but have they made us better communicators??

    Happy travels!

  6. I would be pretty slow on a Blackberry Dina but I am ok with sms, although nothing like as fast as young people.

    Hi Michael. Ah typewriters. I miss them. Well, I miss the action, not when you made a mistake and had to use the white powdered paper.

    Victor, I don't think they can type as fast as someone who touch types. And where can they learn how to compose a proper letter? The internet of course.

    Fen, at least computers were around when you were at school...assuming you are telling the truth.

    Oz, certainly not better communicators verbally, although I don't see evidence of a deterioration is spoken word. Perhaps I don't mix with enough young people to really know. As for spelling and grammar, I don't know where that is going to end up.

  7. Hi Andrew

    Don't start me... oh, you have already. I learned Pitman's typing and shorthand as a journalism student eons ago. I wish I could still remember the shorthand. I still touch type at around 80 words per minute, because I never stopped.

    Dina (above) says as long as you can type as fast as you can think, no matter. I would argue that people are generally not typing as fast as they can think but rather thinking as fast as they can type.

    There are certain economies of scale here. If you're composing a two-page letter, then typing it out in draft and refining it on the screen is probably a lot quicker than handwriting several drafts in pencil and fountain-penning the original in your best copyplate.

    Where being able to touch type turns things around is if you're writing a fifty-page report. When you've got senior managers tapping away with two fingers, you're looking at a huge inefficiency.

    My belief is that touch typing as a skill is associated with a politically incorrect past. Neither girls nor boys want to learn it because it's considered a secretarial skill and ain't no such thing as a secretary these days.

    It's insane but some of us are laughing though.



  8. I agree Pants. You match your thoughts to your typing speed. I know Dina can type very fast though. A friend who is a two finger typist can go at quite a pace. I don't know how he knows where the keys are without the base. He does make many errors though. Btw, what was the other shorthand in Australia? Not Gregg or Teeline that the net is telling me.