When Did You Learn to Touch Type?

The Savvy Boomer postulates that most baby boomers didn’t learn touch typing in school.

I don’t buy that.  It was a requirement in the high school that I attended.

It’s a skill that I’m glad I have.  Many times when I sit down at a keyboard and start hammering away, someone will comment on how fast I can type.  I tell them I can go like the wnid, but ofetn I make a lot of misaktes.

OTOH, my wife was a true whiz on the manual typewriter.  When she learned typing from Mrs. Volkert, she actually tested faster on a manual typewriter than an electric. She tested pretty regularly at over 100 word per minute with no errors.

When Mrs. Volkert forced her to use the electric typewriter, she complained to her dad, who happened to be principal of the high school.  He consulted with the teacher and together they decided that my wife should continue to type on the electric.

And to this day, she is still has that skill.  She tested for a word processing job recently and typed over 100 wpm with no errors.

She has a great time watching me type and then proofreading my stuff.  She has a twisted sense of humor sometimes.

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When Did You Learn to Touch Type? — 6 Comments

  1. I attended high school in Canada and it definitely wasn’t a compulsory course. But I remember why I took it now-the class was mainly girls;+)
    My spouse is also a fast typist and if we are both in the home office at the same time, I have to leave if she’s keyboarding because it sounds like a machine gun going off.

  2. The one and only course I can recall from my miserable high-school experience that was of ANY direct value to me was typing. I learned on manual machines, with the hokey Lawrence-Welch-metronome music going on in the background, and I got my speed up above 70 WPM before the course was over.

    After college, when I went to New York to be an actor, I got a temp job working for a film company. I typed short voiceover scripts on an IBM Selectric II (the most wonderful typewriter ever made), with producers overing over my shoulder. I got really, really fast in a hurry.

    When I took a typing test four years later, before doing temp work in Nashville (to support my music habit), I tested out at 120 WPM.

    This was all a direct result of my learning to touch-type in high school.

  3. That is, the producers were HOVERING over my shoulder. (Sorry for the typo.)

    They seemed always to be in a huge hurry to hail a cab and drive cross-town to a recording studio. Pressure, pressure!

  4. Hi Dave, I totally forgot about the metronome! 120 wpm is awesome! That’s better than shorthand right?
    (and don’t worry about typos here, we’re not running to catch anything!)
    Thanks for writing.

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