28 April 2013

Touch typing (not)

The CEO of the Irish Association of Pension Funds demonstrates for the cameras how he imagines his secretaries type (at 0:45 in the video).

As a touch typist for 50 years (most useful course I ever took in high school), I see this kind of fakiness quite frequently in movies.

Via Nothing to do with Arbroath.


  1. And our Scottish neighbours are even better! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ls_WssFyycI


  2. HUGE pet peeve of mine. In fact, it takes me completely out of a movie or show when the person so obviously can't type and has possibly never even used a keyboard. Followed by when they show a piano player on the wrong keys of a piano.

  3. He probably knows how to type fine. I bet what bet happened was the cameraman wanted some extra footage and told him to pretend he's working. Not knowing what to type, he pretended to type. I've had to do this a couple times. I finally learned just to type 'the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog' over and over.

  4. Urgh - this made me feel rather awkward. I'm going to throw him a bone here, and suggest that it might not actually have been his fault.

    We had a German film crew in the office a few weeks ago. I work for a rather newsworthy tech startup - most weeks, there's at least one visit from journalists of one kind or another. They wanted me working in the background as they spoke to our founder. (I work from a photogenic giant beanbag; it's not dot-com-era posing, but a solution to a longstanding backache problem.) They stopped filming shortly into the segment, and asked me if I could just *pretend* to work and not actually press the keys, because the sound of my typing was being picked up by the microphones. So basically, I ended up doing what this guy is doing. (No closeups, thankfully.)

  5. Typing is definitely the high school course I use most now (45 years later). Although, I do occasionally use algebra! BTW: I have an American friend working in Switzerland who says that Europeans are "intimidated" by Americans' typing skills. Nice to know we still do something well. USA! USA! lol

    1. I use algebra quite a few times a week. Understanding how to solve for a variable is invaluable, you are using algebra. It's not just when you write out an equation with "x" in it.

  6. That course was terribly boring. It used electric typewriters with blank keys. For me it was nothing but an effective incentive. However a software that recorded speed and error rate has been incredibly helpful, not to help learn but to drudge through the 20 or more hours of practice, that it takes for the brain to "hard wire" that stuff.
    If anyone could recommend a semi-current application for touch typing, that isn't an overpriced scam, I'd be grateful.

  7. My tested touch-typing rate is 65wpm, has been for decades. However as part of a computer course I was required to do the same learner-course as the others, some managed to reach the late 20s. I however, barely managed 17wpm at best. So they let me spend the hour just copy-typing. After a day or two the rest clamoured for me to just sit and read a book, quietly. The sound of my 65wpm copy-typing (without the software) was putting them all off their stroke, pun unavoidable. I could have set up a typing school since none of them realised that positioning their wrists on the desk-edge was not at all good for their carpal tunnels and still didn't help them hover on the home keys. Likewise resting the heels of their hands on the desk was never going to save enough energy to work up some speed. With a few tips on holding up the wrists as on the original manuals and some good exercises to recite like qwerty's own"qaz space wsx space edc" etc naturally comes to mind) I reckon anyone can learn to touch-type on just a keyboard printout. Free and easily. Worth the effort. And saves time when you can type, watch tv and talk to your partner simultaneously. Usually the partner stops interrupting sooner than later, which saves even more time. Actually I prefer typing without the tv too.


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