out of the ashes

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Raining Again!

I’ll bet you don’t know why the keys on your keyboard are laid out as they are...QWERTY , and so on. I didn’t, although once in a while I wondered myself.
Thank you Yahoo answers!
Quickly; they were laid out by a gentleman named Scholes in 1870 (or thereabouts), to separate the letters most commonly used in the English language so that the heavy metal bars holding the letters would not jam at high speed typing. Not the most efficient anymore, because of Dvorak (not the incredible composer), but most everyone is comfortable with the layout as it has existed for nearly a century and a half. We are creatures of habit, yes?
In my high school typing class we used very old manual machines. I can’t remember who manufactured them. Probably Underwood or Royal? But they were at least as ancient as the wonderful old nuns who taught in the school. After a semester of instruction by Sister Mary Dolorine…okay, Sister Mary George, lol…my top speed was 35 words/minute with no errors. Not that terrific. But, who cared, really? I had no plans to become a secretary. Now, Eddie Mondragon, “Moondoggie”, played the accordion. He could type upwards of 75 words/minute, error free, which feat raised him enormously in everyone’s eyes, especially in view of the fact that he was the co-captain of out football team, and a fierce hitter. I wonder how proficient at typing someone like Rochmaninov would have been? It is said his fingers moved at lightning speed on the piano keys.
Anyway, I have gotten into the habit of looking, not at a piece of paper with script on it sitting on my desk as I type, but at the screen in front of me. Speed is not that important. Still, I rarely look at the keys, unless I notice “the” coming out as rW…oops! I shifted my left hand one key over!
I’m tired of rain!

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