I didn’t learn to type on the old Remington manual that my mother allowed me to share from the time I was about four.  Yes, no typos in that last sentence–first sentence?–because my use of a keyboard has never been in keeping with what is correct fingering; that is, I never learned to type.  My mother was a proponent of what she called the “Columbus method:  discover and land,” which confused me because for years I thought this somehow was referring to the capital of Ohio (which, even earlier, I had thought was a city called “Capital” that served as Ohio’s columbus, a word that I didn’t associate with any person but truly believed described Albany,  and Boston,  two columbuses of other states).

It’s a wonder I was allowed to go to school.  (In first grade, I was amazed that so many of the girls wanted to be furniture when they grew up, as the teacher’s census taking of our aspirations produced “secretary” from many of their lips, a word that I knew perfectly well named a kind of upright desk with drop down front).

My typing probably reached its peak of accuracy about the time that desk top computers became an intrinsic part of my life.  By that time, I had avoided the dreading typing test requirement for high school graduation (by ducking down halls when the typing tester approached) and worn out one cheap manual (not that Remington) and a not-as-cheap-but-still-insubstantial electric.

However, my most recent keyboards have been so flat that my fingers (the three that I use for typing) forever twist in unwonted directions across them, producing, with great regularity, three-letter words that are inside out orthographically. I’ve thought of programming the function keys for “had,” “has,” “the,” and “was,” but I need them for other things (which I just now typed “thigns” and it even has more than three letters).

I don’t know how it turned out for all those 6-year-old Future Furnitures of Capital, or even for the typing test lady.  The secretary is in storage somewhere in a farm house near Pittsburgh.  My mother’s Remington long ago died and went to keyboard nirvana.

Life is short.  Type fast.


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