Giving a finger to two-thumb typing

Tiiiiny phone screens … only place where even delicate girl thumbs become bear paws.

My exact words in a dialogue with a blogger after a typo I’d made at his site. Funny thing was I knew immediately after posting that I had! Yet opted not to post a correction, why?

Two words: Phone screen.

My phone’s tiny. The smallest that Apple makes — rather, USED to make before recently discontinuing it. A crying shame for folks like me who WANT small. Who WANT a device, approximately flip-phone-size, that snuggles easily into a back pocket of jeans, front pocket of a work shirt and a palm. That topic’s neither here nor there for today.

Moreover, I’m not a texter. I’m simply not.

Neither do I do social media (beyond occasional scrollings on Twitter on the laptop). I haven’t much reason or cause to type on a tiny screen.

Times I do need to, I don’t enjoy it. I do not.

I’m not a speedy two-thumber. Neither do I aspire to become one. I’d go as far as to say that my interest in two-thumb typing is zip.

In a sense, I give a finger to two-thumb typing.

It’s not for me.

Seat me in front of a standard keyboard, however, and I am rarin’ to go! Like Secretariat chompin’ at his bit at the starting gate!

I love to type. Repeat. LOVE. TO TYPE.

Always have. From the second I sat at a typewriter as a little girl — a manual. A Smith-Corona, I think. Funny, I don’t remember where or whose but very probably my mother’s, which is why I’ve completely blocked it out.

I’ll let that go.

What I DO remember, VERY vividly, is learning to type properly … on an ELECTRIC! Whooo-hooo those were the big new deals back then. Summer school 7th grade.

That singular class was a defining moment in my lifetime — on so many levels.

I learned the keyboard, its feel — its speedy responsiveness so very different from a manual’s.  Was, well, electrifying.

I learned, most importantly, touch-typing.

Decades ago and I still profoundly remember that class, the touch-typing exercise sheets (in a book?) resting against the stand to my left. Forcing myself away from the natural inclination to type by searching for letters instead of by touch  — which in fact is far more productive and efficient despite the initial brain response.

Training and teaching myself by focusing on random collections of letters and numbers and sentences in the exercises amid the clackclackclacking echoing in the room with some 20 students … all of us engaged in the sole purpose.

Funny thing, none of that noise bothered or distracted me. Not a bit. Funny ’cause I’m EXTREMELY sensitive to sound. Have highly-developed aural capacities and abilities. I have human dog ears and alien ears. Yet anything to do with the written word, be it writing or reading, noise fades into the background. Or merges holistically with the scenery in the case of clackclackclacking.

I had my home at a typewriter.

Little’s changed.

A deft typist am I. I won’t lie. Learning was challenging at first. Like driving. (Which, with typing, is my other huuuuuuuuuge passion.) It took work, commitment, patience, dedication and an underlying passion.

With letters, my fingers and mind fly. If typing numbers, however, I have to look, I admit. I’ve not needed to master numerical touch-typing at workplaces or felt a burning desire to do so.

When I come across a manual at a yard sale or thrift store, the wattage of that inner bulb ramps way up. Fingers, heart, soul, memory, mind gravitate.

Fingertips demand to touch, to rest upon the keys, to caress the curves of a Smith-Corona. To run the ribbon between thumb and forefinger — gently — to test for ink. To prod the lever. To tap the space bar and CAPS key. To toy with the paper guide. To breathe in the scent of a half-ring of metal letters.

It all comes racing back in cellular memory, like riding a bicycle.

None of those actions above are required on a computer keyboard. And most certainly not a cell phone.

Kids these days haven’t a clue what I’m talking about. Carriage return? Ribbon spool? Type bars? Say “platen” — one of the most beautiful, nee glorious!, words in the English language  — and they register muteness, “huh?”

Their blank expression … worse than the blank page that’s the bane of writers.


In short, I’m no texter.

No two-thumber either.

Tiny phone screens … only place where even delicate girl thumbs become bear paws. Seriously.

I’m prone to making typos that wouldn’t occur at a standard keyboard where 10 fingers have space for flight.

I’m also far less likely to post a correction (particularly for a single typo) via phone than laptop. Believe it or not, I’ve actually produced a NEW typo rectifying one or minimally editing a comment. Ain’t worth the two-thumbing time.

You pick your battles. Especially when the battlefield is measured not in feet but fractions of an inch!

End of post. Period.



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