The waltz of my fingers, another name for confusion


As a teenager I spurned a chance to go on a typing course as I was “never going to be a secretary”. Little did I realise that a very large portion of my working life would be spent in front of a keyboard. And not in my wildest dreams did I suspect I’d be using one for fun.

I, like most people, have 2 hands. Mine seem a little different; two hands with ten fingers and each finger with a mind of its own. 

I tend to use at least 2 fingers on each hand for typing. So I’m one step beyond those one-fingered peckers. Sometimes my fingers decide that a word just needs two or three letters swapped around. Other times they transpose 2 adjacent letters on the keyboard. So sweetpea becomes sewwtpea. Another favourite is to leave me in a tight sopt. Occasionally they seem to have been smoking their gloves and the words that come out bear so little relation to any known English words that I have to delete everything and simply start all over again.

Of course the two hands really enjoy the confusion of the shift key. My right hand is usually a lot faster than the left (it’s a sort of younger sibling always yelling “wait for me”). While the left hand goes for the shift key, the right finds the letter to hit, and then so often, the next one, while the left hand is still wondering when it should release the shift key. THen I have a double-capital word.

Many times I have had people wonder at the speed of my “one-finger” typing. Sometimes my fingers are moving so fast people can’t actually see what I’m doing, so the wondrous interplay of co-operating digits is not apparent. BUT it is so obviously NOT the work of the proper typist, who sits; hands neatly poised with each finger ready to do its duty. No mine all just lurk, some waiting to see if they have the chance to hit something, others to see if they can somehow get in on the act and hit a double together, or trip up the active finger, just by lurking.

This speed thing only works for typing out of my head. Copy-typing is very slow as I have to watch the keyboard to make sure the letters haven’t changed position since I last saw them. Then I lose my place in the text to be copied. It’s slower than watching the bird-bath dry up.

It has often been suggested that I go and learn to type “properly”.  I can just imagine the results, 35 years of my own style, hard learned via the hunt and peck method, competing against the elderly brain trying to learn something new. I think it would take years to unlearn and re-learn how to type. The thought of what revenge my independent fingers would take scares me too much to attempt it.

And IF I finally learned to type properly, would I be depriving everyone of a source of amusement and stimulation?  As one friend put it “Then you’d remove some of the brain exercise we get trying to sort out what you actually meant.”

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10 thoughts on “The waltz of my fingers, another name for confusion

  1. Here’s how I see it from a practical point of view. The fact that you manged to post this means your skills are quite adequate and suited to the task, now can forfeit the idea of “learning to type properly” and start learning other, far worthier skills, such as making 104 different types of fudge and sending them to “Thys” … 😀

    “the wondrous interplay of co-operating digits is not apparent” nice phrase!

  2. I like that fantasy immensely, just for the record.

    I’m the same as you, Sidey: even as a reporter I learnt to type two fingered on a 1950’s imperial typewriter. I think learning to type now would be like learning to play the piano from scratch. (I have just deleted ‘paino)

  3. I’m just a wee bit worried about your having ten fingers in total. I’ve just checked my hands, and I have 8 fingers and two thumbs? *grin*

    I’m fortunate to have done music and organ from a kiddie which helps tremendously with typing with both hands. I’m also accurate and very quick which is a plus for me when it comes to reports and work things; but don’t you dare change the way you type!

  4. nr, Mine seem to have always have minds of their own, makes doing mant things an interesting and sometimes frustrating experience. Sometimes the minds are very good, and sometimes they have me battling

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