It’s probably not surprising, given how many words I pump out on various keyboards every week, that I am a very accomplished typist. I would readily put my words-per-minute and accuracy rates up against pretty much anybody, and I know that I can hold my own against a lot of really speedy administrative professionals when it comes to moving words from brain to screen. What might surprise people, though, is how I manage to type extremely quickly and accurately without ever having learned the “proper” way to work a keyboard. I do not use all of my fingers when I type, and the ones that I do use don’t ever sit on their home keys the way they are supposed to. I was sitting in a meeting a couple of weeks ago, recording the proceedings in my role as secretary of the corporation, and I found myself actively watching my fingers as they worked, which I don’t think I’ve ever done before. So here’s a synopsis of how hideously I type, by finger, recorded while watching myself pound the keyboard in real time:
Left hand, pinky: Shift key.
Left Hand, ring finger: Not used.
Left hand, middle finger: Q, A, Z, W, S, X, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 keys.
Left hand, pointer finger: E, D, C, R, F, V, T, G, B keys.
Left hand, thumb: Not used.
Right hand, thumb: Space bar.
Right hand, pointer finger: Y, H, N, U, J, M, I, K O, L, P, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, colon, quotation, comma and period keys.
Right hand, middle finger: Backspace.
Right hand, ring finger: Not used.
Right hand, pinky finger: Not used.
I have had several surgeries on my right hand, and I think that the fact that I don’t use most of that hand is probably a function of the fact that it was often wrapped in casts and splints when I started typing regularly in college. I had not realized how much distance on the keyboard I covered with my right pointer finger, though. And I don’t know why my left ring finger never strikes the keyboard. That just seems weird. But I guess it doesn’t matter, in the end, since I manage to do something in a completely inept and unconventional way, but yet manage to achieve above satisfactory results while doing so. I think there’s probably a lesson in here, somewhere. Do you know what it might be?