Recently, I've been busying myself with refreshing typewriter ribbon, assessing a new ebay acquisition (an adorable green Royalite with a red leather case!), cleaning cases and hunting for more typewriters to horde, so I thought now was a good time for a new post.
I've been discussing this with my husband since the Olympics began this year, as I always find it irksome that some silly things are Olympic events. These include curling, table tennis and power walking. Why? I feel, if it's a sport I can do with a reasonable amount of proficiency (or am even good at), then it probably doesn't deserve to be in the Olympics. So, I move that these things be struck from the games, and would like to propose a new addition: speed typing.
There are several reasons I believe speed typing deserves to be an Olympic competition, none the least of which are the medals I have seen, floating around on ebay rewarding 80WPM, 120WPM and, in one case, 150WPM (though I must question the authenticity of the last, as the official record is 147WPM). I believe speed typing is still relevant today, as a good portion of the work-force uses computers, which--of course--require a reasonable proficiency in typing. In a world where real language is buckling under the weight of .txtspk, speed and accuracy are challenges to the speed typist. The final reason is that it is something I absolutely cannot do; at very best, my time lies somewhere between 45-60WPM.
(I wanted to get this post written before talking about the Olympics was no longer relevant.)
So, what say you, people of the Typosphere? Should speed typing be an Olympic sport? And should the 'sports' of power walking, table tennis and curling be struck from the games? Discuss.
Typing competitions were a big deal in the teens and twenties. Big rooms would fill with expert typists, and you can imagine the clatter.ReplyDelete
We had speed typing contests at collectors' meetings at my house in 2010 and 2011. It was fun!
Oh I know! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall back in the day; that must have been a glorious noise indeed!Delete
You did!? Did you get video? Are you doing it again this year...and will you get video!? I would love to see that; I bet it was a lot of fun!
I'd rather see speed typing than some of the non-athletic things like shooting.ReplyDelete
As much as I enjoy going to the range, I have to agree with you. The gun does all the work!Delete
I would loved to have seen some of the old speed competitions. I have been reading about them in 'The Wonderful Writing Machine', and some of the speeds attained are just insane. I would love to see any archival footage that could be found of these, but I would also be interested in video of more recent ones, of course. I, myself, could not hold my own in a competition like this. I type fast, to be sure, but I do not use my pinkies, nor proper touch typing etiquette, so I could not even hold a candle to those that have learned and practiced these methods of typing.ReplyDelete
I'll have to pick that up; it sounds fascinating! Once I get my new computer, I'll have to poke around and see if I can find any footage of the old speed typing meets.Delete
I too do not use my pinkies or proper touch typing etiquette, and I can't see using my pinkies on my Remington. It hurts my other fingers because the action is so heavy; I'm kind of wondering if it needs a good cleaning. Aside from a touch of surface dust, it looks pretty clean, but I'm sure it could use some fresh oil.
I agree with removing those three sports mentioned by ARMS, however, I disagree with removing shooting. Speed typing? It might be an interesting fit. Will have to mull it over for a bit.ReplyDelete
I've only seen photos of speed typing competitions, but they look pretty intense. It certainly beats curling. But then again, an intense chess match would beat curling.Delete