Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 880461 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1580 on: March 31, 2017, 03:27:56 pm »
Alz.org says that sometimes using the wrong word is not a symptom of Alzheimers but having difficulty carrying on a conversation is. I don't notice either of you having that difficulty.  :)

I've started the FSF story on your recommendation. It's good, so far.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1581 on: March 31, 2017, 04:20:32 pm »
Alz.org says that sometimes using the wrong word is not a symptom of Alzheimers but having difficulty carrying on a conversation is. I don't notice either of you having that difficulty.  :)

Yes, but here we're writing. We have time to think about what we "say," so word-finding difficulty isn't quite so apparent as it is in actual conversation.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1582 on: April 01, 2017, 11:40:45 am »
I don't know, but--I'm not kidding--the same thing is happening to me. Frequently.  :(

Good to know it's not just me.

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I've been chalking it up to a combination of two things, normal aging (at least, I hope) and also the effect of so much typing on a computer keyboard. I can type so much faster on a computer keyboard than I ever could on a typewriter, and it appears that I can type faster than I can think.  :(

You're lucky you can type! Despite all the typing people do these days, I'm not sure it's being taught in schools. I know neither of my sons ever took it as a class. They seem to get around a keyboard OK, writing papers in some sort of self-taught manner.

I work with a guy who's a writer and uses a kind of multi-fingered hunt-and-peck method.

Typing at a certain rate was a requirement to get into journalism school where I went. And to do that, you'd have to be able to type the real way. I noticed over the years that it was not a requirement at one of the local private schools that also offered a journalism major, because I worked with some of its alumni, and they couldn't type.

And yesterday, this woman at work who's maybe 56 but grew up in Duluth said that in her high school all the girls were required to take typing. I could hardly believe it -- in the late '70s the were still that sexist??

Well, at least some of those boys from Duluth may now be regretting having been excused from taking it.




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1583 on: April 01, 2017, 12:01:07 pm »
And yesterday, this woman at work who's maybe 56 but grew up in Duluth said that in her high school all the girls were required to take typing. I could hardly believe it -- in the late '70s the were still that sexist??

When I was in junior high (it may have been ninth grade; I forget for sure which grade it was), all of us, boys and girls, had to take a class called "Business Education." Not only were we taught to type, we were also taught things like how to write checks and keep a checkbook. To this day I still keep my checkbook the way I was taught in that class. (I think there is, or was, a name for the method of typing when you don't look at the keyboard while you're typing, but I forget that, too. We were required to learn how to type without looking at the keyboard.)

The sexism in my junior high, in the early Seventies, was that girls took Home Ec and boys took Shop.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1584 on: April 01, 2017, 06:46:47 pm »
Not only were we taught to type, we were also taught things like how to write checks and keep a checkbook.

I still type, but I quit keeping my checkbook years on years ago. In fact, these days I only write a check or two a month, if that.

That's what I'm thinking of, I guess -- not exactly hunt-and-peck typing, where you'd use just your index finger and look around for each letter, one by one. But I know people who are actual writers who, though they use multiple fingers, have to look at the keyboard and don't use the right fingers for the right keys or keep their hands in the "home" position or anything.

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The sexism in my junior high, in the early Seventies, was that girls took Home Ec and boys took Shop.

In mine, I think both genders (there were only two genders back then) had to take one class in each, but could go further in either if they wanted. I remember boys taking the cooking class -- we made ice cream and root beer, so who can blame them? But I don't recall any boys in the sewing class, where we made elastic-waisted dirndl skirts.  :laugh:  I took a shop class where we made a little wooden shelf, which my mom put up in her kitchen, and a picture or design that we hammered into I piece of brass and affixed to a piece of wood that we had sanded and stained. I don't even remember what my picture was! That's all I took of either one, though in high school I took graphic arts, which skewed slightly male.

Mine must have been kind of a cutting edge junior high, I guess. We even had an English class on the poetry of Bob Dylan. I was so young I barely knew who Bob Dylan was! The teacher was probably at least in her 50s, so I'm pretty sure she didn't live to see him win the Nobel Prize.  :-\



Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1585 on: April 01, 2017, 07:15:14 pm »
I think it's called touch typing or Qwerty keyboard typing. When I was in high school all students were required to take typing. But I forgot it in between HS and college. Later I taught myself typing again and now I'm pretty fast. Not as fast as my thinking, though. I can carry on a couple of other conversations with myself in my head while typing a third conversation. Perhaps that's why our blog posts seem so scatterbrained (yes, I have that problem too).
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Offline southendmd

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1586 on: April 01, 2017, 07:25:22 pm »
I'm forever grateful to Brother Dan, my typing teacher in high school.

My Catholic school was relatively poor, so I was taught on an old manual typewriter (pretty antiquated even in the late 70s).

Brother Dan's line was "Use your claws, not your jaws".  LOL

I suspect he taught typing from the '50s.  I remember counting in order to make columns, etc.  Also, how to write a business letter and a "memo".  No erasing allowed!

But, now I'm a pretty fast typist.  Yes, Lee, it's the QWERTY method. 

So many of my colleagues use dragon dictation, but I still prefer typing. 

I have a writer friend who types fast and says that he writes in "thoughts" rather than words/phrases/sentences.  The placement of the keys is so completely second nature. 

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1587 on: April 01, 2017, 10:25:28 pm »
Now that you mention it, Paul, "down here" "in my day" "they" called it touch typing. It's so long ago now that I can't remember if we had manual typewriters in the classroom, but I suspect we did. I didn't get an electric typewriter until I was in college.

You reminded, me, too, that we were also taught how to write business letters in that class.

Katherine, I continue to try to keep as much of my finances off the Internet as much as possible--I assume that's how you're paying bills if you only write one or two checks a month. One reason for it is the experience I had of my first PC "going bad" and being without it for close to two months before the problem was diagnosed and repaired. Of course now I also have security concerns. I even make PayPal send me a paper bill every month, and I write a check to pay it. Nobody debits money from my accounts but me. To paraphrase, I'll stop writing checks when the pry the checkbook from my cold, dead hand.  ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1588 on: April 02, 2017, 10:13:58 am »
My Catholic school was relatively poor, so I was taught on an old manual typewriter (pretty antiquated even in the late 70s).

I started on my dad's old black typewriter -- the kind with round keys (which nowadays they sometimes make jewelry out of in vintage stores) attached to arms that swung up and hit the ribbon (my dad typed, and when I was little I used to be awestruck at how he could type things without looking). In junior high, my parents gave me a Christmas gift of a cool bright-red typewriter. Was it electric, though? I can't remember, though I do know at some point I think I switched to electric. Maybe, like Jeff, in college? But even then, if I had to write a paper I would write it by hand at first and then type it up. Switching to typing while writing was a pretty big adjustment, but I could never go back to that (though I know many writers -- not journalists, but novelists and the like -- do still use pen and paper during their creative process). I think my sons, as children of the computer age, skipped that whole step.

I didn't type on a computer keyboard until I started my first job.

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But, now I'm a pretty fast typist.

I don't know if I'm fast or slow, I just know the direction I'm going. I doubt I'm fast enough to get a good job as a secretary or transcriber or whoever types a lot for their jobs these days. Well, I guess that would include me, but thinking of the words is the part you have to do quickly -- and sometimes not even then -- not so much the typing, except on very short deadlines.

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So many of my colleagues use dragon dictation, but I still prefer typing. 

They speak it and their typewriter writes it down? I would hate that! I don't feel I can compose my thoughts well enough in speech. And I'd always want to be going back and changing things, which seems like it would be awkward in dictation.

I have a friend who has one congenitally shortened and weakened arm, then was in a motorcycle accident and lost the use of his other arm. He's a writer among other things, so now he dictates. The first book he wrote after the accident is titled "The Dog Says How," meaning that when one of his dogs wanders into the room while he's writing and barks or whatever, the typewriter records it as "how."

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I have a writer friend who types fast and says that he writes in "thoughts" rather than words/phrases/sentences.  The placement of the keys is so completely second nature. 

So you mean he types things before he verbalizes them in his head? Like the way you would feel cold without necessarily thinking, "I am cold"?  I would say I type in full sentences rather than words, but I don't think I could transform inchoate thoughts into typewritten copy.

Regarding the name, I think either touch or QWERTY typing is acceptable. We called it touch.

I once read that the first line of the keyboard was designed so salespeople could peck out "typewriter quote" using the first line alone to impress customers, but Wikipedia says that's not substantiated and probably apocryphal.

The more accepted explanation is that the guy who invented the typewriter in 1868 designed it so that letters often written in succession are far apart from each other so the bars wouldn't get tangled when they swung up to hit the ribbon, but that doesn't quite make sense -- what more common word is there than "the," and the T and H appear pretty close together. However, maybe those letters' arms were positioned farther apart than their keyboard placement would suggest? Another explanation is that less common letters were placed in the hardest-to-reach spots. That's certainly true of Q, Z and X. But A and S are pretty common, as are periods, quotation marks and question marks, and those all require use of the weakest fingers.

Apparently other designs have been proposed over the years, but they didn't catch on.






Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #1589 on: April 02, 2017, 10:51:16 am »
Katherine, I continue to try to keep as much of my finances off the Internet as much as possible--I assume that's how you're paying bills if you only write one or two checks a month. One reason for it is the experience I had of my first PC "going bad" and being without it for close to two months before the problem was diagnosed and repaired. Of course now I also have security concerns. I even make PayPal send me a paper bill every month, and I write a check to pay it. Nobody debits money from my accounts but me. To paraphrase, I'll stop writing checks when the pry the checkbook from my cold, dead hand.  ;D

Not only do I pay my bills on the internet, but I have them automatically withdrawn from my account. I keep a fairly close eye on things as they go along, but if I don't set it on automatic I forget to pay them on time. My son just took out a credit card (credit limit: $500, so he can't do too much damage). I emphasized that he should pay it off every month but also set it up to automatically withdraw at least the minimum payment from his account so he doesn't get late fees and wreck the credit record that he got the card in the first place to establish. But neither he nor I is as meticulous as you.

I have at least three PCs in my house, if you count the one I was issued for one of my jobs. And I have one at my other job that I could take home if I wanted, so that would be four. When something goes wrong with the ones I own, I take it to a local shop called Chipheads, and they always fix it within a few days. (And the work IT departments, of course, fix those.) So no fears of a breakdown.

You do have to be careful, though. I have a friend who tried to write a check in the grocery store and found her account was empty. Apparently someone hacked into her Paypal account and stole her money. She got it straightened out eventually and got her money back, but still.