The more I think about it, the more I believe that typing helps my brain work. There is something in the connection between my fingers and a keyboard that allows my ideas to flow freely. I can type at about 80 words a minute. As fast as I can think, pretty much. Certainly as fast as I can speak, which is what writing is to me anyway.
There is talk every now and then of how voice recognition software will make typing redundant, but it’s been talk for a long time, and it hasn’t happened yet. I was lucky enough to study typing when I was about 19 years old. Although ‘study’ is probably the wrong word: it’s a discipline, rather than anything particularly intellectual.
The words sit there on the keyboard for me: physical movements deep in my memory. The wider my vocabulary, the more my brain/fingers have to think. Some words occur regularly; others are less used and require a rarer set of finger movements. Spelling words right is mostly about how they look on the page, but the finger pattern helps me as well.
I think we miss a massive trick in education by not teaching children to type. It helps them think, write and read (as they read what they’ve typed). Mathematically it just makes sense – why not give them access to the chance to put words quickly on a page? Plus it helps them build fine motor skills as well. We throw loads of money at technology, but we fail to teach the discipline that surrounds it. I’m going to try as a parent.
QWERTY just a thought.