I travel the net as miteypen and have ever since I got my first computer (and my first Internet account) in 1996. I actually had a (so-called) business named “The Mighty Pen,” but there are so many references to the mighty pen out there (and not just in cyberspace), that I decided to rename it “miteypen” and be done with it. Miteypen is easier to type, too, and not just because it’s shorter. I hate having to type words with “gh” in them. For instance, Light, Might and even words like Through and Although. There are more difficult words to type–the worst I’ve run across for its length being Egypt. There is a “yp” in miteypen but no “g” so I can live with that.
I may seem to be picky, but the way I type (there’s another one), I have to be. I am not a “hunt-and-pecker” (now that didn’t come out right), but I am a “looker” (neither did that). That is, for the most part I don’t have to hunt for keys one by one and then peck at them (although I have yet to achieve proficiency with the numbers and anything around the edges) but I do have to look an awful lot, if not at the keyboard, then at the screen. I suppose most people look at the screen, but I am one who shouldn’t. I do my best typing when I stare off into space and try to visualize the keyboard. I make mistakes whenI don’t have my fingers in the right position to start with (which happens a lot) or when I don’t reach far enough so that words come out like this: cisualise, finders, but the average spell-checker can usually handle mistakes like that. (I just tried it and I was wrong: cisualize stumped it completely and it skipped right over finders. Oh, what did we ever do without spell-checkers?)
Why is this interesting? It’s not really, except in the sense that most writers struggle at least at first with this problem. I am much faster than I used to be, but I could never get a job as a secretary. But then I don’t want one, so that works out okay. It would be nice, though, if I could type more quickly (words with “q” in them are also a pain).
I have experimented with talk and type programs (where the computer types for you as you speak–and electronic dictaphone, so to speak), but so far haven’t found one that was easy to use. You usually have to train them to recognize your voice, accent and all. And that can take some time, depending on the software. One I found that works really well is called WYNN, but it costs around a thousand dollars (and does a lot of other things, too), so I guess I’ll bumble on the way I’ve been going. If and when I find a good program, I’ll let you know.
Anything to make word processing more “processible.” (See a coming post about making up words.)