The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147774   Message #3429491
Posted By: JohnInKansas
01-Nov-12 - 03:21 PM
Thread Name: Tech: Windows 8 - reviews of general release
Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8 - reviews of general release
We might need to watch the gratuitous slurs about "over age 70" people. Some of us could be getting sensitive, and quite a few others are getting close.

There actually is little difference by age or almost any other pigeonhole one might choose, in the percentage of people who "can keyboard" or who are competent "keyboardists" or "touch typists." Some people learn some of it, but most people only pick up enough to "get by."

A common requirement for "secretarial employment" has been ability to type something like 70 wpm. I've known at least one person who could do better than 90 wpm with one finger of each hand (on a mechanical typewriter), so he'd have made a very good secretary if he hadn't owned the business. He would, perhaps, have had some difficulty with some of the quick-key combinations that require three keys at a time if he'd had to use a computer, but he was a quick learner.

To be hired in most "typing pools" most employers would insist on "touch typing," and about 90 wpm as a minimum. I've known one woman who slightly exceeded 1200 wpm (documented) in an IBM sponsored contest in which she won a new IBM Selectric typewriter in the BC (before computer) days. She was "exceptional."

I would not consider anyone whose work needed document production to be trained adequately to use a keyboard for the job if they couldn't type at least 35 or 40 wpm on "easy text," but a little training and practice makes that a reasonable level for most employable people. Exceptions can be made for other skills, of course.

Slower than that, it probably is about as efficient to hand-write it and let the office typist or typing pool - assuming there is either - put it in final form. Some companies in the recent past solved the problem of "overly prettified but useless" documents by simply not giving any of their "writers" access to a typewriter, but now that every has their own computer (for other reasons) that doesn't work too well. And many schools now don't teach "typing" or "handwriting" so the level of incompetence, judged by prior expectations, has risen dramatically. There may be more people who can't write legibly enough for anyone to type their scribbles than there are who can't find enough keys on a keyboard to make all the mistakes necessary. (They may end up being physicians writing prescriptions that only the pharmacist can read - although that's just another urban myth. The pharmacist can't read them either, but (s)he can call the nurse for a translation.)