Random Pet Peeve: Typing Speed Liars

I hate typing speed liars.

To get my job, I had to actually take a traditional typing test. That means I read and copied from a book next to the computer screen, I had to double space after each sentence, and proper punctuation and spelling were a must. Errors knocked off points, there was no autocorrect, and too many canceled out the whole test. In 2010 I was hired with a speed of 83wpm.

Too many people lie about their speed. They’ll say “You only type 83wpm? Well, I type around 120, blah blah blah”. The problem is two-fold.

One, many of those people have horrible spelling and grammar issues. My brother has improved, but for most of middle and high school his essays were literally one long sentence. Your speed doesn’t count if you only achieve it by mashing the buttons faster than everyone else; what you type needs to be something others can actually read.

Two, most of those people haven’t sat down to a real test. They might’ve played with an online game, like one where you type whatever you want for five minutes to determine your speed. Those tests are both faulty and unrealistic; no workplace uses a “type whatever” test, because that allows you to type “I like pie” over and over if desired. That makes you look fast, but can you find the “v” key without looking? Can you type long words like “imagination” and “organization” without long pauses in your speed?

I’m not the fastest typer out there. This isn’t a pride thing. My issue is with people bragging about their imagined speed, simply because my speed is mentioned. There was a girl I was introduced to via Skype who said she typed 130wpm… and I watched her type maybe 40 (with TONS of backspacing) the entire time we talked.

If you watch me work, I quite literally move at 83wpm. I click and type and tab as fast as you would expect with that typing speed. I don’t make many data entry errors, simply because that’s my fastest speed while remaining correct. I’m sure I could type 100wpm… if you didn’t count errors at all and I managed not to backspace when I made one.

Everyone who’s good with computers can type quickly. What’s more important than speed is the knowledge of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and the program itself (Word, Notepad, the internet). If you develop that type of knowledge, the typing speed comes naturally with time.

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