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Types of Typers

Or How to Overanalyze Everything

A computer keyboard

You know, there's nothing quite like the sights, smells, and sounds of an office job. Every office worker knows the sensory experience well: The eyes take in the vast array of sweater vests and glowing computer screens. The nose is greeted each morning by the freshly brewed, pungent, yet magically smooth coffee that powers us all. The ears . . . well, the ears are constantly assaulted by the tip-taps of keyboards and the click-clacks of computer mice. Most people learn to tune out the unrelenting barrage of tick-a-tick-tick-click-tick-tack, but not me. In fact, I’ve started to pay special attention to these office noises.

Some people say I'm just a little too observant. Others think I'm really good at procrastinating. It's gotten to the point that I'm even listening to people type outside of work: my grandparents, my friends, clerks at clothing stores, and yes, my cat—no one is safe from my astute observation. I've found that most people fall into five distinct typing categories. Some may call me crazy or weird, but "crazy" is what I call people who don't categorize everyone according to obscure and arguably irrelevant details about things people do on a daily basis. (Also, you know, I'm kind of weird.)

Here they are folks, in all their glory—the five types of typers.

1. The Two-Finger Tapper

Two fingers are poised over a computer keyboard.Typing at excruciatingly slow rates of approximately ten words per minute, these individuals like to be deliberate about each letter they type. The Two-Finger Tapper is often someone who never took a typing course or someone who learned how to type on a typewriter rather than on a computer keyboard (and their hands still believe that each key must be finger-punched to successfully type a word). If you try to explain how unnecessary this level of aggression is to a Two-Finger Tapper, you will either (a) receive a piercingly cold stare, or (b) find yourself being cursed using slang that you either don't understand or that makes it difficult for you not to giggle ("you smart-aleck nincompoops with your newfangled technologies!"). They have no idea how painful their slowness is for all those who must suffer the tip-tap noises of their two-finger typing. Though it may seem like they are purposely trying to infuriate the rest of the typing population, have patience and appreciate the resolute perseverance of the Two-Finger Tapper.

2. The Click-Clacker

The keys of a piano represent the Click-Clacker.Is this person even writing anything? If you listen closely, you'll probably be able to find a distinctive melody to this person's typing. The method of typing will differ depending on the age and occupation of the Click-Clacker, and the melody may change depending on the Top 40 or the time of year (think Maroon 5 in the spring, "Jingle Bells" at Christmas time). This typist is merely playing their own type of special music. (Someone should probably let them know that there is actually a much better kind of keyboard for that . . .)


3. The Faster-than-Thou

A hand moves quickly across a keyboard. Speed: A+. Accuracy: D-. This typer takes way too much pride in his or her ability to type faster than the speed of light. They'll probably try to push their typing superiority over you by casually mentioning it in everyday conversation, or by typing only when other people are around to hear. They tend to ignore the fact that their typing is so riddled with mistakes that it's actually difficult for most people to read their work with anything resembling ease. You will be tempted to occasionally put a Faster-than-Thou in their place when you get sick of their snarky attitude, but it's probably not worth the fight. They've already made their decision about themselves—that they are awesome.

4. The Backspace Fanatic

A hand presses the backspace button on a keyboard.

Oh, humans. So insecure. This type of typer is constantly second-guessing themselves. They go on a solid spree of click-clacking, only to tap-tap-tap the backspace bar to undo all of their previous work. They're also quite likely to ask you if their desktop picture makes them look fat. There is nothing you can do to make these Backspace Fanatics more secure, but you can make yourself feel like a much better human for trying. For the sake of trees, please keep this person away from paper and pens. 


5. And finally, The Editor

A person sits in front of a computer, looking at the screen. The most sporadic typer of them all, the Editor switches seamlessly between the backspace bar,the Ctrl+Alt keyboard shortcuts, and the insertion of speedily written comments to the author. The Editor will go long periods of time without typing a thing (or even blinking). Then, just when you're sure they're desk-sleeping, they start tip-tapping away again. They know all the strange intricacies and shortcuts of word processors, and they aren't afraid to use them. They consider themselves the bravest of word warriors, and rightfully so—they transform the worst of prose into the cleanest of copy. They are the kings of the keyboard, the top of the typers. They even know that "typer" isn't a word. They are also incredibly modest and not at all biased in any way.

However, Editors have one extremely dangerous flaw: due to their unreasonable consumption of caffeinated products and other hot beverages, they pose a much greater risk to keyboard safety than the other types of typers. Spillage is every keyboard's worst nightmare, and no typer is more likely to spill a coffee than the Editor. No, wait a minute . . . that might just be me. Let me think about it while I sip my cappuccino . . . yes, definitely just me. It's settled then: as a group, Editors are flawless. End of story.

What type of typer are you? Have I missed a group? I would love for you to tell me on Facebook or Twitter.