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old school typos — 19 Comments

  1. Oh yes, that all important first typewriter. I saved my pocket money for sooooo long to buy mine. I typed all my teachers’ college exams on that one. Then there was the golf ball one (remember those?) I typed my doctoral thesis on – with all the fuss of absolutely no errors or corrections allowed and the special golf ball that had to be inserted when you needed a mathematical symbol for something like “chi”. I had to borrow that typewriter – which meant sitting in the research unit at weekends typing it. We must compare notes at some point!
    Very pleased there is some positive news about George at last. May it continue!

    • Golf Ball! Yes, thank you! I was trying to remember what it was called. In the US they were first available on the IBM Selectric….

  2. First, yay for detectable improvement!! Re typing, and all the advances along the way…I learned to type on an old Underwood, like nearly all of my generation. Correction tape ruled the day, as teaches did not want to see White Out used in the classroom. Fun fact: I completely skipped the electric typwriter and the Word Processor portion of the Road to better machines, and went directly from that old, non-portable Underwood to a computer. What a learning curve!!

    • the only reason I ever was able to use an electric typewriter was that the U of MN library where I had one of my many part time jobs going through school had them. Me? I could hardly afford paper.

  3. Oh Holly, how you have made my own memories flood back!

    I was a legal secretary. After graduating from Secretarial College in the 60s with a Private Secretary’s Certificate, I worked in a couple of different firms before I left England to migrate to Australia. I, and my then English husband, lived in Brisbane for our first year here. I very easily found a job in a law firm where I was hired as a private secretary to one of the partners.

    This was in 1970 and automated typing was just being introduced. At this stage, though, I was still in front of a Golf Ball. The point of my message is that I clearly remember typing a Brief to Counsel – hard copy and five carbon copies. It was around five pages long. Needless to say the word judgement appeared many times. My boss (known to be a bit of a grouch who had difficulty keeping secretaries as a result, though I did not know this at the time) brought back the neatly prepared original and five carbon copies and told me I had spelled the word ‘judgement’ wrong. You are possibly thinking the same thing. However, just recently arrived from England, I was spelling the word which is the first occurrence in the Oxford English Dictionary! There is an alternate spelling without the central ‘e’.

    I told him so and stood up to him that I would next time spell it the way it was used in his firm as I was unaware. This changed our relationship! The other secretaries were horrified at what I did but it changed life in that office. A green 21yo standing up to a partner in a not insubstantial law firm (they are, of course always a notch above any other business) was something unheard of. But there you go.

    Sounds promising that George’s treatment may have been successful, this time. Fingers crossed.

    • thank you so much! I had forgotten to mention carbon copies. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I saw carbon paper. And now, there are multiple languages in the world processors for you to chose your spelling from. The best ones let you decide between UK, US, OZ and CA. Not sure where South Africa would fit.

      George started in Legal Services where things were no where near as fancy.

  4. This is funny,,,, because I was a terrible typist, hated it. Now there is that wonderful little thing called UNDO.
    Wasn’t there a Cat Stevens song about us not needing our arms or legs?

  5. Great news about George! I’m still praying for him to be replenished with all good things… including health.

  6. ONCE? I only wish. I had A’s in all my subjects and typing ruined my grade point average. I got a C . My right hand was always ahead of my left hand, no matter how I tried. Thnank you, being an example. Typing paper became a nightmare, as my papers all had white measles, and I would stay up until three a.m. trying my best to get it perfect. I don’t recall ever achieving that goal. Naturally, computers became my best friend. My new nemesis ? Spell check auto correct.

    So glad to hear about George. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • It wasn’t that I was that good at typing. It was that having someone else type papers cost about $1/page as I remember. Of course, the amount did include the paper but still. I was making min wage at $1.20/hour. I just didn’t have the money.

  7. We’re thinking of you both daily, lately with baited breath. Thank you for this good news!

    And I remember all the elements mentioned, including being wakened around mid ight for a student who needed her paper typed, by 8am of course. That alone was enough to take my B.S. in under 2 yrs., to end her bs….

      • No magic, I only took typing my senior year because it was one semester, &though EVERYone
        knew I’d be great at it because of my piano skill. I knew that was no indication of same and in
        fact, it would be a detriment. Sure enough, I barely pulled out of a “C” hole to “A-” the week
        grades were final.

  8. I am glad George is doing better ! Ich drück die Daumen dass es weiter aufwärts geht !

    About the typewriter ….. I hat an IBM, heavy and huge ! In those days I really loved it !

  9. Good news about George.

    And I still use 3×5 cards…and Ayden plays with my manual typewriter. So there!

  10. YAY!!! Go GEORGE!!!

    And I fully understand what I assume is the impulse to want to just simply roll the card into the typewriter and be done with it. Richard’s old Selectric might still be around here somewhere.

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