Monday, November 15, 2010

Typewriter Words

I chose this photo for my post because I had one of these IBM Selectrics on my desk when I worked for General Motors in the 1980's! It was top of the line with it's golf ball rotating key cartridge! And those wonderful updated ink spools that snapped in. And the really amazing part was the correction tape! See the white tape spool in the orange cartridge? No more liquid white-out! Yes, life was good with such an awesome machine! haha. I could type 80 words a minute with zero errors! Not any more! I'm afraid I've lost my touch! LOL!
But enough reminiscing! How about a little trivia? Do you know what typewriter words are? They are words, 10 letters or more, which can be typed completely from one row on the keyboard, or a similar restriction.
Typewriter can be typed using only the top row of keys! Some other words with this property are pepperroot, perpetuity, pewterwort, proprietor, and repertoire.
Shakalshas is the longest word which can be typed using only the middle row of letters on the keyboard. Others include alfalfas, haggadahs, flagfalls, galagala, and galahads.
The only word which can be typed using only the bottom row of letters is ZZZ, to indicate sleeping, since there are no vowels in the bottom row!

Stewardesses, sweaterdresses, aftercataracts, and tesseradecades are the longest words which can be typed using only the fingers of the left hand.
Using only the fingers of the right hand, one can type the word johnny-jump-up, lollipop and also phyllophyllin.
The first typewriter word that ever caught my attention was the name Teresa, which can be typed completely with the left hand on the keyboard. And since you are all dieing to know what phyllophyllin means, all of the online dictionaries claim that the word "isn't yet defined". Hmmm...then how is it a word, I would like to know!? LOL! And another interesting fact...my blogger's spellcheck highlighted all of the typewriter words above except stewardesses. :)
For more word trivia, click on my label "word games".
Info found on fun-with-words.com


  1. Wow ~~ That making my head spin!!!

    What a fun trivia trip this morning. Betsy, I too had that IBM typewriter on my desk at Pacific Mutual Insurance....I thought I had died and gone to heaven when correct tape came out!!! Glory! Have we come a long ways Baby!!!

  2. Wanda ~ it was SO neat, wasn't it? Funny to think it's now an ancient dinosaur! ha.

    Wanda can ALMOST be typed only with the left hand!

  3. i had a typewriter with a correcttape cartridge. loved it.
    So, did they purposefully make sure 'typewriter' was all in one row when they designed the keyboard all those years ago? makes one wonder!

  4. Tom ~ that's a great question! I've always wondered how 'they' decided where to put each key!

  5. I remember those machines, though I never learned to type properly. I still do two fingers on my keyboard. I'm waiting for the machine that knows when I've got the letters in the worng order nad sorts them out automatically for em! ;)

  6. how interesting...it has been so long since i typed on a typewriter...what a pain...lol. at least it was in HS>..guess it paid off though...glad i dont need correction tape now though...

  7. that is so interesting..
    oh I loved the correction tape...I used it often/ha

  8. That is all fun trivia.
    Knowing how I type with little more than 2 fingers, anything is possible to be typed by me in error! I also have to look at what I'm doing & get a crick in my neck after a time. Self taught you see! Thought you might like a bit of my own trivia.!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  9. Brian ~ I agree...I think the guys that took typing class in high school are really glad now. Who knew we would all be typing SO much in all areas of our lives!

  10. What an utterly fascinating lesson in the art of "typewriterism". Need a new word there I think LOL. Perhaps not - typing is good enough.

    I remember those old golf ball trypewriters although I could manage to type using just two fingers (one for each hand). Well I am only a man! . . . and cannot mult-task!! LOL

    As for your incredible speed of 80 words a minute with no errors - truly miraculous. My dearest wife used to be a secretary/PA to a Managing Director and she could bash out a letter pretty pronto. But now she leaves it all to me - she would prefer to dictate while I type (again with two fingers) into the computer. Thank goodness we can go back and correct our mistakes - millions of them LOL.

    I must venture a little deeper into your blog, after I find that wretched kettle (where did you put it?) so I can investigate your Word Games.

    Bye for now ~ Eddie

  11. Eddie ~ 'typewriterism' ...LOL!! I love that! :)

    You bloggers that type with two fingers are the truly talented ones! I don't know how you do it!

    Thanks for visiting, dear. xo

  12. i miss typewriters....selectrics are definitely the grand dames of all typewriters!

  13. I love learning new stuff.

    I, too, am a two-finger typist. I was once tested, and managed approximately 50 words a minute. I took a typing class in high school, but immediately went back to the old way when it was over.

    The person who designed what is now the standard keyboard arrangement supposedly based it on what letters are used most often... somehow.

  14. Silver ~ 50 words a minute with 2 fingers. Now that is very impressive!

    My Spencer and Harry type extremely fast and with only 1 finger!

  15. My fingers have been called "impressive" on several occasions, actually...

  16. Who knew!

    Oh how I've struggled to better my typing. In high school my personal best time with only 3 errors was under 30 words a minute. Nothing to write home about. It remains much the same today, despite taking a refresher course in college and typing daily at work and home for the past 8 years. It's just not my gift.

    At work we had to have a password for everything. I hated it when I would pick a password with letters that my fingers stumbled across every time, so eventually I got to where I would pick a phrase that I could both remember easily and type using all the "easy" keys....like saynotoher or catchmeifyoucan. The computer can't read these as dictionary words and my fingers could pick out the keys without mistakes...we were both happy.

  17. Will Shortz....move over, buddy!
    Zzz....a good ole onomatopoeia!
    I don't think I typed that right! LOL

  18. What a great post, I never knew about those words.;) I too was a proficient typer as a teenager. Now I type with two fingers looking very silly.;)

  19. stevie ~ those are very clever passwords...what a great idea! I know some people that have a different password for everything. I could never keep up with that...I have a couple and stick to them. They're weird, but effective, I guess as nobody would guess them. :)

  20. Fascinating stuff Betsy. You brought memories of many an old golfball typewriter flooding back.

  21. FUN !!!!!

    happy to stop by for a visit today, betsy

    sending love,
    kary and teddy
    p.s. i am getting excited about mr. toast's christmas tea. i have a call into vera wang for my dress....i am thinking something in navy velvet this year? how about you?

  22. Hi Betsy,
    Type writer words-who knew? Not me.

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. It is very quiet around here with Tommy gone. I keep expecting to see him around each corner. Oh my, it will get better.


  23. I remember typing on the IBM. I really thought I was "it"! HA!

  24. Okay, Betsy, this "word game" would be a little more fun, if any of these were actually words. :)

  25. Ack! And here I was thinking "addresses" was the longest left-hand-only word.

    Oddly enough, I just shared that inaccurate piece of trivia with a friend the other night.

  26. How you know such things, i ahve no idea! All very intersting. Yes, well my words per minute are a moot point when practically every one of them has typos. And, no, i don't go back adn proof it all as it woudl take yonkers. One can usually read through the errors anyway.

  27. Jeffscape ~ 'addresses'!! Now why didn't I think of that one?! It's fun to type, too! :)


I'm serving coffee! Stay and chat!
And no awards, please! Your comments are my awards!