mystran: typing manual english

mystran typing manual english

I have in my possession a brilliantly corny typing instruction manual from the sixties. It seems bland enough on the surface, but reading between its perfectly formatted lines uncovers a surprising thread of humanity. There is philosophy in these pages, and politics, and poetry.

Nowhere is this more clear than in the practice sentences. These sentences, designed to train the hands on a particular set of keys or type of motion, obey rules more restrictive than haiku: (1) Every word is just one syllable. (2) Most words share several letters. (3) Every line is exactly the same length, including punctuation and spaces. For example:

This work has been done quite well, we think.
Sue has a sled. Hal slid. He led us all fall.
Max asked to rent three of these queer rakes.

Ah, the awkwardness! This just begs for imitation:

Fred felled Gil, and fled.   Fred felt guilt.
To kill time, Kyle liked to lick his own eye.
How sad, to waste a wad on such stew as this.

And some others:

I am an ant. I eat ham and air.
(Andy James)
Dim sum cubes of beef fat; I ate them.
(Drew Olbrich)