Thursday, November 29, 2007

Three G's, If You Please.

I've mentioned in the past that I'm slightly addicted to the sound the keys on a keyboard make when someone's really hummin' along, typing at a pretty good clip. It's a great sound, isn't it? It's like...progress, is being made. Or something. Hard to describe...but I love it.

Whether it's live and in person, or even in a movie, the sound attracts me. For instance...when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are writing e-mails back and forth to each other in "You've Got Mail" I the only one who watches that movie and hears the keys on those laptops, and suddenly gets the urge to go and write an e-mail? (please tell me I'm not the only one. or tell me I am the only one, and laugh at me. I can take it.)

These days, kids are taking keyboarding classes at a pretty young age, and learning how to "keyboard." I didn't become proficient at "typing" until I was out of high school. I never took a formal typing class, so I know I don't use all the right fingers on all the right keys (I use most of them, though), but I can make 'em clack pretty good when I have something I wanna get down on the screen.

This is a rather embarrassing admission mom was a typing teacher. As a full-time teacher early in her career, she taught typing and accounting and other business classes. But then she became a SAHM, and for many years taught typing in night classes and summer school classes.

I tried to take those summer classes several times when I was probably 11, 12 and 13 years old. But I never quite lasted the full term. I'd go to a few classes, and practice the routine of f..j..d..k..s..l..a..;, and then I'd tell myself, "It's summer! I don't want to be in a classroom." And my typing lessons would end. (I don't think I scored too many points with the teacher pulling stuff like that.)

I could hunt and peck my way across a keyboard, and manage quite nicely, but I never became good until I had a reason to sit down and practice regularly. Now I'm pretty good, I'm just not...correct. I guess I can live with that.

Gregg was a name in business manuals, and if you've ever seen a stenographer's notebook in an office supply store, some of them say, "Gregg ruled." I see that, and I think...past tense?? But I'm still here! It's Gregg rules, not Gregg ruled! (perhaps my time has come and gone.)

We had Gregg Typing Manuals and Gregg Shorthand Manuals in our house when I was growing up, and I like to think that was influential in my mom's decision to tack on that extra "g" at the end of my name, and call me Gregg instead of Gregory. I like being a Gregg. Never had any desire to be a Gregory, and sometimes, but not always, I'll make it a point to correct someone if they call me Gregory.

When I was younger I had a paper route, and every time I went to collect from this very sweet elderly lady, she made out a check and wrote my first name as "Gregory." I explained to her one time that my name was "Gregg," and her reply was, "...oh, but I like calling you Gregory."

So from that point on, I started calling her Marge, even though her name was Ethel.

I don't make an issue out of having my name misspelled if it's by someone I'm not going to encounter on a regular basis, but if I know that third "g" might be left off of something recurring, then I usually speak up and mention that my name's got three g's.

No big deal. Just...give that "g" key a second tap, and leave the "o", "r" and "y" keys unclacked. I'd tell you which fingers to use (or not use), but I'm not certain which ones are correct.

"We've heard that a million monkeys
at a keyboard
could produce the complete works
of Shakespeare;
now, thanks to the Internet,
we know this is not true."
—Robert Wilensky


  1. Ggg- I love this entry. Made me laugh (with you, not at you) and wish I had a more original name and reason behind it.

  2. Now that I have written about you and I have now included you into my daily reading, I have found some of your regulars have stopped by to say I hi to me as well. This makes the world even smaller than it was, but I suppose it is okay since it is Gregg ruled.

  3. "So from that point on, I started calling her Marge, even though her name was Ethel."

    Love this line!

  4. Tonight I went to a NaNoWriMo write-in. We did some mini-word wars (write as much as you can in 15 minutes). At one point, someone recorded the sounds of our typing. When he played it back to us (about 10 people writing a mile a minute), it sounded like rain. Just in case you were ever curious as to what massive amounts of typing sounded like.

  5. My husband's name is Nathan, and he positively hates it when people - especially people he doesn't know - immediately call him Nate. I never understood that, because I'm a Margaret who goes by Maggie who everyone immediately wants to call "Mags" for some reason. So, I guess I'm just used to having multiple identities.

    But the one thing I can't stand is when people misspell my name. Confusing a "Gregg" for a "Greg" is one thing, but who the hell spells Maggie "Maggy"?

    Really, you'd think after 29 years my own Grandmother would eventually get it right...