“I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.” ~ English professor, Ohio University

I enjoy writing. I often worry about whether or not what I’m writing is simply gibberish. I don’t know if this is true for all writers or just all aspiring writers (beginning writers, novice writers, worried writers).

I begin writing these small essays and they tend to go off in any old direction. It is like having “flight of ideas” in print. I begin saying what I believe is my lead sentence which will lead to the rest of the article. That is what lead sentences are supposed to do, give you a hint as to what is going to follow.

My lead sentences are often just topic sentences for the first paragraph or two and then somehow, after typing that much, I come up with an entirely different topic for the rest of the article.

Yesterday, I planned to talk about the benefits of giving myself a day of rest. Instead I talked about my freezers. Today, I think I’m going to talk about writing itself. However, I’m not far enough into this to make sure the essay will continue on the path I desire.

This is where the flight of ideas concept arrives. I just made another typo. I don’t know if the keyboard of the netbook is just odd, or if it is because it is smaller than a regular keyboard, or perhaps it is because I’m actually typing on my lap. I have a little lapboard upon which the netbook rests, but I’m not sitting at a desk and typing as a normal person would.

I keep making the same typo and so I tried to get AutoCorrect to help me. It often does. Many of my usual misspellings are corrected automatically. I often type computer with the o and c reversed and so when I do that, the machine helps me and prints it out correctly.

With this tiny computer, I often type an extra e after the word “the” and so it comes out “the e” and then I’m typing the next work and it has this extraneous e in front of it. So in the previous sentence “the next word” would like “the enext word” and I have to go back and fix it.

This is an entirely different type of gibberish. This is typo-gibberish instead of concept-gibberish. Both are unreadable. (This is a small attempt to try to keep with my opening sentence, stay on topic, and not wander too far afield.)

 

My AutoCorrect showing "the e" switching to "the"

 

I have told AutoCorrect to get rid of the extra e for me, but AutoCorrect only works when you touch the spacebar or some punctuation key. This is good because “the extra e” needs to have the word the, a space, and then the letter e with some other letters attached.

But it also means AutoCorrect often doesn’t correct my mistyping of the word “the.” I only have to back space up to the “e” and then hit the spacebar and the “e” disappears. This sounds okay, but it is annoying. I have no idea why I do this. I don’t have this problem on my real laptop or on my work computer. I don’t know if it is the keyboard itself that is ultra touchy or if it is the size of the thing. It does happen with this computer even when I’m sitting up in a chair with the computer on a table. So I don’t think it is just a factor of lounging in an easy chair while writing, although it is more frequent while sitting with the computer on my lap.

It does mean I have to spend far more time on spell checking than when I use other computers. Otherwise the whole thing does look like gibberish.

I’ve gone over this and the only red lines, showing off my glaring misspellings are with the word netbook and enext which I need for clarification. I guess I could add netbook to the dictionary. I probably should. I did.

So, if you have any difficulty in understanding this, the gibberish aspect cannot be a function of the typing abilities. I don’t really know if that is good or bad.

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