World Record Typists
By Kimberly Bowen
Have you ever wondered how someone becomes the fastest typist in the world? Some consider the keyboard and knowing where each letter is as the key to helping them type quickly. Others worry about knowing how to spell the words they’re typing. Still others say finger placement is the most important factor.
Some of these world record typists can type more than 150 words per minute (wpm). This is lightening fast considering that the average typing speeds are between 50 and 70wpm, and even slower if you hunt for the keys, which means you probably type closer to 30wpm. If you’re trying to increase your typing speed, typing software can help you learn where the letters are on the keyboard and how to place your hands. It can take you through typing lessons that can train your fingers to find the keys by feel.
A Vaudeville Act to Reflect On
In the 1920s and ‘30s, Birdie Reeve Kay could type between 200 and 300 words per minute on her manual typewriter, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Washington Post named her the world’s fastest typist in an article from 1928. Her typing abilities and knowledge of words made her a Vaudeville star.
Barbara Blackburn vs. Barbara Gaines
The Guinness Book of World Records’ fastest typist currently on record is Barbara Blackburn. She earned her place by typing 150wpm for 50 minutes. Barbara Blackburn’s typing success came from using a Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (DSK) instead of a standard QWERTY keyboard layout. When she types on a DSK, she can type even faster, at 170wpm. In 1985, Barbara appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and beat Barbara Gaines, the fastest typist at The Late Show office, in a typing contest.
Throwing Out Numbers
Michael Shestov typed 801 numbers in five minutes, without any errors, using the number keys along the top of the keyboard, according to CNN. He can type in 27 languages. He learned how to type while working for the Russian army as a clerk.
Mobile Phone Typist
Cheong Kit Au from Australia made the Guinness World Records on January 26, 2011, for typing a 264-character text on a mobile phone’s QWERTY keypad in one minute and 17 seconds. He participated in the LG Mobile World Cup World Championship in New York.
This Person Nose How to Really Type Fast
Neeta from India is the fastest nose typist in the world, according to the Guinness World Records. On November 16, 2008, Neeta, from India, typed 103 keyboard characters in one minute and 33 seconds. The contest was held at the Guinness World Records Pavilion in Global Village, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Typing the Alphabet
T.C. Girivasan, from India, can type the English alphabet in 4.71 seconds. He made the Guinness World Records on November 28, 2010, with his rapid typing. He beat the previous record of 5.03 seconds set by Jayasimha Ravirala on June 20, 2010, according to Hindustantimes.com.
These world-class fastest typists all practiced to increase their speed and strengthen their skill. Their age wasn’t a factor in their ability to type. They just spent a lot of time typing. You can increase your speed as you work on your typing skills as well. Who knows, you may become the next challenger for the fastest typist awards.