Appendix A - Typing Error Glossary

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing examines every keystroke you make. Using many different typing “yardsticks,” the program maintains a constant analysis of your typing errors. The following glossary explains the terms Mavis uses.

ACCURACY (POOR): Your typing accuracy is not improving as it should, or is actually decreasing. There are several reasons for this condition. Mavis makes specific suggestions for your improvement.

BACKSPACING: The Backspace key, hit once, takes your cursor back one space over the last typed letter. Because backspacing requires a long reach from the home row, Mavis watches for errors caused by that hand motion.

DOUBLED: This error occurs when you type a single character twice. For example, you might mistype the word ‘boat’ as ‘boot’.

DROPPED: A dropped letter error occurs when a letter in a word is left out, as when you type ‘omt’ instead of ‘omit.’

FINGER: Keys struck by a single finger often cause major typing errors. For example, you may have a weak left ring finger and consequently have trouble typing the W, S, 2, and X keys. Mavis helps you address this problem with lessons that center on your weak fingers.

HAND: Much the same as FINGER, except that a weak hand causes your typing errors. After noticing this problem, Mavis has you concentrate on lessons designed to emphasize keys typed by your weak hand to strengthen it.

MIGRATION: A letter has shifted its position across two or more letters. An example would be if instead of typing ‘that’, you typed ‘atht’.

MIRROR: A “mirror-image” typing error occurs when you type a key in the correct row and column but with the wrong hand. That is you might type a letter in the third row, say E, with the third finger of your left hand. However, what you wanted to type was an I, with the same finger of your right hand. You have, in fact, typed a mirror image of the letter.

MIS-HIT: This is a random typing error that is not a transposition, omission (“dropped”), or overlap. You are typing with the correct hands and fingers, but your aim is often off base. Finger and hand strength, typing position, and concentration are often causes of mis-hits.

NUMBER KEY: You are not typing numbers correctly. Numbers are typed the same way as letters, but usually not as often. Numbers also require that you move further from the home row. If you are having difficulty typing numbers with the same speed and rhythm you already display when typing letters, Keys and Fingers can be a good place for you to practice until you bring your numbers up to speed.

OVERLAP: You accidentally typed two keys at once when you should have typed only one, usually by failing to hit the correct key squarely. This type of error often occurs when you are rushed and your sitting and hand positions are not correct. Concentrate on short, rhythmic keystrokes.

RECOVERY: The rate at which you recover your typing speed and accuracy (after you realize you have made an error) is too slow. You can deal with typing errors in one of two ways; either backspace and correct the mistake, or temporarily ignore the error and continue to type.

SHIFT KEY: You are typing uppercase letters where you should be typing lowercase ones, or you are substituting symbols for numbers. The problem is probably with your use of the shift keys. It is important to depress the shift keys in rhythm with the rest of your key typing.

SPEED (POOR): Your typing speed is not improving as it should or is actually decreasing. There are several reasons for this condition. Mavis makes specific suggestions for your improvement.

SUBSTITUTION: This error occurs when you type the wrong letter in place of the correct letter. When identified by Mavis, this error type is a random letter error, not specific to a hand or column (see HAND, WRONG COLUMN, MIRROR).

SYMBOL KEY: You are typing symbols incorrectly. Symbols are keys other than letters and digits. Many symbols require that you depress the shift keys when typing them. Others require you to stretch your hand slightly. Mavis will point out the specific problem and suggest the best remedy.

TRANSPOSITION: Occurs when you reverse two consecutive letters in a word, like typing ‘the’ as ‘hte’. Transpositions also occur when you reverse a space position or a punctuation mark preceding or following a word, such as when you type ‘a nant’ instead of ‘an ant’.

WRONG COLUMN: Occurs when you type a letter in the correct row, but in the wrong vertical column. For instance, if you typed an R, when you meant to type a T.

WRONG ROW: Occurs when you are typing with the correct fingers but are basing your typing in the wrong row. A frequent mistake of this type is typing F for R, or vice versa. The cure for this is usually to reposition your hands over the Home row.

There may be other problems that Mavis will point out, along with their appropriate remedies.