“The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”
I typed this over and over again, hoping that I’d learn the fine skill of typing as I sat in a class with all girls. Young women, I should say. I was the only male in the Delaware County Community College course of study and I never once felt out of place or unusual.
I wanted to be a journalist, you see. So, I figured I had to learn the fine art of typing in order to file my stories.
“The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” was one of the lines I’d type to get proficient at the skill. Another was “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.” I don’t know how many keys I touched typing that one. I didn’t even know what party the keyboard operator might have been talking about.
But I quickly learned how to type and it came in handy some three years later when I finally got a job as a newspaper reporter in Pottstown, a small working class town some 30 miles outside of Philadelphia.
I remember having fun whenever I had to take an obituary. Yeah, an obit. From a funeral director. The city desk at the Pottstown Mercury Newspaper would direct the calls from outside to whatever reporter was not busy and as a new recruit, I got my fill of ‘em.
I’ll never live down the first one I did involving a Catholic funeral. I got everything right about the guy’s name, his job and his relatives. But I blew it when I wrote about the church services.
“A ‘massive’ Christian Burial will be offered at St. Pius X Church,” I wrote and turned in the copy.
I heard laughter from one of the copy editors. Soon, other editors had joined in laughing and then I realized they were laughing at my obituary.
The obit should have said “A ‘Mass of’ Christian burial would be held” . . . instead of the word “massive.”
Typing ain’t bad as long as you got a good editor to catch what I call your “lazy ear” mistakes.