Repeated typos: what are my fingers doing?

I’m not a touch-typist, more a 4- to 6- fingered one. I’ve noticed that I repeatedly mistype certain words. The most glaring example is the word going which often comes out as gonig. Oddly, few other -ing words are affected. I also frequently capitalise both the first and the second letters at the start of a sentence.

So what’s going on with my fumbling fingers?

Mistiming. When you type going, presuming you type it at least similar to the way I do, you’ve got two fingers moving at once: one to the I, one to the N. When it works properly, you’re hitting them almost simultaneously, just the I gets hit a millisecond before the N does. When it slips, you just hit the N first. There’s so little time between hitting the two keys that it’s easy to switch up.

Same for the first two letters of a sentence. Say a sentence starts with “the.” The proper sequence is Shift, T, release Shift, H. But you’re typing so quickly and your timing is just so slightly off that it becomes Shift, T, H, release Shift.

Repeating the same typo over and over can sometimes be a function of muscle memory. Make the same motion over and over, and eventually, it becomes embedded. I do the same thing with a few key words.

Yes, this. As my piano teacher used to say, don’t practice your mistakes. Slow down and do it right as many times as it takes to train your muscle memory, then you can speed up to normal speed, and the error should stay corrected.

Probably not a serious option for your tendencies, but the keyboard can be mapped to do anything you want. For example, I remapped the CAPS LOCK on my lap to to be a shift key as I kept hitting it regularly. This saved me much grief.

Yep, muscle memory exacerbated by the fact that O-N is a common combination (see, those last two words used O-N) and more common that O-I. So your fingers/subconscious (there’s that O-N) again, knowing that an N is coming, automatically go for it right after the O. Your conscious knows about the I, and types it, but gets beaten to the punch by your subconscious.

I use Quick Correct (on the tools menu on Word Perfect) to fix this. I’ve got a few words that I consistently mistype in the same way, so I’ve entered those mistyped words into QuickCorrect, along with the proper spelling, and they get fixed automatically as I mistype them.

In MS Word, I use the AotuCorrect feature. In Word 2007, you click the MS Office icon (circle in upper left corner), click “word Options”, “Proofing”, “AutoCorrect Options”, “Replace text as you type”, then in the “Replace” box enter the frequently misspelled word, then in the “With” box, enter the correctly spelled word (or phrase). Had done that on a document I was writing with the error, “AotuCorrect”, and I had entered that into the replace with “AutoCorrect”, then I could keep right on typing and the error would have been corrected automatically. This works great if you want to replace a short code with a long phrase that you used to retlype often, for example, if you have to type “The San Francisco Department of Public Works” often, you could enter the code “tsfdopw” or “xyz” in the “Replace” box, and it would come out at the longer phrase. Quite helpful, once you get thru the daisy chain into the system. I use it a lot at work where I have Word 2000 or 2003 and it’s easier to get into it. I have Word 2007 at home here and have never used it, until now. Hope that helps.

I see from the Help info that the feature is apparently available in Excel and Access, at least.

For some reason I’ve been having trouble with apostrophes lately. I type them either a character too early or too late. I know exactly where they should go, but my fingers have a mind of their own.