‘Friendly Words’

Margaret_B_Owen-The_Secret_of_Typewriting_Speed-1917

 

List of “friendly words,” in Margaret B. Owen, The Secret of Typewriting Speed ( 1917 ).

 

In one manual, Margaret B. Owen’s The Secret of Typewriting Speed (1917), its author—who declares typewriting a form of art and links its exercise to unconscious reflex  —includes the list shown in figure 4.13. These “friendly words” consist of terms whose inclusion in the list is based not on syntactical coherence but on statistics alone; typing mastery over the listed words was gained in a daily process of repetition. Owen advises, “in order to get the most benefit from the practice of these words I would suggest that you combine a number of words in sentences instead of writing each word over and over again.”

— Sven Spieker, The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2008, p.77

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About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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