‘Friendly Words’



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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