How to use [Hunt and peck]

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Context and Question:

Yesterday I posted a thread about slow typing and then I was told by an AE speaker that one can’t say “He types like a snail/tortoise” because they don’t type. And he suggested a term “hunt and peck” to mean someone who types very slowly. I wonder if I can say:

He’s hunting and pecking.

To mean that “He types very slowly”? Or I need to be more specific and say things like:

He’s still at the stage of hunting and pecking.
He can only hunt and peck.

(The possible question is “Does your cousin type” or “How fast can you cousin type” and the answer is “He types very slowly”. Now I want to use either of them (hunt and peck) to replace the common one.)

Thoughts:

I don’t know how to say that, but I think the meaning is clear while the thoughts are muddled. I need your help.

Thanks a lot

Again: I like BE as well as AE, but I am a teacher of AE, so I tend to use AE in my daily life.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    He’s hunting and pecking.

    To mean that “He types very slowly”? Or I need to be more specific and say things like:
    The sentence is fine by itself as long as your listener understands that you are talking about typing. I might say "He's hunting and pecking" to another observer as we watched somebody typing slowly and with great effort.

    Now I want to use either of them (hunt and peck) to replace the common one.)
    You might consider this version: He can hunt and peck, but he doesn't know how to type by touch.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    You might consider this version: He can hunt and peck, but he doesn't know how to type by touch.
    Thanks a million, Owlman. So, here, "by touch" means literally "touch the keyboard" or "type in a normal speed"?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome, Silver.

    So, here, "by touch" means literally "touch the keyboard" or "type in a normal speed"?
    "By touch" means that a typist can type without having to look at the keyboard. People generally have to learn to type by touch if they want to type fast.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I don't say, and have never heard, "type by touch". What we do is touch-type; that's the standard term.

    A hunt-and-peck keyboard user is someone who never learned to touch-type and has to hunt for each letter, pecking at the keyboard (the way a chicken pecks at its food).
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Thanks a lot, Parla.

    I looked up these two phrases "touch-type" and "type by touch" and I got different number of results from Google, when I put "touch-type" in Google, I got around 510,000 results, but most of them are "touch typing", while I put "type by touch", I got around 20,000 results. And Wikipedia uses this term in one of its pages. So I guess this is a regional question.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I've heard both, Silver, and I've probably heard "touch type" more than "type by touch." Unlike Parla, I don't see any problem with using "type by touch". To me, an English-speaker who can't easily understand the phrase is an English-speaker who isn't comfortable with English and how it works.

    As long as your language is easy to understand, I don't care whether you parrot what people say most often over here. I'm much more interested in your ability to speak English that is grammatical and not bizarre. English would be really dull if you were strictly required to repeat things that other people have said ten billion times before.
     
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