This morning, I have had a comfortable chat with Jack W8KR on 20m after a bit of interval.
He ran his old bug quite fascinatingly as usual. The polar flare, however, was terrible in the beginning of the QSO, which sometimes disturbed us to read each other. While I went QRS with my keyer, he started using a straight key. What beautiful Morse Code! I wondered if it was a straight key or the dash side lever of the bug he was sending with. He answered it was a straight key since his beginner's days. I was again impressed at his very beautiful keying with it.
His mentor W8QIX used to tell him at his age 13 years not to use a bug for a year. After having operated that straight key he got in 1955, he got the present bug for his birthday gift and began using it at age 15 years. I believe that training period for a year and plus with the straight key has made his keying so perfect. His decent keying might be thanks to his talent in rhythm but also to that training. Each letter sounds neat. Most impressively, the spaces between words were what they should be. The space lets us easily copy the sentence. Needless to say, we understand the message based on each word composing a sentence. If each word is not clearly distinguished from the other words, it might be quite tough for us to read the sentence and comprehend the message.
We believe sending Morse Code in proper spaces. Between dashes/dots as well as between words. In actual communication on Morse Code, the inter-words spaces are crucial to have the hearer understand the message due to the reason stated above. It is, however, quite a matter of subjectivity. It is a capability to objectively listen to own sending by him/herself. It requires us some training. In Jack's case, he might be blessed with a talent in that point. And his mentor has made it flowered. His flexibility in rhythm must has made it perfect in the period of training.
I should hook the straight key I got at age 13 years to the radio and sometimes practice with it. In my case, it is a discipline to endure my short temper.
I told Jack he could have been a musician if he had not grabbed a key but a musical instrument at age 13 years.