Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Is Handwriting Obsolete?

Here is the letter "A"
A is for anachronism, it's written out in longform, aka handwriting.

I'm using a keyboard to type this post, and in fact, most of my longform writing is done via keyboard. I used to write letters in pen, back in the days that a postage stamp costs less then 50 cents, but now I speak via email and blog.  I've heard on the news that school boards are thinking of dropping hand-writing from the curriculum. Poor sprogs, the theory goes, are simply overwhelmed with having to learn both the anachronistic task of handwriting with a pen AND keyboarding skills. Oddly enough, I had no such difficulty, and am equally at home with both a keyboard and a pen. Likely because I bothered to learn the equally anachronistic task of touch-typing on a typewriter. Now I truly do sound like a grumpy old fart (and am loving the moment too).  As a non-parent, I've never had to go out and buy bubblewrap for children, and I don't envy those who do.  I really do think children are quite up to the challenge of learning handwriting, and it's loss if they don't.

As a child, I spent far less time drawing and doodling than I should have, but at least there was always a pen in my hand, and whether I was finishing up homework, or writing a short (perpetually unfinished) story, at least I was also brushing up on hand-eye coordination, and getting various curves and lines to look the way they should.  I'm pretty sure this was part of my future training as an artist.  And I'm absolutely certain that all hand-writing practice did not in the least impede my future keyboarding prowess (yes, thanks to those typing classes, I'm pretty goshed darn fast on the plastic ivories too).  Mostly, it's about knuckling down, and putting in the time, and ignoring distractions like the 'instagram' push notification that just flashed on my screen, which I will NOT look at until I am done this blog post. And that bit of modern self-control is what we really need to learn to get things done.

posted from Bloggeroid


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

my hand writing is horrible lol grade 3, in an effort to to to make me improve, mom started to make me write out the dictionary. lol and we had one of those huge gilded ones, i think I made it to the end of B before I gave up :p

I think kids should have to learn both, writing is a skill that everyone should have and by some slim chance they don't have any tech on them to make notes, they will need to know how to write them down

Michelle Basic Hendry said...

We had to improve our handwriting before we were allowed to switch from pencil to pen. Eventually, they gave up and gave me a pen because my handwriting was harder to read in pencil and I showed absolutely no improvement! I took typing on a manual typewriter too. Came impressively close to failing that.

That said, I still like the touch of a written letter or card. My handwriting is too much of a chore for older eyes, so I sign a typed letter for anyone over 70.

kaslkaos said...

Sorry to be so slow to say 'hi' Jennifer and Michelle, sometimes I just go quiet. BUT, now I'm thinking, maybe I'm alone in loving the look and feel of handwriting?
But like you, Michelle, I rarely send anyone my handwriting, it's mostly shopping lists & notes + art.
Jennifer, I'm sure your Mom meant the best, but ugh! sounds like torture.

laurelei said...

I love handwriting. I remember cultivating a cool "a" or "e" in school, practicing signing my name so it somehow reflected me. I recognize handwriting like I recognize voices and I love that handwriting "looks" like people...and am surprised when it doesn't. What a seemingly insignificant but oddly profound skill for society to lose.

kaslkaos said...

Yes, Laurelei, it gave everyone an every day form of expression. I used to love those hand-writing analysis books too, they were fun.
I guess we can post photos of handwriting, but who will be able to read it?

kaslkaos said...

Jennifer, OMG! I accidently deleted your comment (thought I clicked publish) it's gone. Paraphrasing, that it looks beautiful, but not for you? I think you have health problems that would crop up in handwriting, no? I'm always amazed at how you can do such fine detailed artwork which takes enormous hand-eye co-ordination.
Would not mind at all if you rewrite your comment (I treasure everyone), but again, BIG SORRY! Fingerslip, gah, couldn't find an 'undo' button.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

that is perfectly fine!! i have done the same thing a few times and have felt so bad about it. cant remember what i wrote exactly, but that sums it up :D

handwriting actually hurts my hand but i have no problem drawing. the only thing i can think of is that they use different muscles or just from years of creating my hand knows what to do?


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