Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Aborted Cursive

After years today, I wrote a letter and mailed it the old fashioned way. I had no idea it would be so hard to write the fifteen to twenty lines that I did - my fingers hurt, the letters were malformed and almost tumbled off the lines.

The half pager that I so laboriously
produced looked nothing like my meticulous class notes from the high school days. While my distressed chicken scrawl may be evidence of my state of mind to the graphology inclined, the real reason for the demise of my longhand is probably the computer keyboard.

Scholars who study original documents say the demise of handwriting will diminish the power and accuracy of future historical research. And others simply lament the loss of handwritten communication for its beauty, individualism and intimacy.

I guess I should be grateful that the computer did not come into my life until I was an adult and the complete dependence on the keyboard to produce the written word happened only years later.

The loss of handwriting also may be a cognitive opportunity missed. The neurological process that directs thought, through fingers, into written symbols is a highly sophisticated one. Several academic studies have found that good handwriting skills at a young age can help children express their thoughts better -- a lifelong benefit.

1 comment:

ggop said...

Oh yes I recall trying to write a an exam when I enrolled in a course for credit. My forearm hurt at the end of the three hour paper!