The Evolution of Handwriting

brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
This thread is dedicated to my little first grader friend, Amaya who recently told her mother she wants to learn who to write in cursive.  Bless her sweet little head!



"Hate your job, love your stuff
If you think that's living, you are
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
-Juliana Hatfield
***********
M.I.T.S.







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Comments

  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,040
    I am an obsessive note taker.  I have bound notebooks for every different thing and I can tell you what we discussed at a meeting 3 years ago if you give me the date.
    However......I do struggle to read my writing and I bet I use the books twice as fast as needed due to the shitty nature of my handwriting.  I would love to blame the keyboard, and it does contribute, but my handwriting was awful even as a kid and young adult, before so much of writing was at a keyboard.
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    edited April 25
    I am an obsessive note taker.  I have bound notebooks for every different thing and I can tell you what we discussed at a meeting 3 years ago if you give me the date.
    However......I do struggle to read my writing and I bet I use the books twice as fast as needed due to the shitty nature of my handwriting.  I would love to blame the keyboard, and it does contribute, but my handwriting was awful even as a kid and young adult, before so much of writing was at a keyboard.
    I can't remember who it was, but in the mid 1950's someone of fame once described America in the 50's as "a nation of scrawlers".  I think (for the most part) my parents G.I. generation was the last generation that generally had good to marvelous handwriting. 

    Somewhere in the early 80's I became frustrated with my cursive writing.  It was legible but not as neat as I would have liked it.  I found that I could print quite clearly and uniformly- to the point where one friend once told me, "Your handwriting looks like it was made by a typewriter", lol.   My hands are not so steady these days.  The typewriter has become shakey!
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • Meltdown99Meltdown99 None Of Your Business...Posts: 7,186
    My Dad and Sister, both left-handed have fantastic handwriting...me not so much.
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,040
    brianlux said:
    I am an obsessive note taker.  I have bound notebooks for every different thing and I can tell you what we discussed at a meeting 3 years ago if you give me the date.
    However......I do struggle to read my writing and I bet I use the books twice as fast as needed due to the shitty nature of my handwriting.  I would love to blame the keyboard, and it does contribute, but my handwriting was awful even as a kid and young adult, before so much of writing was at a keyboard.
    I can't remember who it was, but in the mid 1950's someone of fame once described America in the 50's as "a nation of scrawlers".  I think (for the most part) my parents G.I. generation was the last generation that generally had good to marvelous handwriting. 

    Somewhere in the early 80's I became frustrated with my cursive writing.  It was legible but not as neat as I would have liked it.  I found that I could print quite clearly and uniformly- to the point where one friend once told me, "Your handwriting looks like it was made by a typewriter", lol.   My hands are not so steady these days.  The typewriter has become shakey!
    I have a few acquaintances who can write like that.  It is pretty cool but I always wonder about how their hands feel.
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    The strangest case of handwriting I know is that of one of the women I work with.  We write book titles on a list when they need re-stocking.  If I'm the one to go to look for the book, I often have to ask her to translate what she has written.  If it's been more than a few hours, she often cannot interpret her own writing.  And yet when she makes signs she writes in calligraphy and it is absolutely gorgeous writing. 
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon In My PlacePosts: 18,901
    my handwriting used to be really nice/neat, and I don't necessarily blame computers on my incredible penmanship decline, but just underuse of it on a whole. that's probably partially due to computers, but adults just don't write nearly as much as kids (students) do. it started to decline long before I had a computer or worked on one. 
    Headstones Fan Boy
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 47,624
    edited April 25
    I usually half write/half print, and it looks terrible. If I want my cursive to look any good, I have to actually focus on trying to make it look good... and even then it is still only okay.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    brianlux said:
    I am an obsessive note taker.  I have bound notebooks for every different thing and I can tell you what we discussed at a meeting 3 years ago if you give me the date.
    However......I do struggle to read my writing and I bet I use the books twice as fast as needed due to the shitty nature of my handwriting.  I would love to blame the keyboard, and it does contribute, but my handwriting was awful even as a kid and young adult, before so much of writing was at a keyboard.
    I can't remember who it was, but in the mid 1950's someone of fame once described America in the 50's as "a nation of scrawlers".  I think (for the most part) my parents G.I. generation was the last generation that generally had good to marvelous handwriting. 

    Somewhere in the early 80's I became frustrated with my cursive writing.  It was legible but not as neat as I would have liked it.  I found that I could print quite clearly and uniformly- to the point where one friend once told me, "Your handwriting looks like it was made by a typewriter", lol.   My hands are not so steady these days.  The typewriter has become shakey!
    I have a few acquaintances who can write like that.  It is pretty cool but I always wonder about how their hands feel.
    My first attempt at writing a book (an utter failure) that was more than vignettes, poetry and short stories- in other words, a cohesive work- was almost two hundred handwritten pages.  Because at the time I owned neither typewriter not computer, the entire nearly two hundred pages were written by hand in print form.  My hands cramp up now if I write more than a short letter but I think that writing and years of organizing and shelving books and playing guitar has kept them in fairly good shape.  But one of the great frustrations of life is seeing the hands go.  They just plain wear out. 
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon In My PlacePosts: 18,901
    PJ_Soul said:
    I usually half write/half print, and it looks terrible. If I want my cursive to look any good, I have to actually focus on trying to make it look good... and even then it is still only okay.
    that's me too. 
    Headstones Fan Boy
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    my handwriting used to be really nice/neat, and I don't necessarily blame computers on my incredible penmanship decline, but just underuse of it on a whole. that's probably partially due to computers, but adults just don't write nearly as much as kids (students) do. it started to decline long before I had a computer or worked on one. 
    I think computers and texting on smart phones has a lot to do with it.  We used to write notes, and send postcards and letters.  Today we mostly text (often without capitalization and punctuation), and send emails, etc. 
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon In My PlacePosts: 18,901
    edited April 25
    brianlux said:
    my handwriting used to be really nice/neat, and I don't necessarily blame computers on my incredible penmanship decline, but just underuse of it on a whole. that's probably partially due to computers, but adults just don't write nearly as much as kids (students) do. it started to decline long before I had a computer or worked on one. 
    I think computers and texting on smart phones has a lot to do with it.  We used to write notes, and send postcards and letters.  Today we mostly text (often without capitalization and punctuation), and send emails, etc. 
    I think it has some to do with ME, and it probably has a bigger impact on this generation, since they are using computers in school. But growing up we didn't have typewriters in schools until grade 9, and I didn't take that class. I didn't learn to type until I was in school again at age 23. 

    As I said, my handwriting started to decline after i was out of school, no longer writing on a daily and hourly basis. I still wrote, yes, but probably 10% of what I did as a student. And this was, again, before I had access to a computer and there was no texting and I didn't have a typewriter. I still wrote letters occasionally, yes, but pretty infrequently. 

    Now, if we are talking about current generations, absolutely it has a profound effect. 
    Headstones Fan Boy
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 10,381
    My handwriting and printing has been crappy from the very start, consistently mentioned in my report cards. I still do an awful lot of note taking by hand, and if anything it's getting messier. Nothing has ever made printing or writing feel natural or easy. 
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    I have to get to work but it would be interesting later to see what some here think about handwriting regarding:
    -Is there a need for it any more and if so, why?
    -What are your thoughts about reestablishing some emphasis on teaching handwriting in schools?
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon In My PlacePosts: 18,901
    edited April 25
    brianlux said:
    I have to get to work but it would be interesting later to see what some here think about handwriting regarding:
    -Is there a need for it any more and if so, why?
    -What are your thoughts about reestablishing some emphasis on teaching handwriting in schools?
    both my daughters are taught handwriting in school (ages 9 and 12). the 12 year old has great handwriting, 9 year old is getting better. I think it's very important to learn. it's a form of communication, and if there is ever a global catastrophic event, we'll need those skills. 
    Headstones Fan Boy
  • Spiritual_ChaosSpiritual_Chaos Posts: 16,010
    People usually dig my handwriting. Or atleast I have been told so on a couple of occasions. But it's not cursive or classically "pretty" though.


    The man they call my enemy. I've seen his eyes, he looks just like me - A mirror...
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 47,624
    edited April 25
    brianlux said:
    I have to get to work but it would be interesting later to see what some here think about handwriting regarding:
    -Is there a need for it any more and if so, why?
    -What are your thoughts about reestablishing some emphasis on teaching handwriting in schools?
    I mean, I think people certainly have to still know how to write/print something down on paper easily, obviously. You can't get through school as a kid without it. But cursive? I like the idea of it, like on an artistic level.... But when thinking about it objectively, there probably isn't any point anymore. Hardly any adults even use paper and pen extensively, and when they do, it's usually the grocery list or a quick note on a post-it, or jotting a few notes down for oneself to refer to later, or filling out a quick form somewhere, etc. I think the entire point of nice cursive is mostly dead, so why take up a lot of time in school learning it? The most meaningful purpose of cursive that I can think of right now, for this day and age, is writing addresses on wedding invitation envelopes, and for greeting cards, lol.
    Post edited by PJ_Soul on
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • mace1229mace1229 Posts: 3,594
    My parents have always said I was meant to be a doctor, based solely on my writing.
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,040
    edited April 25
    My handwriting looks like a drunken 4 year old's.
    (I hope there is not such a thing)
    Post edited by F Me In The Brain on
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • oftenreadingoftenreading Victoria, BCPosts: 10,381
    My handwriting and printing has been crappy from the very start, consistently mentioned in my report cards. I still do an awful lot of note taking by hand, and if anything it's getting messier. Nothing has ever made printing or writing feel natural or easy. 
    How stereotypical.  ;)


    Yes, I am a clutz.
    my small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,040
    edited April 25
    :rock_on:
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    brianlux said:
    I have to get to work but it would be interesting later to see what some here think about handwriting regarding:
    -Is there a need for it any more and if so, why?
    -What are your thoughts about reestablishing some emphasis on teaching handwriting in schools?
    both my daughters are taught handwriting in school (ages 9 and 12). the 12 year old has great handwriting, 9 year old is getting better. I think it's very important to learn. it's a form of communication, and if there is ever a global catastrophic event, we'll need those skills. 
    Yeah but that doesn't count- we all know Canadians do things smarter.

    (Oh, am I going to get in trouble for saying that! :lol: )
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    PJ_Soul said:
    brianlux said:
    I have to get to work but it would be interesting later to see what some here think about handwriting regarding:
    -Is there a need for it any more and if so, why?
    -What are your thoughts about reestablishing some emphasis on teaching handwriting in schools?
    I mean, I think people certainly have to still know how to write/print something down on paper easily, obviously. You can't get through school as a kid without it. But cursive? I like the idea of it, like on an artistic level.... But when thinking about it objectively, there probably isn't any point anymore. Hardly any adults even use paper and pen extensively, and when they do, it's usually the grocery list or a quick note on a post-it, or jotting a few notes down for oneself to refer to later, or filling out a quick form somewhere, etc. I think the entire point of nice cursive is mostly dead, so why take up a lot of time in school learning it? The most meaningful purpose of cursive that I can think of right now, for this day and age, is writing addresses on wedding invitation envelopes, and for greeting cards, lol.
    I'm thinking if for no other reason than to not lose the art of cursive writing.  A great example of it's artistic value:


    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,029
    My handwriting skills peaked in the 5th grade ... many moons before computers and laptops took over schools.

    I, for one, welcome our insect overlords ...
  • Meltdown99Meltdown99 None Of Your Business...Posts: 7,186
    Jason P said:
    My handwriting skills peaked in the 5th grade ... many moons before computers and laptops took over schools.

    I, for one, welcome our insect overlords ...
    lol
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 47,624
    brianlux said:
    PJ_Soul said:
    brianlux said:
    I have to get to work but it would be interesting later to see what some here think about handwriting regarding:
    -Is there a need for it any more and if so, why?
    -What are your thoughts about reestablishing some emphasis on teaching handwriting in schools?
    I mean, I think people certainly have to still know how to write/print something down on paper easily, obviously. You can't get through school as a kid without it. But cursive? I like the idea of it, like on an artistic level.... But when thinking about it objectively, there probably isn't any point anymore. Hardly any adults even use paper and pen extensively, and when they do, it's usually the grocery list or a quick note on a post-it, or jotting a few notes down for oneself to refer to later, or filling out a quick form somewhere, etc. I think the entire point of nice cursive is mostly dead, so why take up a lot of time in school learning it? The most meaningful purpose of cursive that I can think of right now, for this day and age, is writing addresses on wedding invitation envelopes, and for greeting cards, lol.
    I'm thinking if for no other reason than to not lose the art of cursive writing.  A great example of it's artistic value:


    Well right. But do we generally consider retaining an art form in our culture something that gets a major focus in regular education for children? I wouldn't think so. That would normally be qualified as a specialization, right? Like it could be taken as an arts elective or whatever.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    PJ_Soul said:
    brianlux said:
    PJ_Soul said:
    brianlux said:
    I have to get to work but it would be interesting later to see what some here think about handwriting regarding:
    -Is there a need for it any more and if so, why?
    -What are your thoughts about reestablishing some emphasis on teaching handwriting in schools?
    I mean, I think people certainly have to still know how to write/print something down on paper easily, obviously. You can't get through school as a kid without it. But cursive? I like the idea of it, like on an artistic level.... But when thinking about it objectively, there probably isn't any point anymore. Hardly any adults even use paper and pen extensively, and when they do, it's usually the grocery list or a quick note on a post-it, or jotting a few notes down for oneself to refer to later, or filling out a quick form somewhere, etc. I think the entire point of nice cursive is mostly dead, so why take up a lot of time in school learning it? The most meaningful purpose of cursive that I can think of right now, for this day and age, is writing addresses on wedding invitation envelopes, and for greeting cards, lol.
    I'm thinking if for no other reason than to not lose the art of cursive writing.  A great example of it's artistic value:


    Well right. But do we generally consider retaining an art form in our culture something that gets a major focus in regular education for children? I wouldn't think so. That would normally be qualified as a specialization, right? Like it could be taken as an arts elective or whatever.
    I've never thought of arts as an elective.  As essential than math, history, or science, I say.
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 47,624
    But art IS an elective in high school... not everyone likes it, right? Some would prefer to spend their time in auto shop or carpentry or home ec or drama or whatever. Or they would prefer it in an actual art class, painting and drawing, rather than perfecting cursive.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 19,881
    PJ_Soul said:
    But art IS an elective in high school... not everyone likes it, right? Some would prefer to spend their time in auto shop or carpentry or home ec or drama or whatever. Or they would prefer it in an actual art class, painting and drawing, rather than perfecting cursive.
    True - penmanship and cursive writing was taught and learned when I was a little one.

    Now, I'm more concerned with being somewhat legible.  Mix of print and caps and lower-case with a bit of cursive thrown in - quite all over the place.  Even then, it's not neat but makes the point.

    Handwriting itself (cursive or otherwise) hasn't gone by the wayside, thankfully.  I have many cards and letters from friends, precious ones from my dad, all sorts of writing styles and emotions / funny stories shared.  That, to me, is more important than how pretty it does or doesn't look.
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,308
    PJ_Soul said:
    But art IS an elective in high school... not everyone likes it, right? Some would prefer to spend their time in auto shop or carpentry or home ec or drama or whatever. Or they would prefer it in an actual art class, painting and drawing, rather than perfecting cursive.
    True.  I guess what I mean is that for the creative person, the creative classes are as essential or MORE essential than the other so-called essential subjects like math and history.

    As for cursive, Hedonist's thought about any writing simply being legible would help.  Believe me, it would make my job easier!
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • njnancynjnancy Northern New JerseyPosts: 4,820
    When i was in Catholic school, grades 1 - 8, Penmanship was a primary subject every year. We would be graded quarterly and at year end and it was of equal importance as Science or Reading. One could get left back if they had an F in penmanship and I suppose in another subject. (I got A's in everything so I'm not sure :smiley: )

    I prefer writing on paper than writing in a computer, although one of the smartest classes I took in high school was typing. There were no computers back then, just typewriters, but it is probably one of the classes that had a direct impact on my life. Being able to type quickly is handy, back when I was using a typewriter for work and when computers appeared I was able to type even faster.

    But when it comes to calendars, lists of things to do and journaling I always use pen and pepper and cursive. I have had a journal since grammar school (well not the same one, it would be quite large) so I have lots of books that have covered my life and they are all in cursive. I  find that when I'm writing, cursive is much faster than printing and I feel much more connected to a pen and paper than to what I'm doing now.  I am able to to express myself on a different level when I'm writing on paper. 

    When I am on the phone with any type of customer service, doctor's office, information source - I always write down the information I get in a book or on a piece of paper. I don't enter it into a computer. I have my doctor's appointments, birthdays, etc on actual calendars - not in my computer. When I was a waitress, I would not have been as good if I had to print what people were ordering instead of using cursive, it would have been a nightmare.  And being able to have a signature (and variations of it for signing in public places) is essential. 

    If I am at a lecture or taking a class in something, I write notes in a book. Most people have their laptops and I absolutely love my laptop and all things tech, but I don't feel like I'm getting the information down as clearly if I'm not writing it down in a book. It just feels different. I hate sending people texts or posts for their birthdays, I feel it is so impersonal and prefer to send a card or a letter when it's appropriate. And I don't lose all my info  if I hit the wrong key or my computer goes all blue screen on me. I can save a treasured card someone sent me with a little note and it's nice to have something special with their handwriting on it. Not so much with a text. :heart:

    Part of my degree is in English so I may be the outlier. I love proper grammar and spelling and punctuation and cursive writing. I absolutely love to copy edit, it's one of the best jobs I've had. And I still use it on a free lance basis.  I think that we are losing something as a society with the shorthand and shortcuts we take with our language with phones and computers. People don't put as much effort into their writing in this type of a forum. :glasses:

    My son still has problems signing his name and he is 21. He  was taught penmanship  as part of English for one or two years in  grammar school and I bought all kinds of books for practice and sat with him for hours but he just never got it. I think that part of it was that the school really didn't put much emphasis on it. (He didn't have to deal with nuns, I kindly sent him to public school) He also had really no interest in it after he found that he wasn't good at it. This was before he had a cell phone so I can't blame it on that.  After those two years, there was no more penmanship lessons and my son, to this day, writes in print and not so well. I used to have to hold the pen with him when he was signing something. He had no clue how to do it. I think that is sad. 

    I think all 21 year olds should have a legible signature and be able to read what someone writes if it's in cursive, I shouldn't have to dumb down and print so my child can understand me. He cannot understand cursive writing, it's like it's in another language. I keep writing in cursive though, hoping he learns the language.

    I have nice handwriting, my signature is the same, except when signing in stores. It's neat and legible, unless I'm journalling and I'm writing really quickly and trying to write too many thoughts at once.  Then it can get whacky. But there's something personal about how my emotion can change my handwriting and that is lost when typing. 

    Penmanship is important - shoot me. Both ways of expression can co-exist. We stop using part of our brain when we no longer find the written word to be important and something to do well.  (And my love for all things English language and cursive is probably why I write such long posts that are so annoying to some. I text the same way sometimes.  Sorry, not really.) :tongue:
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