In fact, it was only recently I rediscovered the paper type with alternating blue and purple lines to allow you to form your ascenders and descenders correctly.
Share via Email A handwritten note … when did you last write a letter? The first scratch of an HB pencil across the fresh page of a new notebook. Repeating endless cursive letters along wide-spaced, pale blue lines. Looping the tail of a "g", flicking the line up from the end of an "m", arcing it over an "a" or an "o".
I loved writing so much during my childhood years that I constantly reinvented my script, dotting my "i"s with little hearts, or switching between a round "a" and one with a little arm above the circle.
I filled endless diary pages, sent snail mail to several pen pals, even invented secret symbols to ensure notes passed in the classroom were indecipherable by enemy eyes.
Today I barely lift a pen or a pencil to scribble a shopping list my iPhone notepad function is far easierand as a result, when I do have cause to abandon a keyboard in favour of a more old-fashioned tool, the result is at best sloppy, and more often than not illegible.
Technology seems to have ruined our collective handwriting ability. The digital age, with its typing and its texting, has left us unable to jot down the simplest of notes with anything like penmanship.
But does it matter? Well, some people think so. Like the National Handwriting Associationwhich aims "to raise awareness of the importance of handwriting as a vital component of literacy". And North Carolina congresswoman Pat Hurley, whose bill requiring primary schools to teach written script was unanimously passed earlier this year — although in nearby Indiana, cursive has been scrapped from the curriculum.
Many application forms are still completed the old-fashioned way, as are the majority of school assignments, both of which allow us to be judged — in part at least — by the way we form letters on the page.
Needless to say, there are points available for neatness — several researchers have suggested that legible work is graded more favourably than messier counterparts.
Writing also provides a means to practise hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills, and some experts even suggest a link between handwriting and learning ability. Which is good news for anyone who spent hours religiously copying out notes on to index cards in the runup to exam time.
Am I the only one who used a variety of coloured pens and an elaborate system of underlining and bullet points?
Then there are the more subjective arguments from those who consider writing to be an art form, a historical tradition, a means of expression. And this I fully support.
At university I took a minor in Japanese and, for four years, studied the detailed strokes that make up the three types of script used in that language — hiragana, katakana and kanji.
I saw the beauty of lettering afresh, and dedicated myself to becoming an artist of sorts. But then I went on to become a journalist and spent countless hours learning yet another script — shorthand. Designed for speed rather than style, it helped my interview technique but not my legibility.
Added to the growing importance of texting and tweeting and messaging and emailing in my life, it was the last nail in the coffin for beautiful handwriting of my childhood. So, is there any hope for those of us whose handwriting has suffered under the reign of computerised text?
Ironically, technology might hold the answer. A new digital pen, which is in the final stages of development and testing, has been designed by two German entrepreneurs with the goal of helping people write more neatly. The Lernstift - which means "learning pen" - will sense poor letter formation and vibrate to alert the user to their error.
In the meantime, there are plenty of handy YouTube tutorials available, not to mention blogposts and - for the old-school — books such as Improve Your Handwriting: Contemporary Cursive Jill Norris. I recently got married and am about to embark on the process of writing thank-you letters.
When Philip Hensher realized that he didn't know what one of his closest friend's handwriting looked like, he felt that something essential was missing from their friendship. It dawned on him that, having abandoned fountain pens for keyboards, we have lost one of the ways by which we come to recognize and know another person. The Missing Ink NPR coverage of The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting by Philip Hensher. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more. The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a /5(37).
In fact, perhaps it would be easier if I wrote my thank-yous in HB pencil on exercise book pages … This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase.
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By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that Skimlinks cookies will be set.The Missing Ink is a book about the characters who shaped our handwriting, and how it in turn shaped us.
From Victorian idealists, preaching the moral worth of italic copperplate, to great modern educational reformists such as Marion Richardson, throughout history the style in which we write has influence the way we learn, behave and communicate.
Philip Hensher is a writer of many talents: not only the author of such novels as The Northern Clemency but an opera librettist, an art critic, and a biting newspaper columnist.
And that title — “writer” — should be taken as literally as possible. Nov 08, · The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting, Philip Hensher November 8, August 12, ~ 7heDaniel For those of you who don’t know, soon I’ll . See larger image The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting (Paperback) New From: $ USD In Stock.
Jun 03, · Handwriting is being dropped in public schools — that could be bad for young minds.
Google’s new hands-free computer is finding its way into operating rooms. Oct 11, · Since the subtitle of the book is "The Lost Art of Handwriting" and since in interviews he talked about why handwriting is important, I thought the book might be different than it was.
In the introduction he suggests the book is going to be about what /5.