Thursday, November 13, 2008

Handwriting Recognition

Yesterday I was rifling through a planner that I had in grade 3 when I used to live in Brazil. It brought back so many memories. Who would've thought that reading through to-do lists and lists of homework assignments would bring back such a flood of memories!

Another neat thing about looking through this planner was seeing my (cursive) handwriting from 20 years ago, and how much it has changed since then. The funny thing is that I think that my handwriting was neater then than it is now. it used to be so frilly and girlie. Now my handwriting is narrow and masculine.

I wonder if spending most of my days in front of a computer is to blame. I handwrite so little these days that I may have lost the touch. A few years ago I actually met a female software developer who said she'd spent so much time in front of a computer that she'd all but forgotten how to handwrite. Cursive writing was out of the question for her, and her printing looked like a 4-year-old's printing.

It would be sad if we lost the art of handwriting. When you look at older people's (50 years plus) writing, you can see how most of them (men and women alike) have very beautiful cursive penmanship. As we get down to the younger generations, most can't write in cursive worth a damn and their printing is okay at best. Yep, blame it on the Information Age.

As I looked through my planner with the hubby, what really drove the point home is when he told me that he doesn't thin he'd be able to recognize my handwriting. Wow! That hit me like a ton of bricks! And yet, I don't blame him. We don't write each other love letters on paper. We write each other "love SMS messages". We are certainly products of the times in which we live.

It makes me wonder if my daughter will ever have nice handwriting. I'd like to think so, since, while I believe that the computer will be an important part of her life, I plan on making sure that pen and paper have a special place in there too.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


MJ said...

I was never going to have good handwriting, as I was terrible at it in school. My script has definitely degraded since then, though I use a pen and paper a little bit more often than most.

What is noticeable is that I have no consistency. All the lessons from different teachers and my parents got muddled up and I have a curly-tailed g here, a straight-tailed g there, dotted i:s up there and undotted i:s over there.

It's a shame. My mother has beautiful handwriting. I wish I did; I'd write in hand all the time.

Mr. Shiny and New said...

My grade 4 teacher suggested to me that my handwriting was so bad I should consider typing stuff. Then I went into a software career and the rest is history.

But your point about handwriting being a lost art is well-taken. I think there is even more of a danger for complex scripts like Chinese, where learning to recognize the characters is one thing, but learning to write is another; and the way to input the characters into the computer is totally foreign (most people use an input method based on the pronunciation of the words).