Last week I attended a women’s luncheon in downtown Orlando and got to chatting with a lady about handwriting or longhand, as we used to call it. I thought of the long hours I spent in first and second grades, pencil in hand, putting marks on scratchy, lined paper. Then once the block letters were mastered, we were taught how to write in script. I really felt like a big girl then.
Learning to put letters on a page was quite exciting for me, and I worked hard at being precise and neat. I had trouble with that capital Q, though. It looked too much like the number two to me. Even today, I don’t use it; I use a regular printed Q when I write in script.
Anyway, this woman and I talked about how many schools no longer teach students to write by hand, especially using cursive writing. Because of that, she said officials are finding that students can no longer read cursive writing. They are not able to translate the free-flowing marks into words and understand what is being communicated. I had not thought about that before she mentioned it, but I see how it could be true.
I tried to think of instances where handwriting is required. What about taking notes? Students need to know how to write to take notes in class. No they use iPads and laptops.
Well, handwriting is needed to jot down ideas in books as they read, right? Not really. The e-readers come with functionality to type notes directly into the text.
What about to-do lists? People need to be able to jot down items to pick up at the grocery store. No, there’s an app for that, which will even remind them if they forget to make that all important stop for bread and ice cream.
Signatures? Surely, they at least need to know how to sign their names. That’s probably true, but more often than not, I see electronic signatures used on official documents.
What a shame. Our handwriting says so much about us. Even if we are not handwriting experts, we get a feel for the person through his or her penmanship. It’s so intimate and personal; no two people write in exactly the same way. I encourage all my students and clients to include something written by hand in their life story books.
I took a handwriting analysis class one time just for fun. I don’t remember much about it other than the little loop on the capital C in my last name indicated that I was a collector of some sort. I was. At that time, I was into pigs, and pig-everything filled my home. It was a major project some years later to de-pig my house.
Many websites exist that will analyze your writing for free; others will do it for a fee or can teach you to be an expert graphologist. Here are some of the basics of handwriting analysis by the experts that can be found online. Take it for what it’s worth.
- Pressure – pressing hard on the page indicate emotional energy, and enthusiasm
- Size – large letters denote an outgoing, extroverted person – small letters, a person more shy or introverted
- Slant – a right slope indicates someone who is assertive, confident and can be insensitive – a left slant, more quiet, someone who thinks before acting – upright letters, more of an observer, doesn’t show a lot of emotion, is reliable and consistent
- Connection – letters closely connected reflect logical and ordered thinking – disconnected letters indicate creativity, strong intuition, original thinking
- Baseline – the direction of the text across an unlined page
Steady – cool, calm, firm, confident and in control
Wavy – spontaneous, temperamental, unpredictable
Upward – cheerful, forceful, hopeful
Downward – lack of energy, pessimistic, tiredness
So, what do you think? Should schools continue to teach students how to handwrite? Where do you see the need for handwriting today? What does your handwriting reveal about you? Do you think including handwriting in your book is a good idea? Share your thoughts below.
Ice Cream image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net