The Long(h)and Short of It

I am sure you were immensely amused by the clever wordplay in the title, ha ha ha! I hope you could detect the sarcasm there.

As you might have guessed, today I’ve decided to write about handwriting – don’t leave just yet! It is actually quite interesting!

Handwriting is as unique as fingerprints, if not more so, and I think that graphology (more on that later) is really interesting.

Handwriting is like your fingerprint

Even identical twins have different handwriting – according to Wikipedia the elements of handwriting include:

  • specific shape of letters, e.g. their roundness or sharpness
  • regular or irregular spacing between letters
  • the slope of the letters
  • the rhythmic repetition of the elements or arrhythmia
  • the pressure to the paper
  • the average size of letters

This is different for everyone, and that’s why forgery can be so difficult. You really need to be talented in order to mimic someone else’s handwriting.

Handwriting is also very different from calligraphy. Calligraphy is the real art part of writing, forming characters with brush strokes and making the words look nice. This would be more what monks in the 1500s would have been doing, I think, as it wasn’t so much just the ability to write, it was also the ability to make the illuminated manuscripts look impressive.

Handwriting has a very different meaning for different languages

English speakers like me think of handwriting as like in the picture, writing our characters and letter, and a lot of languages take this, the Roman alphabet, as how we write – however, things are very different in East European countries and countries in Asia.

In Russia they use the cyrillic alphabet (which I started to learn, but found it quite difficult. There are a lot of shapes similar to the Roman alphabet, but which make completely different sounds!) and Chinese or Japanese characters are more an art form!

I love the look of the characters in Chinese and Japanese, but I could not for the life of me have the patience to learn how to write with them! If I write Chinese or Japanese words, I will just write them phonetically! But this handwriting is very different to the handwriting that I know.

East European countries tend to have their own script, and they also tend to be right-to-left languages as opposed to the left-to-right ones used in Western Europe, which I think is really interesting. As far as I know, Chinese and Japanese characters can also be written up and down, and I love that!

Handwriting is not needed as much anymore

I think that I’m part of one of the last few generations who will really rely on handwriting – typing has become such a needed skill as well now, that I’m sure that it’ll soon take over from the lovely art of longhand.

Even I feel that sometimes typing is much nicer and easier than handwriting. It would also get rid of the problem of illegible handwriting – something which can actually be quite debilitating in some cases when it comes to school work.

Letters used to be the only way of contacting people far away – my Mum has stacks and stacks of letters that her mum sent to her sisters when they were younger, and not only is the content fascinating, but their handwriting! It used to be so much more important, and now it’s slowly fading away.

I’m not going to be particularly sad when it goes – typing comes just as naturally to me, I’m just part of the generation that uses mobiles phones and laptops daily – but it will be a loss. We’ll always have the handwriting fonts, I guess…

The National Handwriting Association – is a charity that it actually working to keep longhand being used in schools and to not let it die away with the technological revolution. On their website are case studies and information for teachers and students about handwriting. I’m sure they’d appreciate a visit if you’re interested!

Is handwriting just a way of communication?

Some people don’t seem to think so!

Graphology is the pseudoscientific study of people’s handwriting in order to diagnose medical issues or just to figures someone’s personality! Its use in medicine in very controversial, and not used much, but a lot of people do believe that your handwriting says something about your character. – This link is really interesting, it offers a great summary of how to see if you think your handwriting matches you!

I am quite the skeptic, I really don’t think it is very accurate in telling you about yourself. I think that things like horoscopes do this as well – they are always worded very vaguely and very cleverly, and because you believe that it will match you, you make it so that it matches you even if it doesn’t. This doesn’t always work, but I don’t really believe in those kinds of things.

Make your own decision, I’m not going to judge you, that’s just my opinion.

That sentence was quite poetic! I like that!

What do you think?

What do you think about graphology? Does your handwriting match you?

Do you think that handwriting is a dying art form? Do you think it is quickly going away, being replaced by typing? Are you upset about this?

I’d love to know what you think, and have a great rest of the day. Oh, and pay no attention to the hassled hedgehog cleaning your kitchen, I’m sure once he’s done he’ll just steal some forks and leave.


About pasameerday

I haven't got a lot of time to keep you interested, so I'll be quick. I'm a writer from the UK, primarily of fantasy and sci-fi short stories, and occasionally of strange, nonsensical poetry. I like cats, the Sims, and pizza, and I go to sleep to the sound of a keyboard. I've been writing for my entire life; to be honest, I don't think I could ever bring myself to stop. I have a feeling I'm losing you, so I'll bring this to an end before you slowly start to back up, hoping I'll stop talking long enough for you to make a quick getaway. Wait... Where are you going? Hey! Wait! ... Stop!!
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