Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The art of writing and avoiding hand cramps

My handwriting is atrocious. Years of typing on a keyboard have morphed me into some kind of lobster-clawed freak before I've even finished signing my name with a pen. No more gold stars for me. No more "Great penmanship!" or big smiley faces on the top right-hand corner of my handwritten work. No more requests to send thank you notes in my cursive lettering. What should be an R is now a K. What should be a D is now an O. What should be an N is now a...well, there is no such symbol or character for it on my keyboard so that just proves my point.

People say I still have beautiful handwriting. They must be affected by the cryptic messages I'm sending via Post-It notes. Nobody is aware of the number of times I have to write out a message just so I can be sure someone else will be able to read it. Sometimes I get discouraged and simply send them an email. Please don't think I'm obsessive about this because I really only write a note out 2 or 3 times...max! But, for some reason, I have developed a doctor's scribble.

I have also noticed that I can't write out a word in just print or in just cursive. My words on paper are a marriage of the two. Take Florida: cursive F - cursive L - O - printed R - printed I - cursive D - cursive A. My hand cannot master the cursive B, E, G, R, or W. I will subconsciously stop in the middle of a word, switch out from cursive to print or print to cursive, then continue as I was before I hit the mental railroad crossbars and drove around them.

My words are written very quickly but it's physically painful for me to finish an entire word in cursive. Could you imagine a word like claustrophobia? The pure agony of gripping the pen, hearing my 2nd grade teacher nagging "Don't pinch the pencil's nose!" while pushing it across the paper like a lopsided wheelbarrow full of bricks, never allowing the ink to leave the page or risk losing the fluid look of a handwritten word. It's alot of pressure! Especially since the written word isn't really written anymore (it's typed!), so we should want to preserve the beauty of a word that's been properly showcased...pen to ink, no breaks or spaces, from beginning to end. You'll never get it out of me!

*If you think this post about cursive lettering is anal rententive, allow me to continue my anal retentiveness by explaining my issue with the number 8: I simply cannot put it on paper - my hand goes all squirrelly just to the left of the bottom loop and then it shoots off like rocket, making my 8 look like a dead dog hanging vertically with its leash around its neck and....dammit, I have to write it all over again!

1 comment:

Geekzilla said...

I can sympathize with your troubles. I used to have good cursive handwriting (so I was told) back in my school days. As you pointed out, the keyboard has replaced just about everything these days. Whenever I need to write something now - which isn't very often - I print my goofy block letters. The only time I use cursive now is to write my monthly rent check, and that's always a scary ordeal (don't know if it's scary because I have to write in cursive or the fact that I'm writing a check for so much money). Cursive no longer flows from my pen as it once did. I have to consciously guide my hand and go ever so slowly across the paper.

I wonder if the ancients had the same problem with cuneiform back in the day.