The Elegant Script

Image of a modern fountain pen writing in curs...

Yesterday, Isabella Louise Anderson AKA Chick Lit Goddess, blogged about handwriting, HERE.  I thought it a great post, and I decided I wanted to reply to her thoughts at the bottom of the post, plus add my own twist to the mix.

Her questions:

What do you think about your handwriting, or do you even know what it looks like?

Is it the same each time?  Do you prefer to write cursive or non-cursive?

When writing by hand in this modern world, do you find yourself struggling to remember to spell?

My answers:

What do you think about your handwriting, or do you even know what it looks like?

 
My cursive handwriting has gone through years of legible, illegible, doctor’s scribble, to, well, I can at least decipher my notes these days.  There was a time I had super sloppy cursive, and I  was pretty embarrassed to send off a note to anyone, especially my girl friend, Mrs. Austen, who has disgustingly beautiful cursive. No, I’m not kidding you. Her cursive could be a font, it’s so perfect.  I am green with envy every letter I receive from her.

About three years ago, I decided I needed to improve my handwriting. I started trying to work on my printing first. My printing has always been neat, but not very nice to look at. I throw in bits of cursive, especially when I’m in a hurry, and I was taught D’Nealian growing up. It’s like a precursor to cursive. Well, it did not make for super neat  printing. I decided to try and write like my father, all caps, in block letters.

An example of D'Nealian manuscript (also calle...

An example of D'Nealian manuscript (also called print or block) writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I now have one of the neatest prints around, not to brag, but I’m bragging. Mrs. Austen even commented on how neat and pretty it is. Coming from her, that is, well, a major compliment.  I got interested in the block printing after reading about technical lettering, which is the style architects and engineers use.  It’s very neat, and very cool. Time consuming most definitely, but honestly, my print has never been so legible.

My cursive has improved in the past two years, especially since I started using a fountain pen. My letters have to be defined, or the ink runs together. Plus, how you hold the pen, and I don’t know, the fanciful thought that cursive should be better with a fountain pen, has made my writing much neater.  (The printing taught me to write in a straight line across the page, but I still do up and down with cursive)

Is it the same each time?  Do you prefer to write cursive or non-cursive?

For the most part my writing stays the same unless I am in a hurry. Then it gets pretty messy and I can’t always understand if it’s a ‘cl’ or a ‘d’ I forgot to close the gap. I still prefer cursive because that was what I was taught the most, but when I need to write notes, send off a recipe, or detail instructions, I use the block printing.  I also use the block printing for when I need to fill in a post card. I can write incredibly tiny, so fit that much more print on the page! But when I am brainstorming and writing, I am almost always using cursive.

When writing by hand in this modern world, do you find yourself struggling to remember to spell?

I have never been a strong speller, but for the most part, I’m not bad.  The spell checkers have actually made me a better speller because I look at what I did wrong, instead of just saying correct it all, and try to remember the right way to spell something.  For ages I was writing ‘ridiculous’ as ‘r-e-diculous’. (whoops, there I scared a boggart!  Say it with me. RIDICULOUS!)

I mostly make mistakes with my spelling because I am in a hurry, not because I don’t know how to spell. I occasionally still put an ‘e’ on the end of ‘with’, but that’s sort of a habit from typing. Go figure.  The more I type, I’m finding the less I see the ‘red’ squiggle line saying something is wrong.

And I’m finding most of my handwriting stays pretty correct when it comes to spelling.

In this digital world, I still use a pad and pen most of the time for writing or more, the start of a story. I like to carry my notebook with me, and a pen, which is usually a fountain pen.  I like the ‘writer’ feel of having a pen in my hand.  I don’t think I could give it up.  And I don’t think I would feel comfortable taking, say an iPad out in public and typing. I like writing by hand too much.

So, there is my take.

Now it’s your turn.  I urge you to read Isabella’s post and comment on her questions. It’s a little bit of a thought for all of us in this modern world.

Signing off

~Kate

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