November 4, 2009

Handwriting On The Wall (If By Wall You Mean Internet)

Beth, my lovely and adoring wife, she of the smokin' hot ass, did this the other day and since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (and I have nothing else monstrously creative rattling around my brain that will simultaneously dazzle you and win me a Pulitzer), I figured I'd give it a shot.

It's about my handwriting.

See, I used to have decent handwriting. Now I just fool myself into thinking I do. I tell myself it's all angular and stylish and cool but really, deep in my heart of hearts, I know that I'm the only person who can read it and even that's iffy at best. Here it is. Judge for yourselves.


Translation for those of you who, like me, can't read what I wrote: This, dear Internet, is my handwriting. It used to be oh so much better but then along came computers and keyboards and I all but stopped writing with pens and paper. Now my scribble looks like the demented scrawlings of a mental patient who forgot to take his meds and, instead, put on his foil cap to better hear "the voices." What's odd is that I usually write in all caps (the voices tell me to). I wonder if all the lowercase letters feel abandoned or will one day rebel. Damn, now my hand's cramping up. I've got the handwriting endurance of Lindsay Lohan when refusing cocaine in an LA club's ladies room. I should just hang it up and go back to the comfort of my keyboard. And leave you to try and decipher my scrawl.

I'm pretty sure I have the handwriting of a madman because, like I mentioned before, I don't get much practice. I don't write any more. I type. For every one word I write I bet I type a thousand. If I'm not typing on a computer I'm trying to make my thumbs do my bidding on my iPhone. And the odds of retaining any skills, no matter how innate, with that amount of practice are pretty damn low.

Now I'm curious about you. What do you think is your ratio of writing to typing? Has your handwriting suffered due to technology?

Posted by Chris at November 4, 2009 6:48 AM

That's funny...I was reading along thinking, why does he write in all caps? and then you mentioned the voices told you too so it all made sense to me.

I think my handwriting is still good, actually many people are impressed since I'm left handed, it's amazing how so many people wonder why I don't write with my left hand basically upside down when I write, apparently that's how a lot of lefties write. Ahhh well...I'll tell you why, because when my poupou used to try to get me to write like a righty, my mother all gusto of her came in and said "She's a lefty and she's special so let her write the way she wants" Apparently in the olden days if you were lefthanded you were the spawn of Satan or such nonsense. LOL

Posted by: Dee at November 4, 2009 7:53 AM

I actually love your handwriting and think it'd make a good font ;) I'll do a handwriting sample soon-ish, here, because a) Beth said to, and b) it's NaBloPoMo!! and I'm sure I'm going to run out of ideas, oh, tomorrow-ish ;)

Posted by: Heather at November 4, 2009 8:01 AM

Surprisingly, I still take all my interview notes for work by hand. Guess I'm still old school. Of course, that doesn't mean my handwriting is neat or legible to anyone but me - but that just makes them inadmissable and useless if anyone ever sues me over a story. ;)

Posted by: Traci at November 4, 2009 8:08 AM

My handwriting has always been awful. I'm a lefty who was switched back before they knew better. Now I can't write with either hand. I type everything, even grocery lists sometimes.

My printing is fine but it's much too slow. I've been typing whnevr possible since grade school.

I managed to read most of what you'd written and now I have a headache. Should have looked at the translation first.

Posted by: Ann Adams at November 4, 2009 8:37 AM

I had to send a note with my son the other day to pick him up early from school. Usually, I type and print. This time I had to write by hand due to a time crunch. How embarassing when my son tells me later that day that neither he or the teacher could read my writing!! Ha! Guess I got an F that day.

Posted by: Debbie at November 4, 2009 8:45 AM

I type mostly everything, so yes my handwriting has become worse and worse with technology.And I never use script anymore, just print. There are times even I have trouble reading notes I left myself. And I find I will get a hand cramp after just a few minutes of writing. I did manage to read most of what you wrote though, just needing your translation for a few words.

Posted by: Diane at November 4, 2009 8:57 AM

I like your handwriting and I had no problem reading it. I write in all caps too. I actually got in "trouble" with my daughters Kindergarten teacher because she said Chicken would have a hard time learning proper puncuation, etc. But when I write "properly" it looks horrible. And cursive is a mix between printing and cursive.

I'd say my ration of typing & handwriting is about 70/30 (30 being the handwritten). But, damn, my hand cramps up fast these days!

Posted by: js at November 4, 2009 8:57 AM

I like your pen choice. And I think the trick to reading your handwriting is not to focus too much on the shape of the letters. :)

96% keyboard, 4% writing. And most of that writing is probably on a whiteboard or piece of scrap paper when I'm working out a concept.

Posted by: Hannah at November 4, 2009 8:58 AM

I think you're handwriting is teh awesome! And I was actually able to decipher the whole thing, so yay me! haha

I'd like to say my handwriting has suffered thanks to technology but really my handwriting has always looked like that of a 1st grader. it really is atrocious. and I'll stick to the safe confines of my keyboard whenever possible. :D

Posted by: Kris at November 4, 2009 9:12 AM

I could read some of it but then my short attention span kicked in and skipping down I saw you typed it out. Thank you!
I'm a lefty and do not write all upside down. Never quite understood that! It's like you're a lefty pretending to be a righty? I used to write words all the time when I was young because I thought my handwriting was FABulous! It still on some days and others not so much because my hand will crap up like I haven't written in years! Or I try to write to fast and words just sort of trail off into squiggly lines!
Weirdly, you could look at my handwriting and my two righty sisters writing and know instantly we're related because it looks the same.
You're all capital letters are cool. When I try to do that they're all different sizes and styles and look like crap.

Posted by: NancyJ at November 4, 2009 9:19 AM

Don't worry Chris. Your handwriting is actually very nice (at least I think so!). If it makes you feel any better, I can't write in print. Or cursive. I have some mish-mash of "prursive"...a combo of print and cursive. If I try to write any other way it looks like a 5 year old's attempt at handwriting.

Posted by: Michelle at November 4, 2009 9:31 AM

When I first glanced at your handwriting, it looked like it would be easy to read (all caps!), but then as I went along I realized it was starting to give me a headache to decipher it. I was able to read all the words you wrote except "leave" in the last sentence though.

I have to read handwritten comments on things ALL the time and some people have really terrible handwriting. At least yours looks cool, even if it takes a while to figure out.

Posted by: stephanie at November 4, 2009 9:43 AM

I work for a doctor who doesn't use english as his primary language and I understood every bit of your scribble scrabble. And when I compose my writing. Serious writing, it's always in pencil (sharp, sharp, sharp pencil) and yellow legal pad. It's just how it is.

Posted by: k8 at November 4, 2009 9:50 AM

I so rarely write anymore that when my daughter goes away to sleepaway camp every summer and I write her a letter every day, my hand cramps up and I make mistakes.

My husband writes in all caps too, and pretty messy, so the kids can never read the notes he leaves them. Just sayin'....

Posted by: Karen at November 4, 2009 10:12 AM

Uh, lawyer? And your handwriting is SO much better than the scrawl of people who write on my drafts in red pen...

Posted by: alektra at November 4, 2009 10:14 AM

iPref er ttotype.its mucheasierto rEAd

Posted by: Marshall Karp at November 4, 2009 10:14 AM

Oh lord, I so needed this on this craptastic of all Wednesdays. When I read the part that says "the demented scrawlings of a mental patient who forgot to take his meds" I seriously read that as the demented scrawlings of a mental patient who forgot to tape his nads.

I'm going to lay down now as my stomach hurts from laughing so much. I'm now going to have to do this handwriting thing. Gah. Yours wasn't too bad.

Except for the taping of mental patients nads. Pretty sure that's just wrong.

Posted by: Trish at November 4, 2009 10:25 AM

It's a good thing you don't have aspirations in the medical field - your handwriting is far too legible for you to ever be a doctor! ;)

Posted by: laineyDid at November 4, 2009 10:40 AM

It does look cool, and I could read it, except for a couple of words. It's all about the "Es" which look like "S" sometimes, and lowercase "a" other times. I could not decipher the word "LEAVE" at all. The rest I got without cheating.

But enough about you. My handwriting has gone downhill as well. I remember college when we took pages and pages of notes by hand. I'm sure that's all laptops these days. I still hand-write some, but not as much. Heck, I don't even write checks like I used to (thank you, online bill pay), so there's not even the ability to keep the signature looking good.

Here's the daughter who is homeschooled has tons of work to do that is all hand-written. She's no dummy - she wants to do it on the laptop. And my reasons so far for why she cannot are lame. "You need practice in writing for note taking later." "You'll need this skill in college, or in the work place." "That's just the way it is...just do it." See?

Posted by: Teresa at November 4, 2009 10:53 AM

I could read it. You should see mine. I have to print if anyone here is going to read it. And I'd guess I write 50% of the time and type the rest. My thumbs may be opposable but they dislike texting. ;)

Posted by: Theresa at November 4, 2009 10:55 AM

I like your handwriting. I wish mine were nicer/cooler/whatever.

I probably type more than I write, just by virtue of being a compulsive writer who longs for efficiency. But I do handwrite my journal. But I do type more. At least 75% typing, but sometimes more like 90%.

Posted by: Brooke at November 4, 2009 11:45 AM

My handwriting is atrocious! It was pretty bad before, but the combo of key boards and artheritis make it little more than chicken scratch!

Posted by: Maribeth at November 4, 2009 12:12 PM

This should totally be a meme. Everyone should show off their probably horrible, horrible handwriting.

I did.
(^ That's a link. Maybe it's more clear before it's clicked and this clarification makes me an idiot, but to me, in the preview, it looked just like all the other type.)

Posted by: ticknart at November 4, 2009 1:03 PM

I still use lower case letters although I think I randomly use uppercase (or switch back and forth), and I'm not sure, but I think that's what sociopaths do. My husband doesn't know how to use lower case anymore either. Or cursive, but I still use cursive. Randomly mixed with printing.

Also, I don't know if it's visible to anyone else, but I feel like I imitate others' handwriting if ever I'm viewing theirs while I'm writing (I can't think of an occasion where I'd do that but I've noticed it often).

I briefly considered posting mine at Beth's request on her post, but thought I probably shouldn't risk that someone "out there" might actually analyze it... (pass my tinfoil hat)

Posted by: harmzie at November 4, 2009 1:33 PM

If it makes you feel better, I could decipher the whole note until, ironically, I got stuck on the word "leave" in the last sentence.

Mine's horrific. HORRIFIC. It didn't use to be, until all these years of keyboards as you said. But for me it wasn't necessarily the time ratio of typing vs. handwriting (I still kept a handwritten journal, lists, etc.), but the damage done to my hands by all-day typing and mousing at work. I can't hold my flippin' pen right anymore!!

Your writing is Arial SmallCaps compared to mine which is all over the place...caps, cursive, lowercase, not-cursive, sloping dangerously down the get the picture. Maybe even more suited to a serial killer, is what I'm saying.

Posted by: reen at November 4, 2009 2:02 PM

DUDE! I could totally read it. But, I grew up being the only person in the family that could read my dad and grandmothers hand writing. So reading you is like artful calligraphy. lol. I'm an all caps handwriting kinda gal as well.

Posted by: Cri at November 4, 2009 2:48 PM

My handwriting is legible - pretty neat if I do say so myself. But my hand cramps much faster than it used to and I do think it's because I type so much. I probably type 90% of the time :)

Posted by: Rose Winters at November 4, 2009 3:19 PM

I can read it pretty effortlessly. Near the end you get a little messier, but otherwise it's fine. But then again, I'm cursed with the World's Worst Handwriting, so I'm pretty good at reading others. Mine is a horrible mish mosh of printing and cursive, capital and lowercase, and it looks like it most likely came from a six year old.

I definitely type more than I write, but I still like to make lists and whatnot with a paper and pen and my own terrible handwriting. I even got an app for my iPod that let's me make lists in my own handwriting on it. It's my new favorite thing. I don't know why I do this, I just feel like I'm more likely to listen to myself when I use my own handwriting. But then again, I'm crazy.

Posted by: caleal at November 4, 2009 6:00 PM

I had no trouble reading your handwriting... until near the end, when your hand cramped and I could tell your hand got tired, right around the Lindsay Lohan part. I also thought it would make a good font.

What I should tell you is that, being a teacher, I have to decipher handwriting all of the time... so I should be pretty good at it. ;o) Although I use the computer a lot, I do have to do a decent amount of handwriting, so I don't have as much trouble with it. However, if I have to write something after my summer break, you can forget being able to read it... LOL

Posted by: ironic1 at November 6, 2009 7:10 AM

Actually, my handwriting has gotten better since I've had kids and need to write things for them or their teachers. I'm more patient.

However, I've forgotten my cursive. It looks like my grandma's handwriting did.

Posted by: Brad at November 6, 2009 10:05 AM

I have always, always had awful handwriting. Ironically, I am a decent calligrapher -- my parents bought me a calligraphy set when I was a kid in the hopes that my regular handwriting would improve (it didn't).

The last text of any length I wrote by hand was a short story two years ago, because someone in my writing group insisted handwritten first drafts were better. When it came time to edit and write up the second draft, there were entire *paragraphs* of my own writing that I couldn't read. So the next draft was more of a version 1.5 than a 2.

I've stuck to typing ever since.

Your handwriting, by contrast, is beautifully legible compared to mine.

Posted by: Kat at November 7, 2009 11:24 AM

Now I know where all the caps from my writing went. I rarely use caps.

Posted by: heidi at November 7, 2009 4:59 PM

Your handwriting is somewhat hard to read because of the backslant but tells much about you.

Posted by: Carole at November 10, 2009 12:17 AM

your handwriting is wonderful!

Posted by: camgirls at October 11, 2010 9:15 PM