A few years ago, I got into a discussion on Livejournal about this topic. I thought it would be fun to bring it up as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, since I’ve been busy writing letters by hand again.
The different handwriting styles that are taught (and that people self-develop) around the world fascinate me. As the world becomes more digital, I wonder how many of us still have some of the traits of handwriting that we were taught as children. I’ve come to realize that unless I teach him, my son will likely not learn cursive handwriting at all in school. And yes, I do plan on teaching him, if for no other reason than to be able to read it in historical documents.
Handwriting is a form of art when one actually sits and takes the time to enjoy it. Regardless of how careful we are, each letter is completely unique… a little more pressure on that downstroke, a bit more of a loop on that o. It takes patience and skill to develop the muscles to write clearly. Without practice, those muscles disappear. Try it… write a page of a book down in cursive, if you’re not used to doing it anymore. By the end, your arm may be cramping. Or you might not even remember how to form some of those cursive words.
When I first learned my letters and numbers, I had very messy handwriting. I was one of the kids who always got the “needs improvement” grades on report cards. It wasn’t until junior high, when I was no longer graded on how perfectly formed my letters were, that I started to find a groove and wrote more comfortably. I stopped with some of the cursive letters that gave me particular trouble and started writing more in a linked italic-print.
But one quirk in my handwriting that seems to be a bit unusual is that I cross both my Z’s and my 7′s. I crossed my Z’s because I was told to – they looked too similar to my 2′s when I was young. I think I may have started crossing my 7′s because one of my parents did, but I honestly can’t recall who does.
Here’s a sample of my handwriting, from a Thursday Thirteen post I did a couple months ago:
So I’m curious about those who are reading this – do you have a similar quirk? Or if you have others, let me know in the comments!