» Is Handwriting Worth Saving?

Allow me to paint an image in your mind. You wake up tomorrow and find that you and everyone else around you began to sound the same. Would you be alarmed? If our voices one day were stripped away and replaced with this monotone robotic voice we would all lose a part of our identity. Our syntax, tone, pitch, the way your voice picks up a few notches when you get excited or the way your voice gets soft when you’re scared. It conveys a message that cannot be replaced.

Now allow me to paint a different image in your mind. You woke up yesterday to a world where hand written letters are now hastily typed emails, where everything you read and write are now the same universal font and color, and a conversation is no longer face to face but rather through binary code. The personally connections and how they were formed are slowly becoming antiquated, a form of communication being labeled as an indulgence or a hobby.

As a person from Generation X I cannot begin to imagine what the world would be like without my cell phone, Internet, or email. However the question now is what is the point of communication if all we see are shades of grey when our thousands of emails and text messages are all the same font and size. I understand that in the business world the faster you can get to the point in the most universally understood way is better. That’s perfectly fine. The only thing is we’re letting that business mentality seep into our personal world outside the big cube. The feeling of receiving a letter, no matter the length, is incomparable to receiving an email or a text. You know that there was some thought put into the letter and that time and effort were needed and that the person writing that letter felt it was, and you are, important enough to take the time to write it.

Hand writing is not much different from our voice. The way we write conveys a very specific message that cannot be duplicated by Times New Roman size 12 font. Hand writing is personally. It’s unique to you and I and it’s what makes up part of our identity. My notes and letters look like chicken scratch but they are my chicken scratch. There’s a connection there between you, the words, and the person reading them that we are beginning to decide are no longer important. But what’s more important than telling someone close to you that you care? That you have decided time, energy and resources are well spent on them? 

So the question remains do you think hand writing is worth saving?

States Preserve Penmanship – Yahoo!

The End of Pens – Slate

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Posted on December 19th, 2012 by sunny
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By Brian Debasitis on December 19th, 2012 at 10:58 am

In addition to the variety, style, emotion, sentiment and other good things that come with handwriting, anyone who is foolish enough to believe electronic communications will survive the downfall of fossil fuel powered devices, really isn’t paying attention.

I’m a web developer, I use Apple products which have their own aesthetic beauty, but, I will never be without fine paper (need I say the brand?), fountain pens or bottled ink.

Just beautifully stated and very intuitive.
The current culture’s attempt to drive us to a common denominator is sad, and one of the reasons people gravitate to something (i.e. handwriting and use of a fountain pen) that makes them feel that they are more than just one in a sequence of serially produced products re: humans.

I had a similar discussion with someone yesterday. Comparing an email to a typewritten letter received in the mail. The letter was different and in my opinion, better. The letter writer shared a part of themselves. Thought and effort were expended. A connection was made or reaffirmed. You didn’t need or an expect a response in minutes. Letters were saved and savored. Some were treasured. Email and text are fine but they are not the same. They are all grey. A handwritten note says so much more than the words on the paper.

Handwriting is definitely worth saving! I bought my first fountain pen a few years ago for the sole purpose of saving MY handwriting. My penmanship improved dramatically………but it took lots of practice. A labor of love.


As someone who fell in love with fountain pens and writing at 15 (and my generation is far from the X!) I totally agree with you!

I am deeply saddened that places like Indiana have taken the step to not require cursive writing in their curriculums any longer. Our writing is, indeed, a totally unique ‘signature’ of who we are. Does this mean the end of graphology as well I wonder?!

By Halid 'El-Fakir' on December 19th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Very well said! I especially liked the analogy between voice and handwriting. It’s so true.
However, there’s no need to worry; as long as man keep living on earth there will always be someone using nothing but paper and a pen to express themselves. Well, maybe it’s not as many as there used to be hundred years ago but handwriting is not going to die anyway.

Anyone who’s survived a hurricane, perfect storm or other natural disaster and needs to communicate will answer with a resounding YES!!

Besides, it’s an artistic expression of who we are.

Excellent post and intriguing thoughts! I definitely think handwriting is worth saving, but as a college teacher I see more and more students whose handwriting appears to have stopped developing at third grade (or earlier). It depresses the heck out of me sometimes.

I have many saved emails in my files… I have one packet of letters in a special place. Guess which I hold more precious? This question makes me think about the difference between word and language… Emails and letters can convey the same information or idea–but if you ask me, a letter uses a much more faceted, nuanced language. Ink, paper, time, immediacy relative to the word expressed…

Absolutely! Handwriting is like a fingerprint – unique and individiual for each person. I think the more technology tries to make us all cookie cutter humans, the more we will push back, the more we will rebel against it with simpler tools like pen and paper.

Handwriting is absolutely worth saving! I love technology, and I am all in favour of its advances. However, it does not mean we lose good things we have.

Handwriting things is a very personal thing, and as you have rightly pointed out, it’s a part of our identity. Why should we lose something that is unique to us?

Besides, writing by hand has other benefits. If you journal by hand, clarity you gain is so much quicker and so much more efficient, at least for me.

Of course handwriting is worth saving- and expecially worth teaching!

Developing a personal style of handwriting, and cultivating it, after the formal grammar-school training- is essential in the development of personality, of intellectual powers, of spiritual acumen.
Removing penmanship instruction from elementary schools threatens to broaden the existing cultural illiteracy that is hobbling postmoderns. With writing comes clear articulation and expression, and there follows focused communication and problem-solving.

They’re gonna have to prise a fountain pen from my dead grip when I kick the bucket. Unless I happen to be using a Fisher Space Pen at the time. As you say, your handwriting is as uniques as your voice and I am saddened to read that some schools are doing away with the teaching of handwriting.
And, as a mid-Sixties Gen X’er, I can easily remember a world before mobile phones and e-mail. That was a nice (and simpler) time.
Used up less electricity, too.
Write on…by hand.

Well said. I totally agree.

Beautifully put – although more than once when I’ve hand-written a letter to a friend, I’ve received in return an email beginning, “Thank you for the lovely letter”, or “Ir was go good to receive your letter”. Some folks just don’t seem to get it…..

It is ABSOLUTELY worth saving! I have worked very hard to develop beautiful handwriting. I am always getting compliments on my penmanship. To me, it is a part of who I am. I LOVE to send out handwritten letters and love even more when someone sends one to me. I LOVE to collect vintage cards, letters, journals, and the like, simply because the handwriting is so gorgeous to me. Computers and e-mail definitely have their uses but they will NEVER replace handwriting in my opinion!

By Fountain Pen in French on December 25th, 2012 at 2:06 am

Handwriting should be taught with pencils then with fountain pens on quality paper with lovely ink.

All of which I provided by Rhodia or its parent company.

Apple offers beautiful fonts because Jobs took a calligraphy class.

The Digital and analogue worlds need not to be antagonists but complementary for the world to evolve in an harmonious way.

Stephanie, our moderator, is the perfect example of wonderfully weaved artistic, analogue and digital life.

Thank You Stephanie!

I could not agree more. I have beautiful letters written by my Grandmother ( born 1890) which I treasure. Also the family Bible where she has listed the births, deaths and marriages of various long departed members of our family.Don’t see emails lasting that long !

I love to write. I do calligraphy so am a fan of beautiful script. I am past 50 and am starting to notice that even I am getting careless with my handwriting because no one will see it. The most we write at work is an occassional post it note. I try to remember to bring my favorite pens and Orange notebooks to encourage and practice the ‘skill’.


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