Thursday, February 23, 2012

Old-School Writing

I found this post on Swan Tower, about the struggle to master a 19th-century handwriting style, oddly fascinating.

Possibly because my handwriting actually kind of looks like that? (Or did, when I wrote neatly, back in my careful youth. It has degenerated to a scribble over the years, which I blame on higher education--taking notes in college ruined my cursive with the prioritization of speed over neatness.)

But other than the elaborate capitals, that's basically the form I learned to write. Or, I may have learned the elaborate capitals, but I don't recall them. I gave up on writing cursive capitals soon after I started writing in cursive, and just used print ones instead.

One might wonder why I bothered to write everything in cursive except capital letters, and I'll tell you what I think: because connected letters in general are faster to write than to print*, but big loopy capitals are slower.

I was an efficient young person.

*For me, anyway. I know some people hate cursive and find they can print faster than they can write, but when I try to print quickly it always starts to run together in proto-cursive anyway, so if I don't expect someone else to have to read it, I just write.

If I'm making notes for other people, I do pretty much always print, handwriting is just not legible enough anymore for me to subject others to it.

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