Monday, 4 February 2013

Handwriting- Use It Or Lose It.



Here's an extract from the blurb on the dust-jacket:

"The simple pleasure of picking up a pen and writing is a skill that has existed for thousands of years- but that skill is slowly dying. Where once we would have reached for a pen and paper to commit our innermost thoughts to a diary, to send a letter home or to slip a note to a loved one, instead we now stare at tiny screens, typing with our thumbs. And all that typing looks the same."

-Hensher, P, 2012, The Missing Ink- The Lost Art Of Handwriting (And Why It Still Matters) 1st Edn., Pan Macmillan, London.


Thanks for reading.


  1. What a lovely, heartwarming post! Great photography, too. I rinsed out a few of my pens last week, gearing up to refill and pencast, and then promptly forgot about it. This is a good reminder; thank you!

  2. Thanks for this post, you've encouraged me to do more fountain pen writing in my composition book, my favorite method of writing.

    I like the looks of your script with the two-line spacing, very legible even toward the end ... certainly better than mine!

    I'll have to look at getting that book, too. Thanks again.

  3. Amen. It's fun to watch you inspiring people. After your posts, a flurry of "Hey. That's neat. I'm gonna ...." I think it's the combination of classy ideas with classy presentation. Thanks.
    == Michael Höhne

  4. Yeah... I know all about that dull ache between the knuckles... Try the Dr. grip line of ball points--they have helped me. I alternate between them and fountain pens and a lot of others. (yes, I know I have a problem.) But switching up sometimes does help-different pens take a different grip.

  5. You have fine handwriting. Mine is sloppy. I changed to fountain pens about 2 years ago with a goal to improve my writing. I started. Then I have learned to write fast and scribble with a fountain pen :(

    Those are some fine looking pens you have.

    I too lament the lack of thought of the schools (an parents) in seeing the importance of good handwriting and in having students write more than keyboard. I could go on with this, but I will not.

    Finally, after changing from a ball point or a roller ball pen I do find myself writing much more than before. I still do quite a bit of printing since it is a habit gained from back in the old days of drafting or technical drawing. Remember? Back before all drawings were done on a PC and look the same.

  6. What a great post! Thoroughly enjoyed it :D
    You're absolutely right about technology killing penmanship.
    I used to write pages and pages of letters, and be really sore: then I got a typewriter. :p
    On a random note, I've always wanted to learn how to write calligraphy.

  7. I'm still trying to make out your scrawl, but rest assured that it is much neater than mine. I seldom write anything more intense than margin notes on documents I am reviewing. I use my TWSBI 540 at work when I remember to.

    Your new camera has found a skilled user. The pen photos are luscious and make me want to break out a fountain pen and put it to work!

  8. If I haven't said so before, this site is just so damn pretty.

    That aside, I too prefer the immediacy of the pen. Best case scenario, even using a typewriter is separating the intention of writing from the act of writing by a couple of degrees, let alone sending impulses from a human inferface device through a piece of software etc etc etc.

    But using the hand to move an ink-filled stick around? Just about as immediate as you can get, short of shouting your intentions at passers-by.

  9. Thanks, all. Much appreciated. If you've got fountain pens lying around, use them. Yes, they're a pain to clean and refill, but there's just something about them that beats all other writing instruments. For me, anyway.
    Dwayne F, don't worry if you can't read my handwriting. It's basically the entire lyrics of Sgt. Pepper's, written backwards.
    Bill M, your handwriting's great. Neat, legible, cursive and warm.

  10. This post is definitely in my top 3 best posts list of all time. Including my own, may I add. Very well-put. As a freshman in college who still writes in that script that we learned in 3rd grade, then never used again, I appreciate handwriting and its identity as an art.
    I've got a couple fountain pens, my favorites being the Lamy Vista (clear Safari) and a Jinhao Legend of the Dragon (Chinese pen).

    Thank you much for this post.