It’s rare that I write anything by hand these days, at least not so as it matters. I had to write a cheque which is in itself a rare treat. But it had to be readable to serve its purpose and that took a lot of concentration.
These days my handwriting would be best described… and not actually experienced. It is cursive only in the sense that it engenders in the reader an overwhelming and uncontrollable urge to curse. It wasn’t always thus…
Who am I kidding? At no stage in my known universe has anyone asked me to be the person to take notes when it is going to be necessary for someone else to read them. The joke that doctors had the most appalling handwriting should have given me an obvious career entrée if my lack of manual dexterity had matched a lack of squeamishness at the sight of… well pretty much any randomly excreted bodily fluid. Which it didn’t… doesn’t. I prefer the fluids I encounter to be bottled, for preference and at least piped.
There was a small period – to call it a ‘window’ suggests it may have thrown some light on the matter – during my tortured exam years, from 16 to 23 when I learnt that Big Writing was, if not exactly beautiful than a damn sight more readable than my default pixelated pitch. My letters grew, they separated – no, let’s be honest, this wasn’t some trial split but a full blown divorce – and they lost some of their flamboyance, in much the same way that a roller coaster losses its purpose if it’s actually meant to be a railroad.
If you have to write for pretty much the whole three hours in order to be in with a chance of passing your Tort or Equity and Trusts papers and then expect some poor marker to ruin his eyesight because your scrawls do drunk spiders a disservice you are as self delusional as any career politician. I managed a style which if not comfortable on the eye was at least understandable – a kind of Ian Paisley for the pen and ink set.
Perhaps I should be grateful that handwriting didn’t come easily. It led to easily the best comment on a school report ever when I was about 8
Handwriting B I don’t know how he managed it.
At least that was prescient. And hooray for the keyboard. When electronic devices were emerging into the corporate world in the 1990s, I trialled a palm pilot. If you don’t remember these puppies they provided you with a screen and stylus and you wrote your message. I suspect I single-handedly determined that we would trial blackberries instead. Just as well really…