Friday, August 22, 2008

You Are How You Write ?

There have been some online debates going on about "Ant Writing". They are bantering about it after the Straits Times collected 186 scripts from teenagers and 30% of them produced “Ant Writing”, presumably a form of bad handwriting.

The focus of discussion hovers around who’s to blame.

The teachers are obviously not happy with the illegible handwriting which makes script-marking draining. The students blame the teachers and parents for the lack of coaching on penmanship. Amidst the exchanges, everyone seems to agree that the main culprit is technology.

Is penmanship really so important today? Should we care so much about it since most of the time we are choosing font types rather than worrying too much about good handwriting? How about the smart people? Is their penmanship as impressive as their grey matter? Let’s check out some.

Doctors are known to be notorious in their handwriting and they are smart people, aren’t they? (I hope so!)

Leonardo Da Vinci was a famous Italian polymath. His handwriting was messy and he used mirror writing. It is not exactly known why he did that but we all know that he is a genius.

A quick check seems to suggest that smart people have awful penmanship, or does it? May be not.

Einstein’s handwriting is known to be structured, organized and meticulous and he’s a genius, too. A test was done when his handwriting was sent to handwriting analysts without revealing his identity. It was concluded that the writer had to be a genius after noting that his letters always looked the same. If explained in today’s context, he ‘typed’ using his pen such that all his a’s and b’s were all looking the same. Amazing! Usually, only typewriters can maintain such consistency.

I, too, am a ‘victim’ of technology when it comes to penmanship. Nowadays, I type more than I write. Most of the time, writing is confined to scribbling short notes on Post IT pads or on the back of envelopes. Over time, the only thing that can happen to my penmanship is deterioration. Millions others are like me.

While I do not need to write much, I find writing (with a pen) therapeutic. I enjoy feeling how the tip of the pen scratches the paper and seeing the ink glides across the pages. I may not produce impressive handwriting (or contents) but that does not disturb me. At times, I would resort to using mirror writing just to switch to an alternative mode of therapy. I do not know what made me do mirror writing but some believe it is genetic (yes, dad could do it, too).

It seems to me that there is no correlation between penmanship and intelligence. So I offer myself a no-brainer conclusion that I could be a genius - or otherwise. In any case, I have decided not to be bothered by the truth.

Ant Writing?

Chill !

A man's penmanship is an unfailing index of his character, moral and mental, and a criterion by which to judge his peculiarities of taste and sentiments. - Philip Dormer Stanhope

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