Saturday, February 06, 2010


I took an absurd amount of notes this last week, if you combine notes from classes and spring revival. Pages and pages and pages. And that much writing can get tedious.

Early classes where I write notes.
Back to the dorm.
Write homework.
More classes.
A break of a couple hours.
Writing notes from revival.

So I began paying more attention to my handwriting. The first half page of notes is usually neat- at least by comparison. After that, I begin to get a little lazier. Cursive and print intertwine in each sentence, in each word. Letters and words are not as crisp, or clear. By the middle of the second page my handwriting resembles a dirt patch after a dozen chickens ran around in a panic.

After months of writing like this, the amount of space at the top of the page that is unavoidably legible begins to shrink until there is none left. As the months wind on, chicken scratch consumes more and more of the page. At this point, to save my readability, I switch entirely to cursive. This lasts for about a week. When I revert back to print, the solid, crisp letters and words push the chicken scratch off the page completely. For a couple weeks, anyway.

At revival I tilted my college-ruled notebook slightly to the left, so that the black spiral binding is closer to myself, and wrote that way for the evening. The result was a perpetual italic. It was different than how I had been writing all last semester and the few weeks we've had at this semester that I decided to write in perpetual italics all the next day.

By the time evening revial rolled around again I was tired of the new 'font', so I decided to experiment again.

In Anti-Italics.

I am not sure if that's even a term, but that is what I wrote in. I put the paper square in front of me, perpendicular to the table... and I wrote. The letters tilted drastically to the left, and I was pleased with the change. The next several days I took notes alternating between normal, italics, and the 'aint-italics'.

Do you have any quirky or interesting writing or handwriting habits?


hwexpert said...

You have just described why handwriting analysts ask for a page or more of writing. We all change our writing style according to our moods etc and start out trying to make the writing as "nice" as possible but soon go back to a more relaxed and often messier writing. We seldom write properly at a desk or sitting down. Also the old slightly tilted schooldesk top encouraged proper writing but they were done away with in favor of stacking chairs and folding tables. Also if your hand tires easily and your arm and hand cramps you need to be sure you have a good pen grip.

Marie DeVries said...

hwexpert, thanks for stopping by and sharing!
That makes sense, about requiring at least a page of paper... handwriting DOES change so much even on that first page.
Do you know why a tilted surface encourages proper handwriting?
Hmmm... its a little sad that storage was chosen over penmanship...
My mom has been telling me for a very long time I need to improve my pen grip, but I never knew that it could help with the arm/hand cramps, thanks for the new information!