Friday, 27 February 2009

The Art of Penmanship


  1. It's funny, I've often talked about this with my step-mum who wonders if we might lose the ability to handwrite legibly in a few generations. I tend to disagree. In fact I wonder if maybe we will see a return to beautiful penmanship when handwriting becomes an artform rather than a necessity. If we want to quickly write we can use a computer to type or have our speech transcribed but a pen is for something else, something special and our handwriting will become more considered and artistic than at present. Maybe we'll even see a return to learning 'penmanship' as they used to in schools in Victorian times and as they still do in some places (like HK) where the alphabet isn't paramount.

  2. Interesting reflection Rachel, thanks for your comments - I'm not sure that Victorian schools are quite what I had in mind. Representative of a time that was perhaps a little too austere and before the principle of universal education became the norm. (Still not the norm in some parts of the world nor always effective in those parts of the world where it is said to be in place).

    That said, many occupations DO require Fine Motor Skills and although FMS can be developed irrespective of writing, I know that in as much as being able to write in a legible style (correct letter formation etc.) pencil and pen skills when working with children are about fine motor manipulation.

    I like the point about penmanship being akin to an artform, that's precisely my point about handwriting. Although not always possible for long documents, handwriting is a key skill that could be paid more attention to in our print obsessed society - it's so much more individual that Times New Roman or Helvetica.

  3. I've wondered about the same thing. Will there come a generation, some time very soon, that will not know how to use the pen at all? Will the letters we write today really need close deciphering, that even by experts, in order to be understood?

    And IF that does happen, will it be a sad thing? ... or will it be something like, eh, it was bound to happen one day? Perhaps we'll have more and new talents then?

    I like Rachel's thought: "In fact I wonder if maybe we will see a return to beautiful penmanship when handwriting becomes an art form rather than a necessity."
    Yes, that's a strong possibility.

  4. Qrratugai

    Writing or Art? - Can you get more artistic than the beautiful calligraphic forms from around the Islamic world?

    It all seems to go against the grain of modern education and I would love to have that skill.


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