Matt Peperell's Blog

H is for "Handwriting"

Written: 09 Apr 2024 (Index by date)

Tags: a-to-z  nostalgia  (Index by tag)

Like many of my peers in tech, my handwriting is pretty awful. For many years whilst I was in school I had private handwriting lessons. It did help a little but not until rather late. Until that time I’d been using a laptop. My reading was unaffected, as was my speech and reading comprehension. Indeed, I was to some exgent hyperlexic and had a broad vocabulary. I remember, vaguely, the first time I beat my mum at scrabble.

Changing school or moving years was sometimes difficult because each new set of teachers had to be told about my accommodations (supported by the local education authority). I remember with frustration one teacher who not only initially denied this accommodation but also wrote (and I quote): “This is hopeless. Re-write this legibly”. It took a bit of sorting out but it naturally soured the relationship.

I do write now (in addition to using a keybaord) and my writing is mostly legible (at least to me). But a few techniques help me to me more legible when I’m writing for others. The first is to print rather than write joined up (cursive, for the US folk). The second is that I will use more than one colour (e.g. if presenting information in a table then I’ll draw the table in, say, black, and then write the table entries in, say, blue. A final technique, though one I use sparingly, is to write in all caps. Typically I’ll do this for a couple of words, as it is difficult to read a block text in all caps.

Though I carry a phone around with me (who doesn’t!), I also often carry around a notebook and use this in preference to my phone for text of more than a few words. I’m sure this will surprise my former school teachers were they to learn this. (I’m not in touch with any – I was in school almost 30 years ago)

I may have been slow on the up-take but I’m glad that I was both supported in alternatives and that I am capable as an adult.

With the proliferation of keyboard use in the modern age, how is your handwriting?

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