January 23, 2013 - National Handwriting Day

 This “holiday” was started in 1977 by people who manufacture pens and pencils—people who don't want the enormous popularity of texting and e-mail to run them entirely out of business. They made a plea for people to write letters to one another on, you know, paper. They said that others would find notes of thanks and congratulations, wishes for birthdays and anniversaries, and newsy catch-ups all the more special if they were handwritten. Using pencils and pens.

Please keep buying our product, basically.

Are they right?

Actually, I have to admit that a handwritten note delivered in person or by mail is so darn UNUSUAL, these days, it does feel special to me. How about to you?

Legibility and Calligraphy

It is not, in my mind, “important” to learn to write cursive properly, legibly and quickly. Even in the past, when there weren't many alternatives to handwritten messages, and when people practiced their handwriting a lot, cursive writing is not super easy to read. Even when I was growing up (oh, soooo long ago), it was generally easier to read printing—and people can print just about as quickly as they can write in cursive.

(Of course, it IS important to develop one bit of cursive, and that is your signature. Some people even want others to be able to decipher their signature.)

But even though I don't think it is important to write cursive, it can be fun to learn and use it! I find it especially fun to get a good calligraphy pen—perhaps a felt-tipped marker with the right “chisel” shape—and try out a bunch of beautiful scripts. Check out this and this other articles for lessons and some inspiration.

Write to your grandma!

  • Or write a letter to some other special person today.

  • Learn about handwriting analysis here.

  • Get a small notebook and start collecting autographs—signatures—of everyone you meet. It might be interesting to analyze their handwriting (see above)--or you could just hang onto the book hoping one of your friends becomes famous!

  • Get a blank book and use your most special calligraphy to copy meaningful quotes or short poems on its pages.
Many different script fonts are available on the computer!

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the partitioning of Poland

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