Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken scratches vs. hieroglyphics

One day last week at work I spent putting emails into the computer. Not too bad of a task actually, except for the part where I had to try to decipher people's hand-written scrawl. It was like decoding hieroglyphics or a doctor's prescription. It, no joke, gave me a headache. I could only read about 3 out of 10 emails without squinting, guessing, making things up or assuming.

I know typing and computing are the wave of the future. In fact the future is now. All told I spend about 15 minutes of a nearly 9 hour workday with a pen in my hand. I get it. But now, when penmanship is pushed to the back burner and peoples' eyes are used to typeface, wouldn't it make more sense if handwriting was more clear?

When I was in school (you know the one where I walked uphill both ways?), handwriting counted. In fact, you got docked marks if the teacher couldn't read what you handed in. There were whole sheets to be completed with one letter on the far left and you had to write that letter over and over until you ran out of space. I did really well with that and even later in college one of the projects was to write a poster of a child's poem. The printing was all important. They don't do this anymore.

Three fifths of our house has legible writing. Henry and I are the best. Audrey has the irritating tween girl habit of dotting her i's with enormous circles but other than that it's entirely readable.
Scott's is pretty bad but Elliott's takes the cake. I actually get mad at his teacher for letting his penmanship get this far out of hand. She has my permission to fail him on a project if the writing sucks but she never does. The worst is his awful habit of not closing his a's, making the innocent word "can't" look very very unfortunate.

All I can do is perform a hieroglyphics spell-check when he completes a project. I wouldn't want his teacher to think he's being rude to her if he writes that he "can't" do something...

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