Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Dying Art Form

Have you noticed how nobody actually writes anything anymore? Like, physically, hand writing? Everything is printed out or an email attachment or a text message. A couple more generations and nobody is even going to know how to use a pen.

Today in sacrament the first speaker used his laptop. He explained what had happened - they just put a new ink cartridge in their printer, and for some reason now it prints out everything with a big heavy line through the words so you can't read it. (that doesn't strike me as a problem with the printer, but I'm certainly no expert . . . ) So, since his talk was typed, he brought in his laptop. It was a little weird, not gonna lie. And I couldn't help but wonder . . . why didn't he just copy it down by hand instead? We have 1:30 church for crying out loud, he had practically all day to write it out after discovering the printing problem. (side note: I have never had church this late before. I'm kinda not a fan. kinda really not a fan. A huge anti-fan, if you will.) I mean, this is a student ward, so surely they have notebook paper. Granted it wasn't all that distracting, but seriously . . . a little bizarre to see a laptop sitting up there on the podium and watching him scroll down instead of shuffling pages, not gonna lie.

I love writing. I love the physical sensation of moving a pen across paper. I love watching words appear behind my pen, almost as if by magic. Like the wake of a jet ski. I love picking colors and ink qualities . . . and don't even get me started on how much I ADORE gel pens!!!!! I have a serious pen-buying addiction. Show me bright colors, funky shades, thick ink trails (none of those lame fine print pens for me!) and it's almost like giving me fudge brownies. With chocolate chips added. We went grocery shopping a couple days ago and it was soooooooo hard not to go to the back-to-school aisles and just grab all the pens they have.

The funny thing is, my handwriting kind of sucks. At least I think it does. I never did super well in penmanship at school (do they even teach that anymore?) and my mother was always telling me I had horrible handwriting. She would even make me do extra sometimes if I was doing a penmanship worksheet at home and she didn't think it was good enough. Oddly enough, that didn't turn me off writing . . . although I can't figure out why. But even today once in a while I find myself looking at something I've written and I'll trace a letter here and there that I think I made look particularly good over and over, so that it's about five times darker than all the other letters. Like I'm still practicing. Like I'm still trying to convince my mother that my handwriting isn't absolutely terrible. (you may have noticed that it was not my handwriting on the wedding invitations . . . yeah . . . that's working out real well . . . )

In school, I always hand wrote everything I did before typing it. Mostly because I liked it better (in case you haven't figured that out already), but it was also so much more convenient. I didn't need to carry a laptop with me to be able to work on a poem or paper between classes - I just plopped myself down on the grass between the English and Foreign Languages buildings, pulled out my notebook and wrote until it was time for my next class. I'd do my homework in the living room, watching TV and working during the commercials. (no, really, I worked during commercials. And sometimes I would get on a roll and keep working when the show came back. But when I got stuck I always had a distraction for a few minutes, and then when the next commercial came I could usually get going again. It worked really well for me.) If one class was boring I'd flip to another section in my binder and work on another class' assignment, and it looked like I was taking notes.

Writing really is an art. Everyone's handwriting is so different. Some are really pretty. Of course, some are just about completely illegible (my dad's comes to mind there!). But it's such a mark of personality and individuality. It's such a weird thought to me that in today's world, where everyone is all about being your own person and being unique and everything that everyone is migrating toward the type-written word rather than the hand-written. Type-written is the same for everyone. Sure, you can use funky fonts and stuff, but they all look more or less the same. And you can't even do different fonts when you're texting. Except maybe on an iphone. And with there being handwriting analysists and how everyone says you can tell a lot about a person by their handwriting it's just sad to see such a unique art form on its way out. :-(

P. ost S. cript
Another fun Japanese game show. Long but good . . . I so want to try this sometime!! :-)


  1. I totally hand write all my stories before I type. Takes too long to scroll up and down to remember something!

    Shopped Target back to school this weekend. Got some pretty pens...

  2. A lap top? in church? just e mail the talk and let people read it then. I had wrote all my "poems" before trying to type them. Can you even buy a typewriter now, new? Grandpa

  3. Aunt Tawnya - exactly! Plus, I like to still be able to see the changes I've made. It's a lot easier to read crossed out words than backspaced. :-)

    Grandpa - I would love a typewriter. Just for the sounds they make. I would feel like such a progressively feminist 1930s journalist every time I used it. :-D

  4. I, also hand write almost everything before typing it. Yes, you can still buy typewriters, but they are hard to find. And I am not sure you can purchase manual ones, only electric and they don't make the same sound- sorta like typing on a computer. I did find some good looking manual ones on Etsy and on E-bay, though. Because if I can ever finish this mucking out process I will have a place for it.

    And Lacey, I can just hear your mom- "Practice your hand writitng so that it doesn't look like your Aunt Sandra's." Seriously, I do not think anyone has as bad of hand writing as I do!

  5. Sandra, I think yours comes because you couldn't see, and we didn't know it. Mom

  6. Oooooh, Mom. Add your typewriter to the list of things I want someday!

  7. Dang! I thought you already had it Tawnya or I would have spoken first. Oh well such is life.

    I know Mom, but still. of course, if I slow down and take my time I can make it legible at least.

  8. I'm pretty sure that's been one of the only things on my "list" for awhile now!

  9. For my 6th and 7th graders who don't believe in the writing process and think they need to start by typing it, I need to print off this blog plus comments and show them that most people do write before type!