Back in January, I had a friend tell me about a holiday that was happening that month, National Handwriting Day. It’s a holiday that’s meant to get people reacquainted with writing with a pen or pencil. Even though it’s been a few months since it took place, I’m still thinking about that holiday and what its mission is. In today’s modern age where everything is typed, pens and pencils are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Think back; when is the last time you received or wrote a handwritten letter? More often than not, it’ll have been years since you handwrote anything other than a quick note or a small reminder. Letters, books, invoices, newsletters, and most other written materials can be created more efficiently by being typed on a computer or phone. People don’t have to pick up a dictionary to make sure they spell a complicated word correctly. Instead, autocorrect will identify the misspelling and correct it for you. There are even programs now, such as Grammarly, that go through and edit your misspelled words, punctuation, and use of passive tone in the things you type. That’s one of the major differences between our modern world and the world from hundreds of years ago. All reading material used to be handwritten. While today handwriting a book seems like a daunting task, the people in those times wrote their novels, front to back, by hand, which then had to be copied by hand for other people to read. In that time, it was just the way things were. Now, handwritten material has become more and more scarce as technology improves, but it’s because of that scarcity that its value has increased. The Difference in Value Handwriting vs. Typing
When you receive a handwritten letter, it means more than if someone were to type it out or send you an instant message. We receive hundreds of emails on a daily basis, and the only things that commonly arrive in our mailbox are bills. Our society has become so accustomed to text that when we receive something that was handwritten by a friend or family member, it has a unique value. A person took the time to put pen or pencil to paper and write a birthday, thank-you, or holiday card with you specifically in mind, and we recognize and appreciate that effort. I see the value in written material as well as the next person. One of my characteristics that sets me apart from most individuals is that I carry and use a fountain pen. It’s become something of a trademark for myself. I’ve found that there’s a certain pleasure in writing with a pen that typing on a keyboard just doesn’t give. Don’t get me wrong, I go back and forth between handwriting and typing — there are certain
documents that are now more official when typed rather than written. Even so, I’ve noticed that jurors don’t necessarily want PowerPoint presentations; they can appreciate if you’re in the courtroom with a blank piece of paper on an easel writing down the facts and telling them what happened. The truth is you might not see handwriting too often, but I don’t think it’s something that will completely go away. In fact, I use ink from Jacques Herbin, which is a company that has been around since 1670. I still enjoy writing, and I’ve even got my son using a fountain pen while he’s at school, and he’s told me that now his friends all have fountain pens too. Text might be the way of the future, but writing is part of our past that will never leave.
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