Why it’s better not to type

I have a letter beside me that I need to finish writing. A letter that I am laboriously writing by hand.

I have an uncle who insists on getting handwritten letters. Even though he is nearly eighty now, his own hand writing is neat and legible, and is the sort of cursive writing you rarely see these days.

In fact, as things stand, you are not likely to see cursive writing much longer. Many schools in the US have apparently stopped teaching cursive writing altogether. In any case, I wonder how much writing students do these days anyway – I wonder what the proportion of typed up assignments versus handwritten ones is. Most students would even argue that cursive writing, or any handwriting is an unnecessary skill, as they will spend most of their working life typing up reports on computers and are unlikely to do any writing by hand.

Handwriting tells us something about ourselves and our state of mind, as any graphologist will tell you. But even if you were no graphologist, there is something very pleasing about reading a handwritten letter (assuming, of course, that the writing is legible).

I found myself delighted to receive a long, handwritten letter from my almost-eighty year old uncle in the mail. But what is even more surprising is that I really like replying to him by hand. I won’t pretend that my unaccustomed fingers did not ache at first, or that my writing wasn’t a little shaky to start off, but soon I was writing as neatly as I once used to. It was really nice to meet my own handwriting – I haven’t seen it for a long time now, and it brought back memories. (I glimpse snatches of my writing when I write a check, but with online billing, even that has become a rarity.)

That’s how it is for most of us, right? When was the last time any of you had a chance to write something by hand?

Also, given a chance, would you rather type or write a letter? Would you appreciate a hand-written one more?

I’m glad I did not have the option to type this letter. But I know that if I had the option, I would have typed too, and missed out on all this. As it is, you can see I needed a break from all that writing – to type out a blog post. All right, break over. I am off to complete my letter.

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9 thoughts on “Why it’s better not to type

  1. I routinely send hand-written notes and letters, on personalised stationery. Alas the last time anyone bothered to send me one was about 12 years ago. But that is precisely why my writing in long hand has value. If hoi polloi got on the bandwagon, we’d lose many hours a day deciphering bad handwriting and poor spelling (no spell-checker of course).

  2. Handwritten letters are always closer to my heart. However bad the handwriting might be, however long since the letter might have reached me, it always is nice to see them again, and to read them.

  3. Hi
    handwritten letters are worth their weight in gold 🙂
    i ocassionally send them to my uncle and aunt and my grand mother. receive post from them – it’s a different feeling .

  4. Ah..hand written letters are so precious now. I don’t remember the last time I got one. though I managed to send my brother a air mail trying very hard to write. As you said its good if the wrist doesn’t pain so much..:)

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