Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The handwriting's on the fridge

Last night I was talking on the phone with a friend and mindlessly looking at the odds and ends stuck to my refrigerator with a melange of magnets. What caught my eye was a note daughter Kate had written to me. I was struck by how different her handwriting is from my own (or her father's, for that matter).

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that we have vastly different handwriting styles. I don't write like Mother or Daddy or my brothers or sister, though when I print hurriedly I see elements of Daddy's chicken scratching there. But it does make me wonder why people have such unique "hands." Even in a classroom full of kids being taught how to write letters properly, you don't get 30 children who write just like the teacher or writing booklet.

Does the uniqueness come from our infinite varieties of physical make-up - the bones, the muscles, the eye-hand coordination? How much of it comes from copying a particular style or flourish from a friend or parent? At what age do we make it our own?

Does it matter whether we're right- or left-handed? I don't think so. Even though Kate has a touch of my brother David's style (both left-handed), my left-handed 6th grade teacher writes just like the cursive writing books we had in elementary school.

I don't have the answers, but the whole thing fascinates me a wee bit. Just a little thing that makes me go "Hmmm."

Do you write like anyone you know?


Anonymous said...

So strange of you to write on this subject. Yesterday I was cleaning off the notes and "invites" which had accumulated on my frig, the only thing I could not eliminate was Kate's thoughtful thank you note after her engagement party. Her penmanship is a work of art. Oh yeah, even though she is a lefty it looks nothing like David's. He struggled all his life because at one point they tried to change him be 'right handed'. He never wrote from the 'top-down' (or upside down) position. Does Kate?

MaryB said...

Bro - I think her more "boxy" style of writing (as opposed to my right-slanty version) is what reminds me just a bit of David's writing. And no, she doesn't write upside-down like some lefties to.

Liz said...

Kate has lovely writing! my writing can be neat and okayish sometimes; it depends on the pen and how it flows. If it flows too easily my writing becomes incredibly scruffy.

My boss has thin left-slanting writing and I always think it looks like a 'mean' style but, although she's careful with her money, she's generous.

On the whole I prefer a more open and careless style.