By hand

Who would have thought that reading about handwriting could be so enjoyable? Lexicographer Neil Serven writes about how handwriting has changed over his lifetime, with pencils and pens giving way to keyboards and touchscreens. 

“They say, handwriting is going the way of the dodo. I don’t think that’s precisely true—it sounds like one of those lazy assumptions about technology, that it exists to flatten, to eliminate anything that brings a tactile, objective permanence. It may be, rather, that the objective has changed. Now we handwrite because we want to, not because we have to.”

He ponders that in a world of prefabricated typeface, emojis and ALL CAPS have filled the role of personalization that handwriting previously occupied. The tangible experience of physically writing something still has a place in our world of digital communications. Whether in curly Palmer cursive or utilitarian print, handwriting gives the opportunity to create “a true, personal insignia, a way of letting history know that the mark left there is ours.”

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