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Handwriting or Headwriting?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by twinsmom, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    On the 16th of November, Gulf News ran this story:
    http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geu6Qha0xJ8w8BGpZXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzbjJqMzNuBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1IyMDRfMTIw/SIG=137hh79ec/EXP=1229831329/**http%3a//www.mg.co.za/article/2008-11-15-indian-court-raps-doctor-for-bad-handwriting
    I chuckled as I read this. Why is it that doctors write so badly? Can they actually decipher their own handwriting in a prescription if they were asked read it after a month? Did they write their MBBS exams in that handwriting? If yes, do you think the evaluators of their papers would have made head or tail of what was written? Is it mandatory for a qualified doctor to write in an indecipherable script?
    As usual I googled out for info and got this in response: http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geu5RxbkxJ1GIBY.JXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzbjJqMzNuBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1IyMDRfMTIw/SIG=132k9paaf/EXP=1229832177/**http%3a//www.doctorsecrets.com/secrets-in-medicine/why-doctors-write-so-bad.html
    Hmmm… When I was a child, the necessity to cultivate a good handwriting was tressed upon both at home at school. We had to write half a page of English, Malayalam and Hindi in what was called our ‘transcription’ notebooks. It used to be checked relentlessly by the nuns and red lines stretched across pages with ‘chicken scratch’ styles , scribbles and scrawls. Holidays were worse. On the first morning of the 2 month summer vacation, Mom would descend on us with an improvised all subject notebooks ( unused pages torn out from the notebooks used in that academic year sewn with a piece of twine) and issue orders to start writing one page of English, one page of Hindi and then some Math problems. After that we have to do some English and Hindi grammar exercises. My unfortunate siblings had to do even Sanskrit grammar. I used to escape because I had taken Malayalam as my second language and the intricacies of its grammar was untested waters for my parents, and so I was asked to revise on my own! No torture of ‘ramaha ramou ramaaha’ for me!
    Handwriting had to be neat and beautiful. Of the five of us three have good handwriting. My second brother’s handwriting was not as good as the eldest one’s… and my younger brother had the makings of a doctor if his handwriting was an indicator of his future… only, he became a ‘computer doc’ started curing computers of their maladies!

    My parents have enviably good handwriting. Dad’s was small and neat( he can hardly write now after his stroke) but my Mom’s is amazing. She writes in her inimically perfect style whether it is English, Malayalam, Hindi or Tamil. And her handwriting has not changed in the past 40 years as far as I know. Mine has undergone various transitions, of which I shall elaborate later. My maternal grandma had a beautiful handwriting too… and grandpa had a difficult one small and spiky and as he grew old it became very difficult to make out what he would cram into a postcard. My maternal aunt and uncle both have lovely handwriting – neat, clear and well spaced and formed.
    My paternal grandfather had the habit of writing in a wonderfully calligraphic style. I remember him use a stylus fitted into a slot at the head of a brightly coloured wooden holder. I used to admire his name written so stylishly; C.R Balasubramania Iyer. and sigh with envy…
    My own handwriting has undergone several changes over the years… trying to imitate the good ones I have come across… But, though mine is clear, it is hardly beautiful. After marriage I found that in my sasural handwriting was hardly cared for. I keep telling Appa ( my FIL) that he should start writing pages everyday to improve his handwriting. I find it so difficult to read what he writes at times… My husband has the worst handwriting in his family… he writes in an awful amalgam of capital and small letters in a childish print style! My only fear used to be that my twins might inherit his handwriting… but they, thankfully, didn’t. Of the twins, one writes better than the other…
    When we were young, adults would often comment, “ Thalayilezhuthu maadiri irukku” (Your handwriting looks like your fate!)
    I suppose, good handwriting is a dying art. First of all, parents do not have the time to sit and make their kids write well… Teachers have crowded classrooms and hectic schedules and monitoring 30 to 40 handwriting styles is a Herculean task. Besides, ever since the computer has emerged as an essential part of families in the Middle and upper classes of the society, the art of writing in the traditional way has become passé. Though students are expected to write neatly and clearly, there is no insistence on the correct formation of letters and numbers. Of course, there are always exceptions… some students write so beautifully that it is a pleasure to go through their work. There is a standing joke among teachers that very low achievers with good handwriting get good marks in the board exams curtsey, their handwriting!
    Here I found some examples of handwriting used these days.
    http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geu6r.gkxJ6CcB6BhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzbjJqMzNuBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1IyMDRfMTIw/SIG=11udh1o5t/EXP=1229837438/**http%3a//www.drawyourworld.com/dnealian.html
    I wonder why is it that we stick to Times New Roman or Arial while typing. Why can we not use a more personalized font for all our communications? Given a choice I’d set this as my personal font: This font reflects my personality!
    Or this: This font reflects my personality! Or this: This font reflects my personality!
    May be this: This font reflects my personality!
    Or this: This font reflects my personality!
    Or this: This font reflects my personality!
    But chances are, I won’t be bothered to. It will be Times New Roman if I am using my PC and Calibri if I am working on my laptop… Don’t blame me… It is ‘de fault’ of the system…hee…hee…hee… pun intended!
    We used to cherish our fountain pens. To possess a Hero pen used to be the ultimate luck. The Hero with its sharp pointy nib would ensure cute rounded letters… whereas, those with broad nib ends would write bold but unsuitable for students. My grandfather had dip pens in multi colours…He also had waterman pens that were kept in areas taboo for us! There were the Sheaffers, again out of our reach… And the most coveted possession was an orange red Brahmam pen. My uncle is the custodian of that antique now!
    My husband, with his very commonplace handwriting has a penchant for collecting pens. He has Sheaffers, Waterman and an array of Cross… I wanted to get him a Mont Blanc for our 25th anniversary…but ended up giving him something he really needs a GPRS thingummy that will navigate for him when I am not around! My BIL has a set of Mont Blanc… They are just divine…worth every fil you spend on them… Sigh!
    The advent of ballpoint pens or Biros, I think, was the most sensational breakthrough in the art of writing in modern times… Thanks to Lazlo Biro, the Hungarian editor, we have today the easiest means to putting our thoughts in black and white…or red….or blue! Cheap and ‘use and throw’ pens have invaded the classrooms and studies… Initially there used to be restrictions regarding the use of biros in exams… but today, they are synonymous to writing. The rollerballs , the felt tipped, the micro tipped and the multi-coloured ones have revolutionized the field of writing.
    The only comforting thought is that a good pen does not make a good writer… unless the writer uses his creative juices in place of ink, nothing worthwhile will issue forth of even a Mont Blanc… So doctors, use a measly biro… but be legible. Okay, we shall tolerate your hiding your identity with a mask on crucial times… like OP theatres….but do write clearly for, the ambiguity in SUP ( superior) and SUPP ( suppository) can result in great discomfort for the patient… like REPS ( repetitions) and RESP ( respirations) or ‘qod’ ( every other day) and ‘qoh’ ( every other hour) …
    All in fun, followers of Hippcrates! I admire your noble profession… even nurtured the dreams of becoming one eons ago … ( but my handwriting turned out to be the detrimental factor! Hee… hee…hee… Couldn’t help the parting shot!)
     
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  2. parimala_80

    parimala_80 New IL'ite

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    Hi Twinsmom,

    Good one.I remember all the impositions we write to improve our HW..also there will be dedicated notebook for 'Hand writing'..

    in these modern days people caring for good hand writing has come down..may be when our kids start school,they wont even have notebooks..all the educational system is replaced with computers/laptops now..i hear most of the schools even at KG levels started using laptops now..

    It is one less burden for the kids, not worrying about their hand writing..another plus is we will have paper free environment..
     
  3. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    I know, Parimala.... But will the art of writing by hand die? What a sad thing to happen if it does!
     
  4. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    Like the names for watches, here you had come with pens and their brands, Twinsmom.
    Sure I too think of the same way...why no importance to handwriting...at all, whatever and however it may be ..it is the personal touch isn't it!

    sriniketan
     
  5. satyama

    satyama New IL'ite

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    come what may, the art of handwriting will live for long. A person with beautiful handwriting is always considered a good at heart person. handwriting of a person reflects his/her personality.
     

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