Word for Wednesday: Write

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Tomorrow marks National Handwriting Day, a testament to all things handwritten and a day to encourage the joys of putting pen to a fresh sheet of paper! With the increased use of word-processing and smartphones, many of us (myself included) are neglecting the pleasures and benefits that our scrawlings might allow.

It is said that a great deal can be told about an individual by their handwriting. In fact, just to put your minds at ease, some of history’s creative genii were notorious for their terrible handwriting: Beethoven and Picasso to name a couple.

Handwriting is, by nature, incredibly personal. Interestingly, however, you do see emerging from the education system a ‘standard issue’, nauseatingly neat (and not joined!) hand. Looking to the older generations we also see a kind of ‘stock’ handwriting style, a much more ornate and proper style that I’m always awfully jealous of.

Perhaps National Handwriting Day can encourage you to develop and perfect your own distinct style, after all handwriting can be beautiful – we’ve all envied the flowing, calligraphic handwriting of others at one point or another.

I often find that letting my thoughts run free through the lead of a pencil is a great way of unblocking your creative flow, always be unafraid of the mess that might entail!

This week’s word for Wednesday is ‘write’.

Its meanings throughout history have been varied. However, each of them is to do with human output, creative or otherwise. For example, the Old English 'writan' means "to score, outline, draw the figure of", the Proto-Germanic 'writanan' means "tear, scratch", and in Old Norse 'rita' means "write, scratch, outline".

Handwriting is an exclusively human thing: think cave-paintings and hieroglyphs! Digital age or otherwise our true identity will always be reserved for our handwriting, why else would we use signatures?

Hugh MacDermott

22 Jan 2014
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