By the Letter
- Little attention has been paid to the dwindling status of handwriting, both in schools and in life more generally.
- Learning letters in an unfamiliar alphabet by hand rather than typing may lead to longer-term memories. One reason may be that seeing handwriting, but not typed letters, elicits motor activity in the brain.
- This and other findings suggest that handwriting has unique cognitive properties that help to shape how children learn to read and write.
I am writing this article in bold, retroexperimental fashion, using a technique found rarely in the modern publishing world: handwriting, using pen and paper, those dead-tree tools seen by technophiles as historical curiosities, like clay tablets or Remington typewriters.
Why do such a thing in a keystroke age? In part I do so because handwriting is becoming a marginal activity, in society and in my life. We type more than ever before, and it's not uncommon to meet people who have ceased writing by hand altogether, their scripts withering like vestigial limbs.
This article was originally published with the title The Science of Handwriting.