Monday, August 3, 2015

I have terrible handwriting and apparently always will

My 9-year-old son Jack has excellent handwriting, and I'm jealous of him for it.

Because I don't, you see. Whatever gene it is that gives you the fine motor skills necessary for good penmanship is one that I lack.

It has always been this way, and by all accounts, it always will be this way. I'm 45 years old. No one's handwriting suddenly takes a dramatic turn for the better when they hit 50.

So I'm stuck with what I have. My wife will tell you it's because I'm left-handed. She attributes many of my flaws to my left-handedness, from an inability to use tools properly to cutting myself and bleeding all over the kitchen whenever I wield a knife.

She may be right. All I know is that it takes great effort for me to write in a manner that even approaches legibility.

Here's an example. If I really need someone to understand what I'm writing, I will S-L-O-W-L-Y scratch out a note in an approximation of elementary school printing, like so:

That's about the best I can do. You can probably read it, but it's not something to which you would affix the adjective "neat" or any of its synonyms.

I take a lot of notes when I'm in meetings at work, and I do so in a fast scrawl that is indecipherable to most people (including me). It looks like this:

You can probably just barely make out this sentence, which says "This is what it looks like when I take notes in a meeting." And really, what you see here is on the more readable side as far as my meeting notes go.

Then there's my signature, which isn't very original or anything but is still marginally better than simply scrawling an "X" on legal documents:

If you're reading that letter for letter, you would probably assume my name is "Scott Toot" or "Scoh Teet" or something else borderline inappropriate.

Some people have suggested I go back to using fourth-grade cursive, which would be fine if my cursive was done at a fourth-grade level, which it most certainly isn't. Or at least it doesn't meet the level of Jack's fourth-grade cursive. It looks like this:

All of which is why I developed the ability to type at an extremely fast rate. As a society we all type pretty fast these days, given how often we're working with computer keyboards and handheld devices. But I mean, I type really fast. And loud. People stick their head in my office to ask why I'm trying to pound my keyboard into submission.

It just works for me. And best of all, no matter how haphazardly I type, you can still read it. Score one for Lefty!

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