Umberto Eco, author of the well known novel The Name of the Rose, has an article at the Guardian on the topic of handwriting that you can read here. He notes that the art of handwriting was lost with the advent of the ballpoint pen: “People no longer felt much interest in writing well, since handwriting, when produced with a ballpoint, even a clean one, no longer had soul, style or personality.” He then argues that we should recover the art of handwriting for several reasons:
- Handwriting forces us to slow down and compose the phrase mentally before writing it down (as opposed to composition on a computer which encourages rapid thought).
- Handwriting also helps us think about the spelling of hard words and does not allow us to become dependent upon the spell-checker.
- The art of handwriting teaches us to control our hands and encourages hand-eye coordination.
- The whole process of handwriting causes us to slow down and think, which results in greater calm.
[HT: Alan Jacobs]