Write On Time – It’s National Handwriting Day!

National Handwriting Day

Handwriting is something that nearly everyone will have learned in primary school and we all utilised it during high school. But in today’s world of technology that includes laptops, computers, smart phones and tablets, the need to hand write is drastically decreasing.

In fact, the days of learning how to write in cursive, or ‘joined-up’, is increasingly looking like it may become an extinct art. Indeed some countries are already making active efforts to stop teaching this, with Finland in 2015 being one of the first countries to officially stop making their cursive hand writing classes compulsory in schools. Children began to be taught touch typing instead.

But while we write less and less, hand writing should not become a forgotten art. The good news is that January 23rd is National Handwriting Day, a whole day devoted to celebrating the millennia old art of hand writing. To celebrate, we’ve found three facts about hand writing that may interest you!

Why January 23rd?

National Handwriting Day originally began in the United States in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturer’s Association. The day January 23rd was chosen as this is the birthday of John Hancock, the first man to sign the U.S. Declaration of Independence. January 23rd is Hancock’s birthday according to the Gregorian calendar, the calendar in use today, though some recognise January 12th instead.

Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence is seen to be particularly flashy and large, to the extent that in the United States John Hancock’ is sometimes used as a synonym for a signature.

Everyone’s Handwriting Is Unique

Handwriting is unique to each person, resulting in quirks in some writing compared to others. Some people may have large, cursive writing that involves lots of loops whereas others have small, block printed writing.

The way people write can give insights into their personality as well. In fact there is an entire area of study dedicated to analysing handwriting calling graphology. According to the British Institute of Graphologists, our personalities can affect the way that we write once we have learned how to write. This means that you can eventually recognise someone simply by their hand writing.

Writing Notes Can Help Memory

With the rise of technology, people may find themselves more comfortable writing notes on a laptop or tablet instead of writing them out. But a study in 2014 looked directly at the impact of students who took notes on laptops compared to those who took notes longhand.

The result found that those who made notes on their laptops ended up performing worse on conceptual questions than those who wrote their notes. Handwriting notes mean that you often have to transcribe notes into your own words, or shorten sentences dramatically in order to keep up with what you are listening to.

This was found to be more beneficial to students learning as it allowed them to retain more information, showing that hand writing can have positive benefits to memory.

Do You Still Hand Write?

Writing in the workplace can often be seen as slightly archaic with the prevalence of laptops and computers. But are you someone who enjoys handwriting? Why not let us know what you like about handwriting the most? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Sarah Jubb

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