I have now been able to write for 19 years since I was first taught the ‘Vereinfachte Schreibschrift’ which translates to English as ‘Basic Cursive penmanship’. It is the standard form taught across all the primary schools in Germany and demands the writer to write all the letters joined together with the exception of the lower case ‘t’.
As easy as it is to first pick up, it’s very difficult making it look any good, especially considering German words can be quite long due the composite nature of the language. I mostly struggled keeping all the text on the lines and often even missed them completely!
Throughout secondary school my written language changed many, many times. I soon moved away from certain letters, such as the p, t and z and likened it more to the printed versions of them, as well as writing a majority of the letters individually.
There isn’t a clear defined pattern though which was apparent when I looked through my school material the other week. In my year 8 Latin exercise book, for example, my written language leaned to both the left and the right within weeks and I used printed, clearly legible letters as well as several forms of cursive.
Only since leaving school it’s become a more standard version and evolved to the way it is now, even though I barely use it at all these days due to typing everything on a keyboard. This is something the BBC did an article on back in February:
A century from now, our handwriting may only be legible to experts.
For some, that is already the case. But writer Kitty Burns Florey says the art of handwriting is declining so fast that ordinary, joined-up script may become as hard to read as a medieval manuscript.
“When your great-great-grandchildren find that letter of yours in the attic, they’ll have to take it to a specialist, an old guy at the library who would decipher the strange symbols for them,” says Ms Florey, author of the newly-published Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting.
I disagree that it will be impossible to read, but I do wish that I have more chance to write by hand. It’s not realistic though. One of the great things about writing on a computer is that it’s easy searching for something that was written before. A simple CTRL+F and that’s it. And changing the order of words, paragraphs or simply eradicating mistakes made is a lot more complicated.
In the same article they also asked for submissions of people’s handwriting to see the differences and while I submitted one, it wasn’t picked for the followup post. The different results from people all over the world are astounding though.
I would like to try this here as well and compare the different styles of people. There are two pangrams in the English language and they are:
How quickly daft jumping zebras vex.
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
If you are interested in submitting your handwriting [and I sure hope you are!] with one or both sentences, this is the way to do it.
What to do:
- Write either or both of the above sentences on a piece of paper.
- Write your name or alias and your age or age group on there. You can add country or location, too, if you’d like.
- Scan it or, if you don’t have a scanner, take a photo of it. You can use your camera phone or webcam, the quality doesn’t matter as long as it’s possible to read.
- Submit it to me using one of the below options:
How to submit:
- Use the contact form to email me a link to your image hosted on the internet, for example at Imageshack.
- Leave a comment on this post with a link to the image.
- Send me a direct message on Twitter with a link to the image.
- Email me the image at catha01 [at] gmail [dot] com
I will be making a post with all the images in a few days provided I’ll actually get some entries!