Miss Debrett on... Handwriting
As we all become increasingly
it feels as if handwriting is rapidly becoming a
dying art. We grip the pen uncertainly, our
fingers unaccustomed to the position, our
movements stiff and unwieldy. Many of us
no longer possess a quality fountain pen -
once it was the gift of choice for
graduations, school-leavings, 18ths
and 21sts, but now it seems
increasingly irrelevant, its
by laptops, pdas and mobiles.
But it is vitally important that you do not succumb entirely to the march of the keyboard. Useful as a keyboard is for the bureaucratic minutiae of daily life, the forms, emails, official notes and letters, it is worse than useless when it comes to meaningful, personal communications.
An important letter - whether it is a congratulation on the birth of a new baby or a condolence on a death - simply must not be typed. Typewriting carries with it the cold hand of officialdom, the impersonal atmosphere of bureaucracy, the taint of administrative efficiency. Handwriting, on the other hand, is spontaneous, personal and heart-felt.
Even if your handwriting is execrable, illegible or embarrassingly babyish, you must never shy away from the obligation to use handwriting for personal correspondence - thank yous, letters of congratulation, condolence, important news updates.
Try your best to inject some style into your calligraphy; throw away the cheap biros and felt tip pens, discard the flimsy, shiny writing paper. Invest in some decent woven notepaper, and buy a good quality pen. Embrace the act of writing with enthusiasm and, even if your scrawl is beyond redemption, your correspondents will be grateful for your efforts.
Miss Debrett's Top Tips
- Handwriting is spontaneous and heartfelt; it should always be used for personal correspondence.
- Throw away your cheap felt tips and biros, and inject some style in your calligraphy with a decent fountain pen.
- Invest in quality woven notepaper; it looks as if you've taken trouble.