National Handwriting Day 2010

Those of you in the States might want to take a little extra pride in your scribbles tomorrow. It’s the birthday of one of the most famous signers of the U.S. Constitution – John Hancock – and is, in his honor, National Handwriting Day.

The handwriting holiday is sponsored by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association as “a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting.”

John Hancock Signature

From the WIMA website:

Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals during a time when we often use computers, faxes and e-mail to communicate. Fonts are the same no matter what computer you use or how you use it. Fonts lack a personal touch. Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.

That’s actually a pretty nice way to put it. The association also has a few recommendations for how to make handwriting a regular part of your life.

  • Make a variety of pens and pencils available throughout the home or workplace.
  • Look for unusual and attractive writing instruments, and use them to make writing letters, notes and even journal entries and lists a little more special.
  • Make handwritten birthday cards for friends and loved ones.
  • Set aside time each month for the whole family to write letters to important people in their lives.

Meanwhile, to celebrate good handwriting, Pentel pens is holding a handwriting contest. To enter, you have to explain what independence means to you in 500 characters or less. Of course, the entry has to be handwritten.

You can submit your writing sample by uploading a photo of it to Twitter or Facebook, or by sending it to the company’s offices in Canada (there’s a little irony for you.) The deadline is Jan. 31, and the prize seems mostly to be bragging rights.

2 thoughts on “National Handwriting Day 2010”

  1. A good point about the lack of personal touch with computer fonts. However personal a computer produced letter is, it sometimes feels that you could be reading a utility bill. When you take time to actually write a note or letter, the recipient knows that you have taken time out to think about them and not slotted them in between an email or sending out a reminder.

    • It’s unfortunate, but the passing of handwritten letters is the same thing that makes them so exciting. They’re a pleasure to receive because we receive so few of them. I wonder if we would enjoy letters as much if they were much more common.


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