Umberto Eco on Handwriting

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Maybe he just likes the taste of ink on his fingers, or maybe he’s concerned that we won’t be seeing too many works like Jung’s Red Book any more, but Umberto Eco tells us that handwriting is good for the soul:

Why should we regret the passing of good handwriting? The capacity to write well and quickly on a keyboard encourages rapid thought, and often (not always) the spell-checker will underline a misspelling.

Eco’s own handwriting seems a little less than soulful, if we are to judge by this specimen:

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His concern, however, is real: most kids – what with computers (when they use them) and text messages – can no longer write by hand, except in laboured capital letters.

And of course, we do know that computers don’t help you think.  That’s best done w/ a sheet of blank paper and a fountain pen. My own love for ink pens stems from a different sort of “creativity” – I enjoy creating doodles out of the ink I spill.

But unlike Eco, I think ballpoint pens do have a purpose, especially during those endless business meetings:

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