Handwriting – you are what you handwrite

Handwriting up to now is an essential requirement of communication unless a person has not learned (newborn up to toddler years) or has been incapacitated to write with his / her hands.

Despite the presence of information technology, promoting and facilitating digital writing, handwriting is still needed.  Thus, every person must learn and continue to learn how to handwrite except for the situations mentioned above and he/she must do it legibly to achieve the goals of communication.

There is a cliché – you are what you eat.  Translating, you are what you handwrite.

Handwriting brings out the personality and values of handwriter.

It demonstrates whether the handwriter is a caring person or not.   He / she cares if he /she writes legibly to promote understanding of what he / she wrote.  He / she cares if he / she writes legibly to promote safety of what he wrote (e.g. instructions and medical prescription).

It demonstrates conscientiousness or diligence in making the reader understand what he / she wants to convey.  As one writes, one has to make sure each letter of a word is legible.  Legible letters contribute to legible words.  Legible words contribute to legible handwriting.

As one writes each letter of a word, he / she has to look whether it is legible or not.  If not, he / she has to go back to the letter to make the necessary corrections or adjustments to make sure it is legible.

Going back to correct or adjust to make a letter of a word legible consumes time, but doing do indicates the writer is conscientious.  To save time from repeated corrections or adjustments, one has just to make effort to make sure each letter is legible from the very start by carefully crafting the round curves, dots, slashes, spaces, etc.

If need to do so for legibility sake, write letters and words in print form.  However, just the same, make sure the printed letters are legible.

Handwriting skills and outcomes-based education

The Department of Education and the Commission of Higher Education are currently promoting outcomes-based education.  One of the outcomes should be legible handwriting by all graduates.  There must be course on handwriting and an effective assessment tool to make sure all Filipino graduates (starting at grade school) have acquired the competency of legible handwriting.

Physicians and writing

Physicians are known to have poor handwriting.   They should take a course on handwriting.  Their handwriting is particularly important on the safety of their patients, particularly in orders in the medical charts and prescription.


Some perceptions of patients on doctors’ handwriting

“I thought all the while you doctors are trained to do that kind of handwriting – illegible handwriting.”

“You write beautifully.  You are not a doctor.”


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