In handwriting the brain is mediated by the drawing hand, in typewriting by the fingers hitting the keyboard, in dictation by the idea of a vocal style, in word processing by touching the keyboard and by the screen’s feedback. The fact seems to be that each of these methods produces a different syntactic result from the same brain. Maybe the crucial element in handwriting is that the hand is simultaneously drawing. I know I’m very conscious of hidden imagery in handwriting—a subtext of a rudimentary picture language. Perhaps that tends to enforce more cooperation from the other side of the brain. And perhaps that extra load of right brain suggestions prompts a different succession of words and ideas.
Shakespeare’s handwriting – and why it matters
Studying ancient handwriting is a fascinating thing. To know that the oddly-shaped letters on the page were put there hundreds of years ago by an individual with a life, passions and things to do, can be sensational. Sometimes such ancient handwritten notes can teach us really important things. The page above was written by no other than William Shakespeare. A scholar in Texas compared the document to a handwritten addition in a copy of Thomas Kyd’s play Spanish Tragedy. And what turned out to be the case? The handwriting in the image above is the same as in the added text in Kyd’s play. Moreover, the two share the same spelling pattern. Ergo, the two were written by the same individual – Shakespeare. The newly identified “text” by Shakespeare (an addition of several hundreds of verses) will be included in The Bard’s new addition. It’s extremely satisfying to an expert of old script (as I am) that letter shapes proved vital for this important discovery.
Read all about it in this NYT article.