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Will Handwriting Survive in the Digital Era?

It didn’t start with a pen, but a reed with a brush at the tip, and it didn’t start with ink, but a mixture of soot, water and vegetable gum. There definitely was a piece of papyrus. Around 2400 BC, Egyptian culture bestowed upon the world a great gift: the ability to write on paper.

From the first Egyptian pictograph to the modern day sticky note, a recent study suggests that the preferred form of conveying ideas, especially in the business world, continues to be the handwritten word. With a myriad of technological advances in communication at our fingertips, will handwriting persist and does it possess any unique qualities?

There’s no arguing that laptops, iPads and smart phones enable us to communicate instantly. Surprisingly, according to a study conducted by Forrester Research. 87 percent of business professionals still use handwritten notes in addition to digital media. The study concludes that by integrating handwritten notes with digital communication, workflow and overall productivity increases dramatically. Think to-do lists.

One reason behind this has existed since the first pictograph. A person’s handwriting is just as unique and individual as their fingerprint. Derived from the Greek grapho meaning “writing” and logos meaning “word,” graphology is the study of handwriting, especially when regarded as an expression of the writer’s character, personality and abilities. While many consider graphology pseudoscientific, the “personal” quality of the handwritten word indisputably conveys a different type of information, a written equivalent to tone of voice in conversation. A more respected term for the study of handwriting is graphemics .

Handwriting also has benefits for the writer.  Researchers believe that the simple act of constructing the letters and forming words and symbols on paper increases our ability to recall information. Whether or not composition on a digital device has similar benefits is an open question.

Find out how keeping a daily log (call it a diary or a journal), is proven to improve your productivity, here .

Do you find yourself using handwriting less frequently as digital devices become more common? If you take notes on your computer, can

you memorize facts as effectively as copying them by hand? Let us know, below.

Charcoal grill blamed for apartment fire.(News)

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) March 30, 2012 Byline: Melissa Silverberg What started as a resident grilling lunch on a nice day turned into a large apartment fire in Aurora that injured no one but left half the building’s units uninhabitable.

A resident at the complex on the 1800 block of Westfield Drive was grilling hot dogs before leaving for work around 2 p.m. Tuesday. While he was gone, winds picked up and blew hot embers into the siding and wooden deck, causing the fire to spread quickly, Deputy Fire Chief John Lehman said.

A neighbor called the fire department shortly after 5 p.m. and within a half-hour crews extinguished the fire. No tenants were injured but officials estimate damage at more than $300,000, Lehman said. charcoal grill

At least three units had major damage, including that of the man whose grill started the fire. Five other units sustained smoke and water damage, Lehman said.

The apartment complex operators were able to find housing for the displaced residents. The man has not been cited and officials have not yet determined if he will be.

The fire serves as a reminder that grilling can be dangerous and city ordinances prohibit tenants from having grills on their balconies for safety reasons, Lehman said.

“Now that we’re coming into the grilling season, we want to make sure people are aware that one tenant in a structure can affect the lives of all the others by not following the rules,” he said.

The city ordinance prohibits operation of charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices “on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction.” Although Aurora firefighters can’t spend all their time looking for illegally placed grills, Lehman said most apartment complexes have rules against grills written into the lease and the city can enforce reported violations. go to site charcoal grill

He asked people who see a violation to call the Aurora Fire Prevention office at (630) 256-4001.

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