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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Relearning Handwriting



Have you noticed a new breed of typos proliferating on blogs and social media?

Things like fhe and hel/o and n:ce.

These are not the traditional typos of mis-hit strokes on a keyboard... those old familiar friends with transposed letters (teh) or not-quite-releasing-the-Shift-key-in-time (ENgland), on which spellcheckers were trained.

Nor are they the SMS mistakes of predictive text (where Nokia believes that nun is more likely than mum).

No, this new spate of errors has a different character. The culprit? The touch-screen device, with imperfect handwriting recognition (or imperfect handwriting).

I've been guilty of plenty of these errors... though I try to spot them in time to correct myself, I apologise if one or two slip through my fingers when I'm tweeting or commenting on your blog.

I'd barely handwritten anything in the last five years, until I got a touch-screen phone. And while my writing isn't atrocious, it isn't perfectly computer-readable either. My n and u are indistinguishable in handwritten text... who knew?! In context, it's always perfectly clear, but handwriting recognition software has yet to incorporate the lessons of predictive text. I'm having to train myself to write differently, more clearly, for the sake of my phone.

I've been seeing this kind of error more and more lately. Have you noticed it? (I bet you will now!)

21 comments:

Kirsty said...

it's funny, because i got so much stick at school for writing in print (and big), but it's perfect for handwriting recognition. i was obviously ahead of my time!

Mrsbear said...

I'd never even thought about this. My handwriting is fairly legible, but I'm pretty sure I'd have the same issue with certain letters. I don't have to worry about the software myself, but you might have to start practicing your penmanship again. ;)

Chef E said...

I- bow my head in shame

Jenny Woolf said...

Better not get a touch screen phone - I can hardly read my own handwriting as it is!

Doreen said...

I haven't noticed this. I don't have a touch screen anything! sort of behind the times here, but love to do it my way instead. I will be watching for it now!!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Ha ha ...now i sure will notice ...what happens to people like me who can only write with ink pens i wonder....cantt fare too well with ball points specially the fine ones and usually wite with a calligraphy pen :-))))

Suzanne said...

You know what I haven't but I'm sure I will now!
(I may even be guilty of it once in a while)

Nickie @ Typecast said...

I've got handwriting recognition on my phone and I've never used it. I might do now just to annoy people :D

Mo said...

I see a future for those who can produce beautiful handwriting as in centuries gone by

A Cuban In London said...

Thanks for throwing some light on this. I was definitely befuddled, to say the least, by the appearance of these typos (though I thought it was a new secret language).

Greetings from London.

Christine said...

I haven't noticed and don't have it for myself, so, so far so good.
One thing I have noticed (that drives me bonkers)is my brother texts every correspondence. (even when not on the phone, he abbreviates everything!)
Not just from his phone, but email and facebook updates. Grrr. I think more and more people are doing that.

Kel said...

My handwriting isn't too bad, since I spend time helping my girls to learn to write. But it hurts my fingers because I don't do as often as before.

I have an award for you at http://betweenthelines-kam.blogspot.com

xoxoKrysten said...

Yikes. It's amazing how some things change and some things stay the same.

MJ said...

I'm a MASSIVE spelling Nazi so I have noticed this - I'm like an old man in that I get furious about it! I have absolutely horrific handwriting in that it's really big, narrow and stylised (I do my 's' really strange) so I dread to think how I'd manage at this!

MJ said...

Oh, sorry, I forgot - such a big yes to the coffee! Drop me an email when you next pass through...

Jen said...

I had no idea such phones existed. I still use mine for phone calls and the occasional traditional text message...with not even a keyboard, but having to press 4 times for an "s"...I'm afraid I'd spend even more time online if I used my phone for that. It already takes up too much of my time.

Seizing My Day said...

so you can write on a touch screen and it types it for you??? yep... not only am I blond but I am clearly WAY behind the times in the techy world! ;)

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Hi Rachel, thanks so much for stopping by at my blog, very much appreciated :-) I haven't noticed (nor do I own anything with touch screen) the mistakes you're talking about, but what I have noticed (and it's driving me mad) is that my son's school doesn't correct his spelling mistakes since "they don't want to crush pupil's spirits..." WHAT!?!?! There I was thinking it was really important to know how to spell, but apparently that's sooo last century... Anyway, glad to have found your blog, Love from London C x

Toni said...

It's so funny tat you should mention this Rachel. When I arrived in Hong Kong I was almost asleep and used my ipod to send my mum an e-mail. When I read it back to myself the next day I realised that most of it didn't even make sense let alone spell correctly! haha
I'll be sure to keep a look out for it from now on!

Julie said...

I was guilty of "teh" for the longest time but seem to be over it now. Dh has an iPhone and he has a tendency of sending text messages before he finishes, along with the typos.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I really need to get on vising other SITS pages. Just so overwhelmed with my online time.

Stephanie R. said...

Thanks for welcoming me to SITS! Love the blog!!!

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