Joined Up Writing
The quick easy replacement for cursive handwriting!
How many differences can you find???
Which letter forms do you prefer?
Right here and now you're going to decide which letter forms you'll use before you decide which letters you'll join to and from and which letters you won't join! Why not make your decisions as you link letters while writing the alphabet. Did you get some clarity?
Now write out the sentence above as you try out the letter forms you've chosen. Make your final decision on which letter forms you prefer based on two things. Choose the style you enjoy writing and enjoy looking at!
Joins begin where the previous letter ends, and end where the next letter begins. You can sometimes get a more readable word by breaking it in a place where it's hard to create a good join.
For example, the letter x is difficult to join from, since your end point in on the inside of the word.
In addition, the letter z is difficult to join to, because it begins in an awkward place.
There are only 3 basic types of joins: underhand, overhand and across:
Spacing is also important when thinking of joins
In #7 of the Wordskillz™ post How to Change your Handwriting in 10 Steps or Less (if you haven't read the post yet you'll find it here), we looked at letter and word spacing. Keep the same guidelines you learned there in mind when joining letters. So half a letter 'o' between letters within words, and a full letter 'o' between words.
1. Practice your joins on the examples below using the letter styles you prefer:
○ Underhand: a to t, c to h, b to u
○ Overhand: a to d, e to a, i to g
○ Across: v to e, o to r, w to h
2. Practice joining letters in a string, and in words and sentences, using what you've learned:
a. Write out the alphabet joining all the letters
b. Write 10 very common words: the, be, to, of, and, in, that, have, for, with
c. Write the following pangrams (sentences that contain all the letters of the alphabet):
- The five boxing wizards jump quickly.
- A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
- Pack my red box with five dozen quality jugs.
Why not stick with traditional cursive writing?
Think of the fonts you see most of the time on signs, online and in books and magazines. These common fonts are similar to the print writing we learned in school. Why? Because they are easy to recognize and read. Compare those fonts to cursive writing forms. It's like you're writing in another language!
Why are we asked to print when filling in forms? For the same reason most fonts we read are a printed style. Those letters are so uniform they can be read easily by machines.
In the same way, a joined up writing style with no slant, having letters that closely match print or manuscript forms, will be consistently neat and easy to read while at the same time being quick and easy to write.
Isn't it time you switched to a hybrid style?
A handwriting style that is familiar to the eye can boost your ability to spell and read. When words look as familiar as the face of a friend, less thought is needed to read and spell them. Your brain can create a familiar and memorable image of a word, so you read, write and spell with less effort.
You can also more easily remember what you've written. In fact, this style of handwriting is one of the best memory aids you can use.
This hybrid style is also the perfect handwriting for everyday. Your signature and works of art may contain more elaborate and creative letters, but you'll want to use this simple type of lettering most of the time.
You've known how to print letters since you were a small child. So you don't need to change how you form letters. Just keep it simple, and let the printed form dominate. But also avoid lifting your pen from the paper as much as possible. The result? You'll write more words per minute and those words will be easy to read!
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