[lbo-talk] The death of cursive

123hop at comcast.net 123hop at comcast.net
Fri Apr 29 10:53:45 PDT 2011

For writing I don't like to do, I prefer the computer because it makes mistakes easy to fix.

For writing I want to do, I like cursive at first because it gives my brain more time to process. Writing takes longer than typing.

But even for technical writing, if I have to write something clear and flowing and deep -- like a conceptual overview that really works, I do the first draft long hand. As it turns out, the more "voice" you can put in technical writing, the easier it is to understand.

I grant that people are different and that some are fine with typing first drafts.

I read Tolstoy's biography lately. It's lousy on his writing, but interesting on his life. It's incredible how many drafts it took to make it all look like he wrote as easily as he breathed. "War and Peace" seven drafts. He worked on a novella, "The Cossaks" for ten years. They printed an edited page of "Resurrection," and it has so many cross outs and corrections, it's unreadable. I'm framing it and putting it up on my wall to give me courage.

Perhaps one unfortunate side effect of the computer is that for future writers, we will never have this trail of tears.


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