Handwriting is an art. Needless to say, good handwriting readily draws attention, whereas bad handwriting repels. It gets on our nerves. Although we have everything to gain and nothing to lose if we write in a neat and legible handwriting, many of us are indifferent to it. Sometimes we land ourselves in a difficult and unforgiving situation simply because of our poor handwriting.
When I think of people with bad handwriting, doctors readily come to the mind. It goes without saying that among people in different professions, doctors, without a doubt, have by far the worst handwriting, and they are often the butt of jokes about their illegible handwriting. I shall relate a joke about a doctor’s poor handwriting. The joke: a certain doctor wrote an invitation to his friend. Unfortunately, the friend was a worried man for he was unable to comprehend the handwriting. Wondering what to do next, a smart idea struck him. He went to a nearby pharmacist, for it didn’t take him a leap of imagination to understand that pharmacists are good at understanding doctors’ handwriting. But, surprisingly, the pharmacist sent him away with a big bottle of medicine!
Bad handwriting can kill you. Sometimes it silently stabs you on your back. You might get the impression that I’m kidding, but, mind you, I’m pretty serious for I have solid proof to substantiate my claims. If the news report published in “The Times of India” (20 May, 2012) is anything to go by, doctors’ illegible handwriting causes 7,000 deaths in America every year. Many people suffer or die because prescriptions written by doctors couldn’t be deciphered by pharmacists. We in Nepal are even more vulnerable, because most people who sell medicines are not qualified pharmacists. Busy, as they are, I have my fullest sympathy for doctors. Time constraints and pulls and pressures are often cited as the reasons for a doctor’s hard to read handwriting, but, no doubt, it’s only a poor whining child’s excuse. You don’t need to sweat to write in a neat handwriting. It seems doctors wish to present themselves as profound and incomprehensible to the masses.
As a teacher, I always get distressed by my students’ poor handwriting. Poor handwriting becomes a nuisance especially when you are marking exam papers. A student who writes in a bad handwriting doesn’t get the full marks he deserves for the obvious reason that the examiner cannot understand his writing completely. Pity his poor handwriting! It goes without saying that there are obvious advantages of writing in a legible handwriting. At schools, children should be trained to write in a good handwriting.