Etiquette Questions, Answered: Holidays and Gifts
Q. My handwriting is terrible. Should I type my thank-you cards instead?
New York City
A. Together, you and I could write many an eloquent but nearly indecipherable note of thanks or condolence, because both of us suffer from Horrible Handwriting Syndrome.
But I’m afraid neither of us is off the hook when it comes to penning personal notes. Yes, it may take more effort to make your chicken scratch legible. Yes, you may have to throw away several cards in the process. Still, handwritten words are a uniquely thoughtful gesture; even before the recipient reads what you wrote, she will get the message that you care.
And I’ve discovered another benefit to putting pen to paper. The more you do it, the better your handwriting becomes. (Even my sorry scribble has improved a bit.) The technological revolution has both helped and hurt people like us. While e-mailing and texting allow us to hide our bad handwriting, they can also keep our penmanship at an abysmal level. So the next time you labor over writing a card, be assured that you’re doing something good for the recipient—and yourself.