How Handwriting Kills Creativity in the Digital World

If you are a writer you know ideas, thoughts, and dialogue scenes pop into your head whenever, and at times whenever arrives like unwelcome gas when in bed with a significant other or significant same, in other words, at inopportune moments. You either have to let it go, or suck it up and multitask.

Often I get random thoughts when I go to bed. To sleep. So I keep a memo pad on a small table next to my bed. The other night something came to mind and I had to write it down. This was good. What was bad was waiting three days before I looked at it.

My handwriting is so bad even doctors can’t read it. It looks like a cross between Egyptian hieroglyphics, Sanskrit, Japanese, and ancient Martian. It does not help that my glasses were elsewhere when I wrote on the pad.

I finally got around to translating my handwriting into digital words on Word.doc. I was pleasantly surprised that only one word could not be translated out of three chicken scrawled pages, remembering of course that that is three small pages in a small memo pad.

One partial sentence reads like this, “. . .  not as vital as the heart, but vital to a (not legible), and then continues “to the future.” The word in question looks like h’fel’n, but that is a guess and based in part on two archeologists who are friends that specialize in ancient scripts.

The point is for a writer to strike while the iron of creativity is stirring. Do not have a memo pad by your desk. If you have an idea, get out of bed with the urgency of one who believes the roof is caving in during an earthquake, leaving your partner to fend for themselves because they are not writers and don’t understand you to begin with, shoving the cat out of your chair, and using the device of choice, write everything in the digital format and never, ever write anything with your hand. They are for holding a spoon to get ice cream to your mouth. If the cat meows too much throw her out of the room and let the dog take care of it.

As I was writing this post I had an idea for the last line. I made the mistake of writing-in hand-and doing so hurriedly. It looks like this, “Writing is important, nt Big otes on nets.”

I think otes could be notes, and nets could be pets or pads. I have no idea about nt. My archeologists gave up and went home.

Okay, I have no archeologist friends, but the two examples of my note taking are true.  The sad thing is that the last line beginning “writing is important . . .” is something I wrote about ten minutes ago and still don’t know what I meant.

So strike while the iron is hot and make sure the iron is stored in a digital device. Either that or have great handwriting.




I don’t know about you, but I have an interest in words. Where a particular word comes from, its origin, the root of the word, for some reason fascinates me. So I did some research wanting to know why we call a book a book.

One Internet search claims that ‘book’ is derived from the Danish word for bog, and or beech tree. Keep in mind this was a search done some while ago and I do not have the exact information, but it was Danish. Being half Danish and a writer I was proud of the Danish connection to ‘book.’ I surfed the Internet trying to find that information recently, but nothing showing the Danish connection was found, instead it was those Germanic languages taking claim.

One site said ‘book’ came from “Old English boc “book, writing, written document,” traditionally from Proto-Germanic *bokiz “beech” (cf. German Buch “book” Buche “beech;” I see the word beech, a tree, connected to the Danish origin which I had previously found. But notice it is now Germanic. Like World War 2, the Danes once again are at the mercy of those Germanic invaders from the south.

I found another site which echoed the above origin, almost word for word. But as we all know-at least I think we do-the Internet is not that reliable, and one mistake will be repeated over and over. Example: in researching a theatre, I found every website said the theatre, built in 1930, cost $200,000. I believed it, but they were wrong. I uncovered the original document which said it cost $60,000.

Now I am not saying that the origin of the word ‘book’ being Germanic is wrong, but more research needs to be done. There does seem to be an agreement that early Indo-European writings were etched on beech wood. Thus beech evolved into book, probably because of the sound of the word for beech.

Danish is a northern Germanic language-so the Internet tells me-and so I will hold out that the origin of the word ‘book’ is traced back to my Danish ancestors. The weather in Denmark is dreary most of the year, and the Danes, like Hamlet-who was based on a real Danish prince-are melancholy, so I am sure the Danes began writing and reading on beech wood because there was no television or Internet, and they needed something to do. Which is why this half-Dane wrote this blog in the first place.

No beech trees, or any type of trees, were harmed in the making of these delightful e-books that you can find here. Each book you buy saves a beech tree.


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Did Shakespeare invent football

         ‘Am I so round with you as you with me, That like a football you do spurn me thus?’ The line comes from Shakespeare’s play Comedy of Errors, Act 1, Scene 2.  And again in King Lear, act 1, scene 4, this insult ‘Nor tripped neither, you base football player.’ 

        The above lines came from my Kindle edition of the complete works of Shakespeare that cost 99 cents. Shakespeare did not of course invent football, as it existed in his time, not the soccer 21st century fans are enamored with though. This ‘football’ according to this website killed more people than swordfights. It was ‘mob’ football and I am assuming played without referees and had no concussion protocol.
        But that is beside the point. According to a children’s book “William Shakespeare & the Globe”, written and illustrated by Aliki , Shakespeare invented the word ‘football’ though I am sure NFL fans believe it was Roger Goodell. It is also claimed in this wonderful book that old Will invented about or around 2,000 words such as bandit, employer, schoolboy, moonbeam, alligator!!!, luggage, eyeball, birth-place, gloomy, blushing, puppy-dog, shudder, fairy land and phrases like ‘every inch a king’, ‘pomp and circumstance’, wild-goose chase’, ‘for goodness sakes’,  ‘sweets to the sweet’,  and with due respect to Charles, ‘what the dickens’. Also puke, hush, and tut, tut.
        I have no intention of researching all the above words and phrases, nor the others listed in the book. I will take Aliki and Scholastic at their word (pun not intended-well maybe), but it does bring up an interesting question. If Will did invent those words, and the audience in the Globe heard those words for the first time, how did they know what they meant. I can see a member of the audience saying in response to alligator ‘what was that he said’ to his companion, much like when I watch a British TV show and they use a word I am unfamiliar with, which is frequent. 
        I don’t really know if Will invented words or was the first to write them down on parchment and use them in public at the Globe, but language evolves like a Darwinian paradigm. There are words and phrases popular in their day that are gone, never used in centuries. I mentioned some of them in a post I previously wrote.
        And we can invent phrases as well. In regards to words and evolving language how about ‘Alas poor Webster, I knew him well  Roget.’ Okay, I am no Shakespeare and you are thinking that my phrase has ‘no rhyme nor reason,’ another Will invention and you are wishing me ‘good riddance,’ yes that phrase too, so I bid adieu.
“Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.’ Hamlet, act 3, scene 2. lief means willingly, readily. Who says lief anymore?

Seven insults not to say to a woman

  1. Whipperginnie. An abusive name for a woman used in the 1600’s, it was the equivalent of a derogatory name for a man-snippersnapper, and taking the whipper part of the first word and adding it to the male name you get whippersnapper, an insulting term for a male that has lasted for centuries. My uncle called me a whippersnapper often when I was a child. I thought it meant I was smart as a whip. Now I know better. 
  2. Wallydraigle is a worthless slovenly woman. No offense to men named Wally, but wally is a term insulting somebody’s intelligence or common sense.
  3. Taw-Bess is a slut, a slattern. I have no idea who Bess was, but she was either very bad, or very good. 
  4. Tirliry-Puffkin is light-headed woman, a flighty woman, a flirt.
  5. Daggle-Tail came about from a woman’s garments that were dirtied from being trailed over wet ground, therefore she was a untidy woman, another slut or slattern. Daggle is a term that means to drag through the mud. The Tail I will let you figure out.
  6. Drassock is a drab, untidy woman. Bonus word-Drosell is another word for slut or hussy.
  7. Bronstrops is  prostitute. I think it may be fair to say a bronstrop is a professional drosell and I mean no offense to either.

These words come from the British Isles and were used centuries ago. It shows how language changes and thinking that, you wonder how many words we currently use will be lost centuries from now. There a couple of good words to call a woman of course. And they come from the book that I got these words and definitions from. The book is Poplollies and Bellibones.

Poplolly is a little darling, a female favorite, special loved one, or mistress (but not a bronstrop or drosell)

Bellibone is a lovely maiden, a pretty lass. It is anglicized from the French belle et bonne.

When you look at the seven uncomplimentary names, humorous as they sound, they are harsher than poplolly and Bellibone, both of which have a lovely sound to them. Perhaps if a word sounds bad, it is and if it sounds good, it is.

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