Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Handwriting and Linguishtics

My handwriting used to look like Spencerian Script. It has gone to hell in a hand basket. I am learning Russian. I think that I am learning nothing and envision my mind to be like a glass that is full to the top and the more my professor puts into my head, it just overflows. This is not the case because in reality, the Russian letters have hijacked my hands. What was once lovely script has been replaced with me making three humped letters that look like cursive /m/'s for English /t/ sounds. English /m/'s are now pointed and could look like /w/'s, but they are not. I just wrote a thank you note to my former art professor and realized that I couldn't read anything but "thank you," "wine" and "enjoy." As I had done Japanese brush art on the envelope and and card itself, my husband told me to send it, "It's been a week since we ate with her, your note is late, and it's beautiful. She'll know what you mean." My Russian handwriting is very pretty, but my English handwriting which I have never had to think about-- is very, very bad. I have to remind myself to print or just write very, very slowly.

I think the Russian is getting to me because of the letters coming out in my handwriting. Sometimes I see license plates and if they don't really spell anything, my brain switches to Russian and I start trying to pronounce it and figure it out. This means that it is working itself into my brain.

The other night I drank TWO beers. For me, this is a lot of beer. Actually-- I was starting my second beer. I sat down to type and my 17 year old leaned over my shoulder. "Mom, I think you'd better stop drinking. You're slurring your words."

I laughed, "I'm working on a paper and not talking to you!"

She laughed and told me to take a second look at my last paragraph. "Super" was /shuper/, "miss" had become /mish/. These were not mere typos. I was writing as I would have spoken. I wasn't drooling or tripping over myself when I walked-- I was just buzzed. ("To be! To be is to buzz!") I was writing as I'd have spoken. I had sat down at the computer knowing what I needed to write, and I articulated my answers very well. There was just the spelling issue. I wrote as I always do, writing a paragraph and checking it then correcting the red underlines in Word without thinking, then going on to the next paragraph. I got up and got a couple glasses of water to rehydrate my body which needed it, and gave my husband the rest of my beer.

We know there are areas of the brain that control speech and different aspects of it-- I wonder if there is something in us that controls how we speak and hit keys and do all that. Very interesting.

1 comment:

Ropinator said...

My handwriting changed a lot during the years but I don't know why. Now i write with little and curvy letters why I used to write with large and it was like a geometrical thing.