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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/283

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JAPANESE WRITING

PSM V73 D283 Manner of fine japanese writing.png

Fig. 2. Manner of Fine Writing.

illustrate the point. The story is told of Rufus Choate that he wrote three hands; one which he could read and his clerk could not, one which his clerk could read and he could not, and one which nobody could read. Of a certain well-known Baltimore clergyman it is stated that he could not read his own manuscript twenty-four hours after he had written it. Similar anecdotes might be collected by the hundred. It does not matter whether they are literally true or not; the fact remains that the humorous way in which bad writing is treated shows that the general public sentiment regards poor writing as a thing to be proud of rather than otherwise.

Writing is to us a means of communication to be used as economically as possible—the biggest amount of communication with the least expenditure of pen-energy. Of course, from this point of view the best writer is the typewriter, and when typewriters are cheap enough we can expect the school-children to be taught typewriting instead of pen-writing.