Quotes about Typewriting vs Handwriting

My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane. ~Graham Greene, International Herald Tribune, 1977

We are not aware that anybody ever did actually die of a misprint in a textbook; we have authentic instances of deaths due to badly-written prescriptions. Quite apart from such a tragic consideration as this, however, illegibility on the part of a doctor is apt to cause all sorts of embarrassment; and everybody’s handwriting is more or less illegible to everyone else. Anyway, handwriting is old-fogeyish and out of date in these days. The clear, neat, unmistakable print of the typewriter is the only justifiable method of the twentieth century. ~Multiplex Hammond Writing Machine advertisement, “Department of Progressive Advertisers,” in The American Journal of Clinical Medicine, 1918

Don’t be too harsh to these poems until they’re typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction. ~Dylan Thomas, letter to Vernon Watkins, 1938

…not that typewriting always insures success, but… a penscript unless it is unusually legible is foredoomed to failure. When, in this competitive age, the vast majority of writers have their stuff typewritten, it will not pay you to have your penscript stamp you as an amateur. ~Victor Lauriston, “Literature as a Business,” in The Writer, 1905

First of all, your manuscript should be neatly and correctly typewritten. I don’t care how legibly you may write, you can’t compare with the printed letters of the machine. ~Leslie W. Quirk, “How to Write a Short Story,” 1904

The type-writer is a machine with an educational future. A dilettante may object to its introduction into the schools, but its practical success wherever it has been answers all objections… Writers can do more work on the type-writer with less visual fatigue than with pen and ink. The boys and girls who learn its use in school exercises become acquainted with a labor-saving friend which will stand by them through life. ~“Editorial,” Common School Education: Devoted to the Art of Instruction, William A. Mowry, ed., January 1887

Your letter’s received—and I see you
Seem to think my pen-script is blind,
And suggest that (from trouble to free you)
I ought a typewriter to find…
~Joel Benton, “To a Bad Penman,” in Home and Country Magazine, 1894

The pen is mightier than the sword, and the typewriter is mightier than both. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968

Quotations: Typewritten vs Handwritten
Original post date: 2012 Jun 25
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