My ninth Rule. When you get to the end of a notesheet, and find you have more to say, take another piece of paper–a whole sheet, or a scrap, as the case may demand: but whatever you do, don’t cross! Remember the old proverb ”Cross-writing makes cross reading”. “The old proverb?” you say, inquiringly. “How old?” Well, not so very ancient, I must confess. In fact, I’m afraid I invented it while writing this paragraph! Still, you know, “old” is a comparative term. I think you would be quite justified in addressing a chicken, just of of the shell, as “Old boy!” when compared with another chicken, that was only half-out! (The Reverend Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, in Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter Writing)
This came to mind as I read Megan Marshall’s fascinating Slate article, “How to decipher authors’ handwriting” in which she addresses crossing among many other things. Highly recommended. Thanks to bookninja for the tip.
One response to “Reading Those Old Handwritten Letters and Diaries”
This really is fascinating. I remember running across a reference to cross-writing in I believe one or more of the Little House books, and until right now never realized it meant exactly what it sounded like it meant.