Your point on handwriting being slow...

Re: Some thoughts on this -- Hannes Frischat
Posted by Jean Ichbiah , Wed, Nov 27, 2002, 23:32:55 Reply Top Forum

I agree very much with you annd Keith on the fact that all these alternative methods are far faster than handwriting. I had the same reaction to a bold claim made on the Pocket PC Thought forum:

... I was just playing around and decided to use transcriber in word, and well the 70 word a minute guys are not that hard to beat ...

My response was that I have real doubts that this is achievable with any handwriting method. I tried a test with pencil and paper and anyone can try it easily. I tried to write the text as fast as I could -- without trying to be readable, without even bothering to cross the t's and dot the i's -- and the resulting scribble was not recognizable by anybody and even less by any software...

The best I was able to achieve was 51 seconds, which is about 48wpm. Of course, there may be ultra fast writers doing better like Keith's 44 seconds. In any case, the pencil and paper scribbling speed is a natural upper bound on what any handwriting method will ever be able to achieve.

In the Dom Perignon II contest, the best score ever reported with a handwriting method was with Graffiti at 49.44wpm and everybody regarded it very much like a Bob Beamon Mexico long jump record because it was so much better than the average fast Graffiti user.

After all, this should be no surprise: One of the motivations for the invention of the typewriter, more than a century ago, was precisely to overcome the slow speed of handwriting.

Jean Ichbiah


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