This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Nuts and Bolts: mirror writing.

**Sorry, I've been having all sorts of technical problems with this computer lately, which is why the writing in this post is a funny colour.**

Go on, have a go at mirror-writing.


Well, for fun, of course. It will almost certainly be easier to form the letters if you write with your dominant hand, but is it easier to know what shapes to make if you use your other one?

Well, I don't know: you tell me.

Still, mirror-writing does have the occasional useful application:


(though recognising an emergency vehicle is seldom going to be reliant, one would think, upon reading the label on the front).

Of course we all know that Leonardo da Vinci used mirror-writing for his notes. No one knows why he did this, though there are theories about avoiding smearing his ink (he was officially left-handed, though practically almost ambidextrous).

Mirror-writing has long been used as a very weak code, and for magical purposes. There's a theory that people might start using mirror-writing as a result of brain injury or illness; and another theory that writing or reading mirror-writing might make the stuff easier to remember.

I expect this last idea is correct, though I imagine the same effect might be obtained just as quickly by writing the thing down in ordinary writing several times.

Still, the fact that mirror-writing isn't very useful doesn't stop it being really quite cool. And if you don't have anything else in common with Leornardo da Vinci...

Have fun!

Word To Use Today: mirror. This word comes from the Old French mirer, to look at, from the Latin mirārī, to wonder at.

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