Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chirography - Word of the Day

Today's Merriam-Webster word of the day is a new one for me - chirography - kye-RAH-gruh-fee. It's a noun meaning handwriting; penmanship. Before I even read the second definition, my mind went immediately to calligraphy. "How does chirography differ from calligraphy?" Then I noticed the second meaning, which is calligraphy. The main difference being that calligraphy is defined as decorative handwriting.

The art of calligraphy enjoyed renewed enthusiasm when I was in my 30's. I'd always had a passion for pens and paper so it was little wonder I jumped on the calligraphy craze and bought a beginner's set so I could learn quill skill.

I searched around through Google images trying to find a picture of the set I bought. If memory serves, it was one like this. The person who posted bought it at a garage sale for $3, with the original sticker price of $17.50 still on it. $17.50 would have been a lot of moola for me in those days, so you can see how much I thought I wanted to learn how to write beautifully.

I never practiced enough to get any good at calligraphy but that didn't dampen my enthusiasm for it. If I couldn't write artistically, maybe I could encourage someone else.

I remember buying a Chinese Calligraphy set like this. It may have been as a gift for when we played The Game at one of our Christmas parties. But I think I remember giving it to granddaughter Alyssa. She probably wondered, "What in the heck kind of present is this?"

I don't know what happened to my calligraphy set. If I'd ever had a garage sale I might think that was the same one bought by the person I found on my Google image search.

One thing I do know for certain, looking at all those pictures of various calligraphy sets gives me the same yearning I had forty years ago - give me a pen and some paper.

Chiro - hand; graph - writing.


  1. Your daughter made off with most of the set. And used it happily for years. :-)

  2. I remember you saying you practiced your beautiful signature, I didn't realize it was with my old calligraphy set. Glad someone got some good out of it. :)