Culture: Language
Bidirectional Writing   (+1, -3)  [vote for, against]
Speed up handwriting by writing in opposite direction on successive lines.

My inkjet printer/fax/scanner/floor polisher makes a big deal out of "bidirectional printing" - the print head prints when it's going back as well as forwards, apparently doubling the print speed.

Now, most people can read backward or even upside-down writing after a bit of practice. And plenty of historical figures have learned how to write backwards.

So how about teaching kids to write backwards as well as forwards? That way, when they come to a new line, they could merely move down and keep writing instead of going all the way back to the start of the line. Should be a huge time saver for everyone still stuck using analog printing devices.
-- DrCurry, Jan 11 2003

I don't think it would save me that much time, but I'm going to have to try this for the challenge anyway.yawyna egnellahc eht rof siht yrt ot evah ot gniog m'I tub ,emit hcum taht em evas dluow ti kniht t'nod I
-- RayfordSteele, Jan 11 2003

Would the time one spent to learn reverse writing ever add up to equal (or greater) time saved by actually doing so?
-- Johnny Mash, Jan 11 2003

I seem to remember reading that this was baked by Leonardo da Vinci.
-- beauxeault, Jan 11 2003

Yeah, but baked for speed or just because he was that kind of guy?
-- snarfyguy, Jan 11 2003

snarf, if I remember correctly, he supposedly taught himself to write in reverse for precisely the reason (speed) DrCurry suggests. Still amazes me that he had the kind of mind that made it seem easy enough to learn to be worth the rather miniscule advantage. On the other hand (no pun intended, but I wish I had), maybe he developed the skill to show off, and came up with his "reason" as a joke.
-- beauxeault, Jan 11 2003

It's called "boustrophedon".
-- egnor, Jan 11 2003

you could learn to write in English from left to right and in Japanese from right to left.
-- po, Jan 12 2003

Or you could write
this reading aro
e and around. u a
k dnuora dna dn r
il larips a ni dnuo
-- FarmerJohn, Jan 12 2003

With the help of someone who is never going to get the credit (my husband), I’ve rigged up an xy table that scans paper under my hand as I write, so that I don’t have to move my hand at all. I don’t even have to lift a finger!

This is quite a timesaver, especially for my secretary, who now doesn’t have to learn to read mirror writing.
-- pluterday, Jan 12 2003

[FJ], that was clever. Don't think it would be a timesaver, though.

I'm all for anything that gives me more time to waste on internet fora.
-- egbert, Jan 13 2003

Boustrophedon. Baked before the invention of paper, never mind the printing press or the Internet.
-- Redbird, Jan 13 2003

Does the internationally accepted sign for "I'll have the bill, please" (i.e. scribble in the air with imaginary pen) go from right to left in Arabic countries?
-- whimsickle, Jan 14 2003

Writing both ways? Isn't that biliteral?
-- dalziel, Jan 14 2003

//it would seem hard enough //

*ahem* It would seem *difficult* enough.

class demographics anyone?
You're the one watching, not me.
And if you're watching, then apparently someone thinks there's a demographic market in the UK for the show.

I watch Monty Python when I can catch it and have heard a few Beatles songs, so now I obviously know everything about UK culture.
-- RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2003

The Ancient Greeks wrote like this. No new thing.
-- irisheye, Jul 11 2003

Greeks used every 2nd line direction during transition. Read cool link on primordial language sign type, direction, writing implement, and side of brain used -gender aspect. Neat.
-- dinosnider, Oct 02 2003

Egyptian heiroglyphics were written like this, too.
-- rhatta, Jan 11 2004

I read somewhere that left-handed people can write mirror-image more easily than right-handed people. I know that I am able to write almost as fast backwards, as I can forwards. When I write mirror-image, I can "see" the words "flipped" in my mind, but only then. Has anyone else ever heard of this? If I could write one line from left to right, and the following from right to left mirrored, I would be in heaven.

At a blackboard, I am able to write the left half with my left hand and finish the right side with my right hand. Not something that I ever thought about, but just started doing because it was "easier".
-- Klaatu, Jan 29 2004

random, halfbakery