Riting meant good clear writing; penmanship. It was just as important as clear compressive speech. If you had good penmanship, you were probably smart too. Most speech has been denigrated to smaller words and penmanship can be considered a lost art. The old song, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter” is out too. No one writes letters anymore. We text in under 160 alphabet letters. Not very memorable and deleted in a moment.
In the Pilgrim days, only some could write. Few could read and write. In the 17 and 18 hundreds, if your handwriting was good enough, you could actually make it a career. Our most famous script writing is the founding fathers documents like the Constitution and the logo on Coke bottles. The arrival of the typewriter in the late 1800’s changed everything. A man named Palmer said speed write. So, the effort was to type as fast as possible and boast how many words you can type per minute or use stenography where lines and curvy handwritten symbols meant entire words. It was a code among secretaries as was a great skill, the series of taps over phone lines that was a secret language called Morse code. The Navy uses computers now.