writer's cramp

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writer's cramp

A painful spasm in the hand that restricts the ability to use a pen or pencil. Back in the Paleozoic Era when people wrote by hand instead of typewriters and then computers (you youngsters can ask your parents or grandparents if you don't believe me), excessive use of a pen or pencil would cause a person's hand to tense up or go into a spasm that made further writing painful or impossible or both. The condition wasn't called “repetitive stress syndrome” back then. It was “writer's cramp,” and that was no excuse for the schoolroom punishment of being made to write “I will not talk in class” one hundred times on the blackboard.
See also: cramp