Monday, June 13, 2011

On Handwriting....

Remember handwriting?  You know, that thing you used to do with a pen and paper and all of those squiggly lines?  :D  Well, if schools keep going the way they are, it's been said that no one will know how to read cursive in 50 years.  What a shame that would be!

I doubt I'll be around in 50 years - if I DO live to be 92 I truly hope it's with Brian by my side and all of my faculties intact.  If that's the case, maybe I'll have a part-time job decoding the mystery of cursive for the young 50 year-old whippersnappers who never bothered to learn how.  :D

This is actually quite troubling for me - how did we go from no-brainer to unnecessary in less than 15 years?  I mean, there will always be calligraphers out there so I don't think handwriting will be a lost art, but wow.  I'm still trying to comprehend why it's not being taught.

Man, did Grammie ever know her classical music!
I am VERY glad that I know how to read and write cursive, this week more than ever.  You see, my beloved Grammie passed away a few days ago and I am the keeper of many of her notes from her trips abroad.  They are extensive, and if I ever have a couple of days to spare I'd love to read more about those trips in her own handwriting, which was so very HER.  It's not just her notes, either - I have every card she ever sent me and they're all in her own hand.  There is something so vulnerable about seeing the passage of time in someone's writing - near the end of her ability to write it was quite shaky and you could tell it was difficult for her to steady her hand enough to get the words out on paper.  But they are there, and they'll continue to be there whenever I need to see them.

My dad used to call
me "Liddy Lu Lu".  I
LOVE that.  :D
This also holds true for my wonderful Dad, who had gorgeous handwriting.  It was definitely a man's writing, but a man who gave a damn what his penmanship showed to the world.  As you can see it was "large and in charge", with an elegance belying my dad's down-to-earth personality.  And it takes nanoseconds for me to conjure him out of memory when I see that writing, which I cherish as much as any artifact he may have left behind.

As much as I love my blog and there would be NO WAY I could take the time to write it out in longhand and post it to you all (and honestly, why WOULD I?), sending computer-printed notes in a card is not the way to go; worse yet, not sending a note at all and opting for a text or e-mail in its place.  It is absolutely NOT the same and I'll buck that trend as long as I can.

Check out these soon-to-be archaic handwriting brochures and books - aren't they great?!  I especially love the kids' booklets - they show how important penmanship used to be.  Maybe some day we'll see the error of our ways and writing will find its way back into our ever-changing world.

Here's a piece I did reminiscing about the way kids (especially girls) took such care in learning how to write:


  1. I think because I grew up writing by hand, I actually find it easier to write out my blog posts by hand - my mind and ideas flow better directly to hand and pen. When I have it down I can quickly type it into blog format. Yes, and I'm old enough to have learned touch-typing in school. No hunt and peck for me!

  2. I learned touch-typing in school too, Martha - I got a "D". Thank G-d for keyboards with a backspace key! :D
    I always took great care with my handwriting - that is, up until a couple years ago, when it started to hurt pretty bad when I'd write. I still write notes but my penmanship is nowhere near as good as it once was. I hope it's still the thought that counts! :D