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Goodbye Nice Handwriting

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When I was a kid, even in the late Eighties, we were counted off for making our cursive letters incorrectly. Old Lady English teachers had no reason whatsoever to think proper penmanship would go by the wayside. What a difference twenty years makes these days.

This BBC article says “the writing is on the wall” for writing by hand, and in a couple of generations, our descendants will be looking at our hand-penned notes they we look at documents from the 18th century, when esses looked like effs.

As the digital age progresses and keyboards invade every aspect of our social and professional lives, who needs or wants to have to decipher somebody else’s poor scribbling?

Chickenscratch, we used to call it back home. That’s why we were hammered into proper letters. But really, how often do you write something by hand anymore? We make notes in the margin (and others can never read them), we make grocery lists, etc. Our kids will do the same, likely in some digital form. When they do write it’ll be printing letters, probably. Cursive was supposed to be faster and prettier, but what use is it now?

Well, unlike printed material—which will not go away mind you, just evolve—it’s not a big loss to lose script or to have relegated to a an art form like ancient calligraphy.

If you’re a writer by occupation, though, you know that sometimes things come out differently when you have to write them by hand. I imagine for us in one of the world’s oldest professions, will reserve script—for those of us who’ve actually learned or been taught—for these brief exercises of the past.


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