Saturday, September 3, 2011

Whatever happened to cursive writing?

I was watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow (yes, I know.  I'm cool like that) and this woman had a journal that was kept by the first mate of some expedition back in the early - mid 1900's (soon weird to write that, by the way) and I was struck by how beautiful this man's penmanship. Again later on in the show, there was yet another letter (or series of letters) from the early 19th C. that was on display and fetched someone a pretty penny or two, with even more beautiful penmanship.

In another episode, this person's granddaddy (as he called him) started a collection of letters and autographs from many different pioneers in aviation.  Part of that collection was a letter from Neil Armstrong.  As you can probably imagine, I thought his penmanship was equally impressive as the previous two examples.

This led me to think of my own penmanship (and by penmanship, I mean cursive writing) and that of those around me, and I felt saddened that this seems to be a lost art.  Not 40 or 50 years ago, men and women alike had it drilled into them the importance of good and proper cursive writing abilities and with the advent of the home computer, it slowly started going the way of the Dodo.

I was taught cursive writing when I was in school but it wasn't drilled into you.  Unless you were working on some Language Arts project in school and you were specifically told to write in cursive, you were allowed to write any which way you wanted (more or less).  I have to wonder if they're even going to bother teaching my son how to write in cursive writing when he goes to school or if the schools will be satisfied with the fact that they even know how to put pen to paper, rather than typing everything out.  My kid sister tells me often that her assignments have to be typed out, not hand written.

I propose we bring back cursive writing!  It's such a beautiful writing technique that really doesn't require a whole lot of effort and makes the reader of whatever it is you're writing think you may actually have a care as to what you are presenting (provided it's legible, of course).  Wouldn't you love to get a letter from a loved one with writing that looked as beautiful as the one shown below?  I know I would.  I think after this, I'm going to brush up on my cursive. 

Speaking of writing, my dad is going to write a whole novel in three days!  He's streaming it online and hoping to raise money for the Vancouver Fringe Festival.  Why not pop in and say hi? 

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