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Save cursive handwriting
The irony is not lost on me, as I sit here at my desk typing this blog entry as a pages document, that I am going to lament the lost art of cursive – or handwriting in general.
I have a daughter who’s not yet in kindergarten. She knows that cursive exists, and I fully intend to teach her how to read it and write it. But, sadly, cursive is being/has been phased out of the curriculum in many US schools.
The dying art of letter-writing
I remember how excited I was when I received a letter from a friend or a pen pal when I was younger. Nowadays, receiving a handwritten letter is pretty much a thing of the past. A greeting card seems to be the best we can do anymore.
But imagine your children, or your children’s children, coming across some old letters in the attic sometime in the distant future. Maybe they were love letters between long-gone relatives, or simply written time capsules describing the events of the day. What if your grandchildren were to find these treasures, but were unable to decipher the “strange” cursive handwriting?
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology – to a point.
I have an iPhone, an iPad, a desktop, laptop, etc. I eschewed cable television more than a year ago in favor of my trusty ROKU and Apple TV devices (and the Amazon Prime & Netflix to go with them). The beauty of technology is not lost on me.
But I am still old-school in many ways.
I prefer to read books printed on paper, rather than eBooks – for me, there is more to the reading experience than just the words. It’s in the feel of the paper, the smell of the book, the physical turning of the page. You just don’t get that on a Kindle.
The same goes for handwriting. Up until about six months ago, I hand-wrote pretty much everything: client copy, blog posts, you name it. Part of it was that I’ve never been a proficient typist, but part of it was that it was just more comfortable for me. I’ve since forced myself to write as I type – but I’ll admit that it still doesn't feel quite right.
I’m aware that most of what we do – from work to communicating with friends and family – can be done by typing on some sort of device. And most of the time it’s faster and easier. But can we really communicate with our loved ones – or even or customers and/or acquaintances – in 140 characters (or less), with emoticons?
I truly hope that cursive handwriting is not gasping its last breath. I’d hate to think that children growing up today will never experience the thrill of receiving a handwritten (in cursive, of course) note from a friend or relative that excites them as soon as they recognize the handwriting.
Clumsy or crooked, or flowery and elegant, cursive handwriting says so much more than the words it presents. It is a window into one’s personality, and a source of self-expression. It is, quite simply, art.
Take a minute and hand-write a letter to someone you love.
May 07, 2015
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