The Dissolution of Handwriting

After elementary school, our teachers told us not to write in cursive anymore because it was too hard to read. So we all lost the skill. Recently, I had to write a letter of intent in my handwriting, not computer print. My cursive scribble did not meet the expectations of my proof reader. I was so embarassed…I had to Google how to do a cursive “G.”

I look at letters that my grandmother wrote me as a child. I look at her fluid writing as she quickly writes a check to pay the bills. It’s almost like watching a rare species at the zoo…it’s fascinating.

Is this another sacrifice that we have made as society? Sure, we gained technology, science, and “efficiency,” but what did we lose in the process?

Our handwriting? Our culture? Our- selves?

More importantly, is the sacrifice worth it?

I tend to reflect on these science vs technology vs human nature concepts during Christmas, mainly because the “season” is so materialistic that it hurts my heart. You hear stories about cutthroat parents at Toys R Us all vying for the same Wii game or kids comparing what they got for Christmas in hopes of trumping their friends with the monetary value of their gifts.

Christmas should be about celebrating the birth of Jesus, yes, but it should also be about spending time with family enjoying the simple things in life. It’s the one holiday where students don’t have to study (can’t drop that excuse like you can at Thanksgiving!) and adults aren’t stressed at work (most businesses slow down/close toward the end of the year).

I want to bring back the handwritten letter. This year, I will send birthday cards with my handwriting (bless the reader who can decipher it!) and warm wishes. Doesn’t it make friendships seem more, well, personal? Which is what they were supposed to be in the first place.

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One thought on “The Dissolution of Handwriting

  1. Occam’s razor tells us that the simplest solution is probably the best. Cursive, as is indicative by your Googling of “g”, is not very simple compared to print. Hard to write. Hard to read. Really quite ugly most of the time too. I do think that cursive when written beautifully can be charming, but overall I think that it is as obsolete to the written word as Old English is to the spoken word (The way things seem at times, simple standard English is growing outdated too).

    When a mark of culture is replaced by a better alternative, the old ones are left to die out as memories in textbooks. I think it’s safe to say that when our third-grade teachers are telling us “I’m supposed to teach this to you, but you ain’t gonna use this #$% ever” it is probably not something we have a great need for.

    I do, however, feel as though that bringing back handwritten letters would probably be helpful in increasing our collective reading/writing level. Not to mention it’s classier.

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