A lost art

April 30, 2011 – Cursive handwriting is on the decline according to a recent article in The New York Times and could be in danger of becoming extinct.

Handwriting can be hard to decipher at times, and some signatures … well forget about trying to read them. But to say that cursive handwriting isn’t a necessary skill for the 21st century as the article claims is absurd.

We live in an age where our younger generation has already lost the ability to verbally communicate with each other, as text messages are preferred by most of them. To take another skill away will limit their abilities further. Can you imagine a future generation not able to read important documents like the Declaration of Independence unless it was typeset on a piece of paper or in a book?

As a graduate of Catholic school, cursive handwriting was ingrained in me from an early age. It’s printing that seems so foreign. I can print, but my handwriting is more legible.

Does the end of cursive handwriting mean that beautifully penned wedding invitations are on the way out too? Or love letters? I keep envisioning Daniel Day-Lewis and those wonderful thank you notes he wrote in The Age of Innocence. That lovely calligraphy was almost a character in the movie, and it wouldn’t have been the same if he simply printed his name on one of those cards instead.

And what about signatures? How will future adults approve tax forms, loan documents and important other papers that require you to sign your name?

Will they simply print their name or place a large X over the signature bar? That could be easily copied, and your signature is supposed to be a unique identifier.

Perhaps we’re not far away from scanning our retinas or using thumb prints to give our approval.

That’s even more depressing than the thought of losing the art of cursive handwriting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s