The Lost Art of Handwriting

March 6, 2012 at 7:32 am | Posted in Life and Living | 1 Comment
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We live in a world where nearly everything is electronic, there’s no denying that, but every so often we do in fact have to pull out a pen (anyone out there remember pencils?) and write using this small tubular device positioned between the thumb and pointer finger to push our thoughts out on to paper.

I was swiping my credit card the other day, when I saw something strange on my printed receipt.  There was a straight line, with what appeared to be scribble on top of it.  Lo and behold this was my signature.  I had signed the electronic thingy with the fake pen so quickly before hitting the accept button, and this is what my signature came out looking like.  It was freaking embarrassing.

I may be part of the last generation of hand writers, I realized.  I used to pass notes to my friends and have penpals I would physically mail letters to, anxiously awaiting their reply.  I remember learning cursive, and even taking a class in calligraphy in elementary school.  My father so loved the art of hand writing I would buy him fancy pens for his birthday.

But then members of my generation became leaders in the online revolution, and this lost art has continued to fall from grace.  There are debates now as to whether cursive should even still be taught in school, the thinking no doubt that it may no longer be relevant to the real world.  But how would one sign their crappy signature if they didn’t learn cursive?

I think hand writing serves other learning purposes as well. It teaches people how to be thoughtful with their words, how to take the time to think about what they are writing, how arduous it can be to erase a mistake.  There is no backspace in handwriting and often x makes the spot of an error, and it’s ok to have a record of your errors, so long as they are erased and not blast on the internet for the world to keep record of.

So as I am doing wedding planning, I am starting to think about my wedding invitations which the trend oddly enough has not yet taken to the online world.  How will I address the envelopes?  Do I have any calligraphy skills left from (oh my god) twenty years ago?  Will I painstakingly do each one by hand only to get a cramp from lack of use, or will I cop out and type everything up? Oh, how I wish my skills weren’t so rusty, but at least I had the pleasure of learning and appreciating the art of hand writing.

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