When I was growing up I often received birthday cards and Christmas cards (as I’m sure many of us did) from various family members. Most were written simply, a happy birthday and a ‘love from’. Despite the fact such cards are almost obsolete thanks to Facebook and text messaging I still enjoy the look and the feel of words written on paper. Looking back on it now I admire the cards I received from my grandparents the most-not for the messages inside them but for the way in which they were written in beautiful cursive-a salute to the days where they were disciplined if their handwriting was anything but.
Like my grandparents I was taught cursive and I practiced it and enjoyed it. I even remember the joy I felt when I was finally granted my pen license! Yet my cursive was never any match for the handwriting of my grandparents and by the time I had reached high school-the cursive I had preciously used was abandoned in favor for printed letters. Whilst this was far more legible I found the form far more cumbersome to write than the cursive. Yet today when I take notes and write letters my handwriting remains in printed form out of habit-and if not written this way, all my notes and emails are typed up on he computer much like all of this blog has been.
The lack of handwriting we now do has caused debate among teachers, parents and scholars. Below I have posted a copy of an article I wrote a few months ago for The Wimmera-Mail Times which discusses handwriting and some worrying statistics about how often it is now practiced at home as well as the opinions of several experts and teachers on the matter.
Maybe I’m a little old fashioned-but I still long for handwritten notes, letters and cards. Perhaps my love is because their aesthetic. Perhaps it is because of the time that must be spent forming the letters and making sure each word is spelt right. Or perhaps, it is because of my love for words in general. Whatever it is, I fervently believe that handwriting is a skill that should not be lost.
What do you think? Do we still need handwriting? Is it a concern for future generations? Let me know in the comments below!