Friday, December 19, 2008

A Frightening Possibility

In her book--Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting--Kitty Burns Florey wonders if we might be entering a time when cursive writing is no longer understood thanks to the pervasiveness of computers:

[T]here's the rather stunning idea that if you can't write cursive, you have a lot of trouble reading it, too. Will my mother's diaries look like Sanskrit to her great-grand-children? Will it be only a small group of specialists who can make sense of the original handwritten manuscripts of Jim Harrison and Wendell Berry, the heartbreaking letters home from soldiers in the American Civil War, or artifacts like this Christmas note Walt Whitman sent to his publisher in 1879? Shakespeare reportedly wrote a sequel to Love's Labors Lost, entitled Love's Labors Won--what if, in 2108, it turns up in a dustbin somewhere in Warwickshire? Will there be anyone around who can decipher it? Who will be the last person to send a handwritten postcard? Who will read it?
For more about this book, see Marilyn Dahl's review in today's Shelf Awareness.


bermudaonion said...

My son is 21 and doesn't write in cursive. They don't teach handwriting well in schools these days.

KateGladstone said...

To help your son read cursive, send him the first two PDFs on the following web-site:

To help his handwriting, send him the rest of that web-site's PDFs, and/or refer him to:

Kate Gladstone
HandwritingRepair/HandwritingThatWorks handwriting improvement service
World Handwriting Contest