Monday, April 5, 2010

Purrfect Penmanship

I’M A WHIZ at doodling, jotting down notes and signing my name with pen or pencil. But I haven’t written a substantial letter by hand for longer than I can remember. My declining penmanship generally goes unnoticed as months and years slip by. When I actually start to compose a letter by hand, I am dismayed at the messy scrawl my handwriting has become. However, rather than staying the course and trying to make my words more legible, I too often opt for a keyboard to do the task. Not surprisingly, my typing skills have improved while my penmanship has worsened.

With so many hours spent at computers and with current reliance on even the tiniest keyboards, it is possible that future generations will eliminate penmanship completely only to have it revive as a valued art form produced by an elite few. If so, writing by hand will come full circle to a time when only specially trained scribes know how to create the written word. Clearly, use it or lose it applies to penmanship.

Essentially, the careful handwriting I once produced is not just about penmanship. It is also about exercising a communication tool that distinguishes humans from other earthly creatures, such as the neighborhood cat that need no pen OR keyboard but a simple purr to have a good chat.

1 comment:

  1. I never thought to blame the keyboard, but my handwriting has certainly degenerated into a scrawl. I'm not even a whiz at signing my name any more. My husband and I had many documents to sign recently and my signature seemed to have been written by an entirely different person from the first page to the last. I have often bemoaned the loss of my pretty penmanship but never thought to consider the fact that I've spent most of my life working on a keyboard. Duh, huh?


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