The dying art of penmanship

Published 8:54 pm Thursday, August 13, 2009

When I think of a modern day classroom setting, it’s difficult not to imagine students typing on computers.

While there are electronic devices that incorporate actual handwriting, it seems that handwriting is becoming less of a priority these days.

My teachers always emphasized the importance of good penmanship, and I’m sure today’s teachers do the same. But I would guess that there aren’t quite as many graphite stains on the fingers of today’s students.

This is also evident when you look at the announcements submitted to our newspaper. The majority of them are e-mailed to us, and this is usually done by request simply because it’s easier to copy and paste. Of course, we still take time to read and edit the content.

But occasionally, we will get handwritten copy. More often than not, however, the words will be in print. The real rarity is a submission written in cursive.

Just this month, I read an article about the dying art of cursive. Even the standards have been adjusted so that certain cursive letters more closely resemble their print counterparts.

I will admit, I rarely write in cursive. Really, it’s more like semi-cursive. I connect some letters, and others are completely independent. The same is probably true with most people.

As I think back, the biggest thing that affected my style of handwriting was how my teachers wrote. One sixth grade teacher, I remember, printed her words neatly on the chalkboard. I even tried to imitate certain letters because I liked the way she formed them.

On my job, the only thing I write down is on paper that will later be thrown away. The only time I really make an effort to have good penmanship is when I plan to keep something.

Otherwise, good luck with those chicken scratches.