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Cursively Speaking….

 

       

 

The Daily Post recently shared an article called The Lost Art, where it discussed that many people have learned to disconnect from technology’s magnetic pull to reconnect and interact person-to-person. It’s a shame that something as natural as communicating with each other verbally, has fallen under the realm of ‘lost art’. Things have more or less reversed, with non-verbal interaction becoming the rule and not the exception. Text messaging,social media, emails, etc. have all contributed to the building of this wall that now exists between people who now rely mainly on these forms of communication.

Personally, I feel these forms of interaction encourage distance between people. For instance, if you are a person who does not use the internet or use it on a regular basis, than you will surely be lost in technology’s ever-thickening sauce, if you will. Have you ever paid attention to your interaction with people whom you haven’t seen in a while? You both agree to exchange contact information, but it’s no longer phone numbers that you swap. You now exchange email addresses, website links,etc. If you don’t communicate using these technologies, your phone number may be accepted. But did the person ever follow through and call you? I’m willing to bet, probably not.

Communicating face-to-face can definitely be considered a ‘lost art’, especially when one has to disconnect just to reconnect. Readers of this article by the Daily Post were asked to comment on what they felt could fall under the umbrella of ‘lost art’. In response, I shared what I consider to be a ‘ lost art’ that is very near and dear to me; one that took a great deal of my adolescent and adult life to master. My contribution to the conversation of  ‘lost art’ is cursive writing. I commented on my disappointment in finding that this form of writing has pretty much been done away with. Where I live, children are encouraged to print as their main form of writing. The teaching of cursive writing is almost non-existent. Someone else commented and added that cursive writing is mandatory in India and is still very prevalent. I only wish I could say the same for my little corner of the world. There are many reasons why cursive writing, in my opinion, should remain a critical form of writing. For instance, what will happen later in life, when a person has to sign important documents? If a person doesn’t know how to write in cursive, how will they sign their name? Surely printing one’s name will not be an acceptable form of writing in this instance, being that it is not considered a signature. There’s a reason why it’s called a signature. It’s authentic and identifies each individual; a person’s footprint more or less.

I received several replies to my comment. I further stated that cursive writing reflects an individual’s personality as each person’s style of writing is so different; one of the things that make cursive writing a beautiful form of art. I recall when I was in 7th and 8th grade, a classmate of mine had the most beautifully artistic handwriting style. She was left-handed and turned her paper almost upside down with her wrist crooked in the most awkward position. It was amazing that she could produce such artistry with that kind of hand position, but she did. Her handwriting was truly a beautiful thing to see.

Do you remember a time when you had to practice your handwriting on a daily basis? It was most likely one of your consistent homework assignments. I think this may have contributed to the phrase, “practice makes perfect”. There was special paper that had 2 solid parallel lines that ran across the page with a single dotted line that ran between those 2 lines as seen in the picture above. I was taught to allow my lower case letters to touch the dotted line and then come back down. Uppercase letters, you would have to take the letter up to the top solid line and then come back down; you used all 3 lines for these letters. I used to enjoy that so much. How about you?

Recently, there was an issue that I needed to dispute. I was asked to write a letter outlining the situation. Being somewhat bamboozled by the technology blitz myself, I asked, without even a second thought, for an email address that I could email the letter to. I was promptly informed that I needed to send a handwritten letter to this establishment. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised and more than happy to do so. I can’t remember when I’ve been asked to send a handwritten anything anywhere. When you think about it, anyone can compose a letter via text document and sign their name to it. The only personal touch in this case, would be the person’s signature. Handwriting  or cursive writing an entire document breathes life into the words, while allowing you to virtually feel the individual’s personality. You can sometimes tell if a person was angry when they wrote something. The strokes will be very sharp and jagged and the writing seems to scream off the pages at you. If the writing is very neat and legible, you might conclude that the person took care when they composed the correspondence. If the handwriting is fancy and artistic, it may be concluded that the person is creative and expressive and spent considerable time on their presentation in order to get their point across.

All I can say, is that cursive writing doesn’t have to be a ‘lost art’. And if you look hard enough, you will find that it’s alive and well; just waiting to be rediscovered. I enjoy writing in cursive and hope that those that decide on what the teaching curriculum will be, realize it’s value and importance. Cursively speaking… I have a feeling the same people that make these crucial decisions, use cursive writing themselves!

What do you think about this unfortunate loss of artistry?

 

Images: Free Google images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did You Know? (2)

Cover art

Did you know that Maya Angelou was raped at the age of 7 by her mother’s boyfriend; a man named Mr. Freeman. After she confided in her brother about the incident and testified at Mr. Freeman’s trial, he was found dead.

Did you know that Maya blamed herself for Mr. Freeman’s death? She believed that because she had revealed the crime that he committed against her, he met with a violent death. Maya Angelou did not speak again for 6 years because she thought her ‘voice’ had been the direct cause of Mr. Freeman’s untimely death.

Did you know that during her self-induced silence, Maya Angelou found her voice again; through poetry? This life-changing event was the foundation that inspired her very first autobiography: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

Did you know that “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was written on a dare? That’s right. Maya Angelou wrote this critically acclaimed and highly successful autobiography before she became famous and was very reluctant to do so, initially. Her editor, Robert Loomis had been trying to get her to write an autobiography for some time and then in so many words, he basically told her that it was virtually impossible to write an autobiography as literature. In other words, she couldn’t do it! I guess she showed not only him, but the world! Hence her quote: “If you want me to do something, tell me I can’t do it.” What are some interesting facts you know about this amazing, award-winning, highly accomplished writer?

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

June 2017
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