Writing Implements

The latest word is that cursive handwriting is a dying art.

Cursive was created, so they say, with the invention of the pen. Being able to keep a quill in contact with the paper longer meant less ink splattering the paper. On the other hand, scraping symbols onto wet clay was far more like printing – each letter or symbol a discrete character. It was soon realized that pens could be shaped so that the cursive writing, or even printing, for that matter, could be a work of art in its own right. Illuminated manuscripts, for example, are sometime breathtaking. Gregorian chant, with its square notes seems to demand a second look.

Illuminated Manuscript
Try doing that on your smartphone!

But today, the sound bite has replaced the story and texting while madly punching tiny keys with the thumbs has replaced calligraphy. We’d much rather say nothing quickly than say something worthwhile in a meaningful way. What’s important is that people are able to transmit their message, whether or not anyone receives it or even pays attention.

More’s the pity.

Imagine Harry Potter at Hogwarts with an iPad. It just isn’t the same. Somehow you just know that the right thing is to see him writing on a scroll with a feathered quill pen and an inkwell.

Fortunately the pendulum swings. When people are no longer required to learn cursive, perhaps they’ll develop an interest. They may have to pay tutors to teach them. Whole industries may spring forth.

There will doubtlessly be a cable television program – if not an entire cable channel dedicated to cursive writing.

Why do I believe this?

Because sooner or later people’s thumbs and their desire to say what they want in 140 characters will wear thin.

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