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My handwriting sets off a reader

Ever wonder what will happen as schools stop teaching cursive handwriting? I just had a taste of the possible results.

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Funny, though, this experience came in correspondence with an older gentleman. It all began with a letter to me from him that began with a statement that he did not use a computer.

He asked some questions.

I quickly hand wrote a note to him and sent it out in return mail.

He did not like it. He called me a snob.

Why am I a snob? Well, apparently because I took the trouble to write a note to him because he did not have email.

But he also wrote that (It) “took a couple days to figure what you said.”

I also referred him to the local library for more information. He wrote, “Local library is a joke, thirty minutes per day/week if they are working, most times not.”

I am sorry his library is not able to help him. I am also sorry I was not able to send him off in a productive direction. I am sorry he had trouble with my handwriting.

But as I said, I have now had a glimpse of what the future will be like relating to the use of what used to be common handwriting. The younger generation who are not taught it will simply be unable to read my handwritten notes.

Fortunately for me, by the time they will be old enough to become regular readers, I will have retired.

I assume there will be a gap generation where some can read handwriting and others cannot.

Those who can read handwriting almost will be able to use it as a secret code even though it is not supposed to be a code.

Will handwriting become a mark of social status as it was before the 19th century and the spread of literacy in the United States?

Alexander Hamilton used his ability to write and figure while serving as a young teenage clerk to a merchant in the Caribbean. He was so impressive that his friends and neighbors decided to sponsor him to a college in New York City.

Aren’t we fortunate that our first Treasury secretary was given this opportunity due to his ability to write and do his sums clearly at an early age?

Well, now it looks like we are on the declining side of the bell curve of handwriting ability. Those of us who still use it run the risk of baffling those who do not.

The writer to me hand printed his two letters. I thought nothing of this. I have received many like this over the years to which I replied in my own handwriting. This is the first negative reaction to my handwriting. Is it the first in a new trend? That’s the question.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

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