What?  No script? A Country With No Handwriting.

Say it isn’t so! A country with no handwriting? Well, that may soon be the case.

Cursive, or script, as some may know it, is not part of the Common Core State Standards, which are the academic guidelines 45 of the 50 states have now adopted.

I went to a private French school (I know, brag brag, snob snob) and handwriting, beautiful flowing penmanship, was not only taught, it was demanded. Your handwriting was expected to be almost as important as the content of the page. I remember always being jealous of my best friend, Clara-Lisa because she had the most beautiful writing. I would spend hours practicing, but I could never get it to look as nice as hers. Still doesn’t.

As a teen, I designed my own stationery with my name written in my own hand and my mother had hundreds of letter size paper with envelopes made up, which was hysterical because by the next year I had decided I hated my signature and spent months working on a new one. Never wanting to waste anything, my mother (Eartha Kitt) used that stationery in her own correspondence for years.

I always loved my mother’s signature. When people would ask for her autograph, I would beam with pride because I always thought she had one of the most interesting signatures. It suited her perfectly. Her writing was sometimes difficult to decipher, but you could always make out her name. And, she loved to write. Notes, letters, reminders, lists. She even wrote all four of her published books in longhand. I did feel bad for her secretary who had to transpose those pages. That couldn’t have been easy.

Before I married, I practiced my signature thousands of times until it was just the way I wanted it. (Years later, I worked in the fashion business and people would call my office asking for ‘Bill Shapmo’. Guess I should have spent more time perfecting it).

I love to write and send notes by snail mail. But, I will throw them away and start over if my handwriting doesn’t please me, (even in my fifties, I still wish I had writing like Clara-Lisa). As many Apps as I have for notes, I still prefer to write them by hand. And, if you saw my desk, you may want to encourage me to start using those Apps.

My kids rarely, if ever, write in longhand. Most of the time, they’re typing on some device. So, when I recently watched my young adult son fill out some employment forms, I was cringing at the sight of his penmanship, or lack thereof. Even the way he held the pen was tough to watch.

Personally, I find it more difficult to let my ideas flow when I type. Feeling and seeing my words come to life as the ink hits the paper inspires much more creativity. And, I always need a certain kind of pen. They don’t have to be fancy. My current preference is the Pilot G-2. And when I transpose my writing to the computer, I will always pick some cool flowing font, until one of my creative team makes a comment on how I can’t use it because I’m not a twelve-year-old girl. Hmph! That’s just so not fair!

If kids don’t learn script, how will the next generation sign their names? Probably with their thumbprint on some device. Or the pupils of their eyes. As unique as those both are, it’s sad to think that the ability to share a part of a person’s personality through the way they give words life on paper may soon be something for the history books. E-books, of course.

Remember ~ Treasure ~ Love…


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3 Response Comments

  • Clara Lisa Kabbaz  October 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Dearest Friend,
    First of all I love you now, before and always. I could not be prouder of your beautiful accomplishments and your humorous and touching writing. I am so deeply moved that I am mentioned. I remember my pink personalized stationary and still have the draft my mom asked me to write you as a thank you note after one of our memorable sleepovers. It is one of my coveted souvenirs, I had to start over because I wrote: Dear Kitt, thank you for the sleepover, I had a great time and thank you for bringing me back my “sliper”. Haha I guess if you kept the one that was approved it will say “slipper”. I remember the cards with your signature!! You really put a smile on my face, we still do “graphisme” for the handwriting beginnings at Lycée!!! Love,
    Your best friend always,
    Clara-Lisa Kabbaz

  • Bridget Dew  October 4, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Wow what great articles! I have truly enjoyed this site. I love to send great notes to my very best college friend. How special I fill when she sends me snail mail as well. As a teacher I can say that handwriting is getting worse! Keep up the good work!

  • rae f.  December 29, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    U should consider writing, u have a natural knack 4 it by way of the baaadst b!+(#, EK! I don’t necessarily mean drawn-out book or script, but maybe something on gardening, child lit, or even a short reading on your own childhood. I studied English/FiIm and truly enjoy reading and visualizing your thoughts; its a geek thang! (LOL, don’t care) Im 39, but my parents are 72 and 83 so I know about speaking well and legible handwriting. My parents are Trini so they were always expecting you to give your best; (generally speaking, not really an American ideal) Anywho, loved your mother since I was 14 and have been on an EK binge for the past few months or so. Elle est si mal fichue! Je L’aime! Take care and cant wait to purchase some of the wonderful items you have, especially my “don’t panic” pillows. Ah, the ‘p’ word!