Does Penmanship Still Matter?


Does Penmanship Still Matter?

A faux billboard created by Jerry Johnson of Orange Outdoor Advertising. Johnson painted satiric, retro-style paintings on this wall annually for about 15 years. - Flickr

From smart phones to handheld tablets, modern technology continues to inundate us with countless and creative ways to replace the need for pen and paper, leaving many to wonder if penmanship still really matters.

Instead of thank you notes, we now text and tweet our appreciation. Rather than sending invitations and save the dates, we email and sync important events on our iPhones and BlackBerry devices. Long gone are the days of stationery and handwritten notes, and even the use of organizers and planners can evoke a light-hearted teasing and chuckle in some public settings.

Throughout this year, numerous articles around the web have explored, and mourned, the loss of penmanship. In a recent New York Times article, The Case for Cursive, Professor Richard S. Christen expresses a common sentiment regarding the waning use of cursive, “These kids are losing time where they create beauty every day,” Professor Christen said. “But it’s hard for me to make a practical argument for it. I’m not one who’s mourning it because of that; I’m mourning the beauty, the aesthetics.”

In almost all states across the country, children are no longer required to learn how to write in cursive, and many struggle to understand even the fundamentals of basic manuscript. In a recent CNN article, author Katia Hetter explores the possibility that America will become, A nation of adults who will write like children? In her article, Katia ponders, “Will younger generations not know the powerful emotions that come from receiving a handwritten love letter that describes all the love someone else feels for you? What about the fear and courage that comes from writing your first love letter that contains all the love you feel for someone else?”

For some, this discussion is less about an artistic loss, and more about acceptance of reality. Many feel that times have changed, and as a result, so too should our ways of communicating. There are many who believe that cursive writing and standardized writing of any form is “old school” and  “aesthetic.”  And we agree, which is exactly why we will always like and miss it.

Do you think penmanship still matters? Or is it a thing of the past? Do you miss receiving handwritten notes? Or do you prefer email and text messaging? Let us know!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Does Penmanship Still Matter?

  1. kj nobles

    I think it will be a huge loss to our children. I love technology. It definitely has its place, but it cannot replace a beautifully written letter from a loved one. A text from everyone looks the same, but a letter written by someone you love is unique.

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