Imagine not being able to read the original manuscript of the US Declaration of Independence, or beautifully written letters from times past. Well, as the harbingers of doom say: 'the end is nigh'.
Though I've seen the signs coming, I've optimistically thought that reports of the end of that grown up penmanship that Americans call 'cursive' and the rest of us call 'running writing' were premature.
Sure, keyboards have taken over, but people will always be taught how to write right, right?
This New York Times Article points out that although running writing is still taught at US schools, it is for a much shorter period of time. Of far more concern to me is the reaction in a Seattle, WA blog where (presumably) adult respondents not only contemptuously dismiss the use of cursive handwriting, but do not even consider, or are unaware of, the relative merits of learning joined up writing, such as the value to a child's developing motor skills, its artistic value, and, importantly to me, at least, the fact that people who can only print may leave themselves open to being victims of forgery.
It is the latter two, artistic value and the importance of handwriting in establishing identity, that are of paramount importance to businesspeople, and the purveyors of antiques and collectables, especially. What effect will the loss of running writing in society have on the collectability of historic documents, letters and philography (collecting signatures)? What is happening to our notion of 'art for art's sake'?
In an age where identity theft is of increasing concern, and is becoming something of a specialty among the criminal classes, do we really need to give them more tools for their fraud arsenals, just out of thoughtlessness, a lack of vision and a myopic reliance on technology?
Worthy of more than just a passing thought.