|A section of the Papyrus of Ani|
showing cursive hieroglyphs.
Courtesy of Wiki.
As a self-proclaimed Culturalista, I can't help but think about what it might mean from a cultural perspective for this generation of kids not to learn penmanship - not to mention the studies that indicate handwriting makes kids smarter. Will my generation of handwriters ultimately become as extinct as the writers of Egyptian hierogylphics a gazillion years ago? Does our overuse of technology (*guilty*) make handwritten letters and notes a lost art? Hmmm.
|Example of semi-cursive style|
And if you thought that the issue of losing our handwriting skills is just an American thing, you are mistaken. In China, where handwriting is considered an art, the term "Tibiwangzi" is the word that was adopted to describe forgetting how to write using Chinese characters and is also referred to as character amnesia. Literally, Tibiwangzi means "take pen, forget character." Evidently and not surprisingly, "[the] lack of handwriting is seen as a detriment to Chinese culture by many (over 71% believed that this shift will weaken the identity of the Chinese people and civilization)." [Source]
I admit that I use my laptop, my iPad, and my Blackberry to communicate. But I always hand write thank you notes and I take notes by hand when I'm learning. For me, writing something down plants the information neatly in my brain for later use. I don't think I will ever stop writing.
There was discussion about this issue on my Facebook page, and I have posted the Facebook comments in the comments section of this post, but I'm curious: Will anthropologists have trouble deciphering my teenage love letters and the notes of adoration I used to receive from my beloved grandmother? Will we ultimately need a new Rosetta Stone to interpret today's cursive handwriting? #canyouimagine?