Sunday, July 1, 2012
Handwriting: The Lost Art
My handwriting can be pretty sloppy at times so I admit I may be a hypocrite, but I am shocked at how few kids and teenagers have good handwriting and spelling these days. I'm not just talking about bad handwriting. What I saw was not even remotely legible and was just random symbols and nonsensical scribbles. I'm pretty sure that 100 years ago kids' penmanship was better and they all knew cursive. You could probably find as many kids today who know Latin as you can those who can write in cursive. Some day archaeologists may have to decipher my old journals and school reports in order to understand the mysterious ancient script they are written in.
There are several factors contributing to the decline in penmanship but, ironically, I think technology is the big culprit. Today, kids type their reports and assignments and they frequently text and abbreviate words instead of having to write them out or spell them correctly. E-mail has completely replaced letter writing. I don't even think kids write letters to Santa Claus anymore.
On the bright side, I think we are preparing a generation of future physicians who will be confident and adept at writing prescriptions. I Googled "sloppy handwriting" and the picture of the above prescription came up. My wife is a medical transcriptionist and at a glance she told me it was a prenatal vitamin prescription and it was pretty clear what it was for. I didn't realize she knew Mandarin.