Good grief. What next?
I read recently that there is a movement underfoot to cease teaching cursive writing in the public schools. I understand that this is merely a suggestion and is optional, but still …
Like all students from my youth, I labored through the “Palmer Method” learning the “push pulls” intended to teach me to make firm and controlled vertical lines, and those “whorls” to promote a flowing script. I think my muscular control had not peaked. I was never very good at either.
On the other hand, I did learn to write my name and everything else I needed to write, including the answer on the essay tests Miss Strauss was fond of giving. I can’t claim a beautifully flowing handwriting, but it is legible.
Why the push to abandon cursive? Of course kids are virtually weaned with a computer keyboard on the highchair tray. Maybe that has something to do with it? It brings to mind the joke about the kid who first encountered cursive writing and complained, “I can read reading, but I can’t read writing!”
I once marveled over the signature of Queen Elizabeth I in the document room of the British Museum. Good Queen Bess signed with a flourish both beautiful and highly individual. Shakespeare’s signature was less distinctive, but maybe he had to write faster to get all those poems and plays to meet a deadline. All those were done in cursive.
Thomas Jefferson gave us the Declaration of Independence in cursive and there was no typewriter for the Founding Fathers to dash off our Constitution. Abraham Lincoln’s notes for the Gettysburg Address, not to mention his signature on the Emancipation Proclamation, are done in cursive.
Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle dashed off the Sherlock Holmes stories in cursive. I’m not suggesting that we rewrite “War and Peace” in cursive, but it would be a pity if we could no longer read the original Bill of Rights or understand why we wanted to free ourselves from the English Parliament in 1775.
We really do need to know how to sign our name. We still need to know how to sign a lease or a contract or endorse a paycheck. I doubt that a printed signature is the same.
Liz Ciancone is a retired
Tribune-Star reporter. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good grief. What next?
- Liz Ciancone
MS. TAKES: Important date passes by without much notice
Recently we were asked to share our memories of the Kennedy assassination. Folks were interviewed for television or radio, or were asked to recall exactly what they were doing when they got word that our president had been murdered.
MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of. Our friend, Bill, stopped by our table to offer holiday felicitations and the conversation turned, as it often does this time of year, to Christmas.
LIZ CIANCONE: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of.
LIZ CIANCONE: Mourning a death is a personal exercise
One does not properly “celebrate” an assassination, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded that there are a lot of nuts out there. Coverage this past week of the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination still has the power to disturb, but all the theories won’t undo the facts.
LIZ CIANCONE: The greatest invention ever? Frozen orange juice
We were talking the other day and someone posed the question: “What do you think has been the greatest invention of all time?”
LIZ CIANCONE: Even mild forecast can give you the shivers
The local weather report the other evening included a bit of folklore. Our weather guru said that the story is that if snakes have not crawled off to winter quarters by late October, we were in for a mild winter.
LIZ CIANCONE: Extra hour gives more time to reset all the clocks
At the risk of becoming a bore, I really hate daylight saving time.
LIZ CIANCONE: Baseball’s cool days equal cold hard cash
I was driving to the grocery the other day and was startled when a few ice crystals rattled against the windshield.
LIZ CIANCONE: What songs are on your personal hit parade?
Is it possible that you could rattle off your 10 or 12 favorite recordings of all time on the spur of the moment?
LIZ CIANCONE: Finding a little quiet time harder than ever
Two things I especially miss about living in a small town like Yorkville are the quiet and the dark. Both offered an opportunity for quality quiet time to just think.
LIZ CIANCONE: If only we could see next fad coming
I’ve never claimed to be a smart investor. In my defense, I would need a crystal ball, or a double deck of tarot cards, or maybe a Ouija board to anticipate what gadget or fad would be the next to tweak the public fancy and earn me a million dollars.
LIZ CIANCONE: Congress deserves to be fired for actions
I don’t like to write about politics. I’m not interested in trying to convert anyone to my preference, and hope the same courtesy will be extended to me.
LIZ CIANCONE: Choosing a wedding date is personal
It wasn’t that long ago when I sat at the “society desk” at The Tribune-Star. I learned that August was second only to June as the favored month for weddings. And, every so often, there is a program of providers of everything from flowers to wedding cakes and gowns. I suppose this is to assure that the happy event will be done “properly.”
LIZ CIANCONE: Weather throws a wrinkle in the ironing
I’m convinced that Mother Nature is throwing me a curve ball — high and inside, at that.
LIZ CIANCONE: Game used ad slogans to craft good stories
Years ago I received a special game for Christmas.
LIZ CIANCONE: Today’s headlines, tomorrow’s history
Someone once said that a newspaper was a rough draft of history. It was probably Dr. Beatty, my favorite history professor.
LIZ CIANCONE: School supplies these days just don’t add up
School bells rang yesterday to begin a new school year. I really wish I was still of an age to trek back to that proverbial “little red schoolhouse.”
LIZ CIANCONE: Puzzles do make the best games
I come from a family of game players. Mom and Dad would pass the evening hours with a cribbage board sitting between them on a table.
LIZ CIANCONE: Taking comfort in the familiar
I find that change just isn’t as much fun as it once was. There is comfort in the familiar — an old pair of shoes or a mattress which seems to have lumps in all the right places. I’m falling into a rut. I tend to do things in the same old way, eat lunch at the same old places and see the same faces in the usual spots. In general, it means taking life as it comes, easily and comfortably.
LIZ CIANCONE: Cooking with love may be the difference
A lot of us when faced with the question, “What’s for supper?” wish we could turn it over to our moms. Somehow every mom is remembered as a super cook. Maybe that’s because our fondest memories of food center around the supper table of our youth.
LIZ CIANCONE: TV reality shows have a colorful history
We rarely turn on our television set until time for the evening news, and sometimes we turn it off at the end of that half hour. If I were a male, I would be a curmudgeon.
LIZ CIANCONE: Another beloved dog goes to heaven
We are short one granddog. This past week, “Indy” could no longer use her back legs and she went to that great dog kennel in the hereafter.
LIZ CIANCONE: Withdrawn society not very social any more
My Best Friend and I went out for lunch the other day. It was a sit-down place with our own “server” (in my day I was called “a waitress”) and everything offering personal attention. The manager even came over to ask if everything was all right.
LIZ CIANCONE: Technology, new fabrics made ironing much easier
As surely as Tuesday follows Monday on the calendar, ironing day followed wash day on Mom’s housekeeping chart.
LIZ CIANCONE: Looking back at memories of ‘history’
I was reading a whodunit the other day. The protagonist was trying to solve the mystery of what had happened to a local citizen soldier who had disappeared during the war.
LIZ CIANCONE: Smell of fresh air gave way to dryers
Remember when clean clothes smelled like fresh air and sunshine rather than fabric softener and dryer sheets?
LIZ CIANCONE: Courts see a different appearance than cops
Have you ever noticed the transformation between the arrest of an accused lawbreaker and the first appearance in court?
LIZ CIANCONE: We always want more than we need
Washington seems more preoccupied with the unemployment rate than they are about the constant stalemate. Still with thousands out of work and the unemployment rate hovering somewhere between 7 percent and 9 percent, it does deserve more than a passing nod.
LIZ CIANCONE: Old age is in email of the beholder
My Best Friend isn’t much for writing letters, so email has opened a new world for him. He can dash off a few words to a high school friend or his college roommate — now living in Florida and Washington State,
LIZ CIANCONE: A memory test from the oldtime radio days
For some reason, I seem to be the go-to source for all sorts of obscure information out at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
- More Liz Ciancone Headlines
- MS. TAKES: Important date passes by without much notice