by Roger Pynn
When William Shakespeare penned those words for Ophelia in Hamlet, do you think he thought there’d come a day when we would debate the value of knowing how to express ourselves with a pen?
The debate in South Carolina’s Legislature over spending a piddling $28 million to see to it that the Palmetto state’s children know how to write in cursive letters would probably have the bard in tears.
I get it. We all use keyboards. We don’t phone each other. We text each other. It doesn’t matter if they write in pretty cursive. Let them use block letters. And even though our tablets allow us to “write” with a little rubber tip on the touch-sensitive screen, you can convert it to any font you like … including half a dozen styles of script.
I should hardly care, I suppose, given that my handwriting – which my mother once called beautiful – went to hell in a hand basket during my years as a reporter where rapidly scribbling notes on a reporter’s notepad was considered one of the most important skills of the trade.
The history of handwriting goes back well before Shakespeare, and you have to doubt that we’d have developed all the fonts you can choose today on your computer if society hadn’t found beauty in the flowing ink of a quill and the development of italicized styles during the Renaissance.
But, ladies, tell me … when he brings you roses, do you want the love note he scribbles on the card to look like this: