25 March 2020
I wrote my first ‘lockdown’ letter to mum yesterday – because that’s just the kind of loving daughter I am (cough, cough – but not in a Covid sort of way). It was long, it contained photos, it was chatty, it hopefully won’t confuse her too much, and more importantly it was legible. Because it was typed.
My hand writing is a bit hit and miss – mostly miss, depending on how much thought I put into it. My old primary school reports (which I kept, in case one day I become famous – hopefully not infamous) are currently housed in the quarantine/isolation area of the house, but I do remember across a number of the reports that consistency was noted in the area of ‘messiness of handwriting’. Whereas my mum had beautiful handwriting. Dad wasn’t too bad, but Mum was much better. (Mum’s grammar, spelling and punctuation were second to none, by the way – woe betide anyone who insisted something was ‘almost exact’, for example! Or put an apostrophe where it didn’t belong…)
I have my grandmothers’ Golden Wattle cookbook with multiple hand written recipe additions, various books featuring the hand writing of grandparents, great grandparents etc – and all of them are so very special, providing an instant tangible connection to that person.
I’m going to crawl out on a limb and suggest that neat legible handwriting is a rapidly diminishing generational thing. Back when mum and dad were young, legible and neat handwriting was a matter of importance (I do have a book that features Dad’s very young writing lessons, by the way! I appear have a lot of this sort of stuff that I can’t throw out. Maybe that will be the focus of a future blog…)
Do students today actually do much hand writing? Or is communication best done (like my letter to Mum) on an electronic device that allows the reader to actually read what is said? Is reliance of grammar and punctuation going to go out the window eventually, because even auto correct can’t be bothered with the difference between there, their and they’re???? And should we go the way of street signs and get rid of apostrophes altogether, given they are just a source of irritation to some people.
I saw a Fringe show this year about Grammar, by the way. It was brilliant and appealed to my (inherited from Mum no doubt) issues with the way some people treat language. It gave me a name for my condition – I’m a Grammarian.
So – get back on track, Heather.
What will our grandchildren get from us? George and any future grandchildren will be the unfortunate recipient/s no doubt one day of all the photo books I’ve done of different holidays, containing my photography and my thoughts by way of the blogs I wrote about those holidays. But will anything survive of my hand writing? And is how we wrote as significant as what we wrote?
Does it bother anyone other than me a lot? Or allot? Or alot?