Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY


April 14, 2013

YOUR VIEWS: Loss of writing equals to loss of history

GLASGOW — Dear Editor,

It’s sad to see that cursive writing is no longer an education mandate. I wholeheartedly agree with Golda Walbert when she described the loss of cursive writing instruction “as a great loss of identification” and without it this “signature of one’s personality” will be lost.  She added that losing out on older things eliminates a part of our history.  

 That is so true because as the article stated the history of about every family has been touched in some way by writing in longhand. As I read that I also thought of the founding documents from our nation’s history and many other important papers that were written out by hand before computers were even dreamed of.  

Of course now practically all business transactions and communications of about every type and sort are done by keyboarding. In the past, many statements were hastily written that have affected all of us. Legend has it that Abraham Lincoln wrote over half of the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope while traveling on a train from Washington to Pennsylvania. He delivered the 273-word address entirely from memory.  

When Martin Luther King Jr., wrote a letter from his jail cell in Birmingham, Ala., he had nothing to write on except the margins of a newspaper. His “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” included the words “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” A few months later he made notes for his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech on a yellow legal pad. Most scholars rank it the top speech of the 20th century.  

The Library of Congress has the original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence that Thomas Jefferson penned. You can see words that were crossed out and replaced by those that were adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. I don’t think anyone would want any of the final words changed at all.  

Many songs from my generation were hurriedly written down as an idea came to mind. It’s been reported that Bobbie Gentry woke at 3 in the morning and wrote down the words to Ode to Billy Joe. Who can forget “Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please?” That was in 1967 and if it had been today, she might have lost her thoughts by the time the computer had booted up.  

Maybe a little levity there, but you get the point.  Nothing is going to change the electronic age we live in, but I believe every person should be able to write out their thoughts in longhand. I couldn’t imagine not being able to do so.  

David Keith

Smiths Grove

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