Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cursive? What happened to writing?

“Stuck in time”

A lousy singer and brilliant songwriter once put the words, “The times they are a changin’” to music. Then he followed ‘em with the worst harmonica playing ever broadcast. And, I thought it genius.

“The times they are a changin’.” Of course times are changing. If they didn’t, everything would stop. Scientists would never be able to get things started again, because they couldn’t move. That Dylan was so profound.

If time suddenly stopped, I’d probably be frozen in time putting on deodorant. Do you know how hard it is to keep your arm raised above your head for a couple of minutes? Try a lifetime. I’m sure you can think of other unfortunate positions to be in, but you’ll have to do it on your own time. I’m goin’ somewhere with this. Don’t think I’m not.

Did you happen to read the article about proof of insurance verification? As of September 1, in Texas, you can now download your proof of insurance to your cell phone and show it to the officer.

This is an example of our changing times. Not for me, though. It’s all I can do to complete a call on my cell phone. There’s no way I could pull up a picture or written message. You might as well send me an air guitar as a text message.

This is only one of a few thousand changes in paper usage that are taking place. There is now a new type of digital money called “Bitcoin.”  It’s a currency that is backed by absolutely nothing. No country or bank. It has value simply because some people desire to have it. It’s like… well, nothing of which I’m aware. I would try to explain the concept, but I’m the guy who has trouble using his cell phone.

There was a time when I never thought I’d ever use a credit card. Just when I got good at it, someone came up with bitcoin. I can safely say that I’ll never use it because I have little faith in something that exists only in the minds of those who play Internet games… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And, something else I never imagined I’d live to see is the elimination of cursive writing from school curriculum. Cursive? I was in my mid-forties before I even knew what it meant. My teachers were foolishly calling it “handwriting.” That makes as much sense as referring to jogging as “feet-running.”

It took me longer than most to catch on to cursive writing. Writing words in a way that they’re all connected in one continual pen stroke required students with an eye/hand coordination rate higher than four. I eventually achieved what was referred to by all of my teachers as “lousy handwriting.” I’m a fast writer, though. Boy, am I fast.

Today’s youngsters may never have to worry about anything other than handprinting. The word “signature” will mean nothing to them. – “Print your name at the top of the page and then print it at the bottom in a way that no one can read it.”

It takes me at least three times longer to print something than to write it. Do you realize it takes four pen strokes to print an E? After two strokes, I’m pretty well alibiing.

The next generation of kids won’t have to worry about any kind of writing. They’ll be keying in everything. There will be no need for paper or pens in school. It’ll be keyboards and styluses. Or styli. You know, those little pointy things that you poke at your Kindles and Ipads and such?

In time the word “write” will go the way of, uh… words we don’t use anymore. Let’s see, Dookie. As in, “That’s a buncha dookie.” -- Ice box. As in, “If you don’t close that ice box door, I’m gonna knock the dookie out of you!” – This is actually more enjoyable than thinking of the changing times.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, “write” is gone. Gone the way of the word “type,” as in 40 words-a-minute. I once got up to 64 with no mistakes. Afterwards, I jumped up and did 73 pushups. I was wired. To this day I sometimes air-type while I’m watching TV or when Kay talks to me.  

Of course, it’s now it’s called “keying.” I suppose. Don’t worry about learning that, ‘cause “keying” will soon be a thing of the past. There are now computers that print whatever you say. Jill has a phone that she talks to. I’m not making this up! -- “Text Mark, ‘The recipe I told you about is wrong.  Add one cup of ‘sugar’ not ‘black olives.’” – Of course, I don’t know how to pull up texts, so I’ll end up baking sugarless chocolate chip olive cookies. 

Yes-siree, times they are a changin’ and I’m on hold. You might say, when it comes to technology I’m handicapped. Oops. That’s another one of those obsolete words. I’m dumb as dirt. I think we can still say stuff like that. For now.

End and

1 comment:

  1. I too type words in my mind, drives me crazy! Good article, love you, Moke. jilly