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Ostomy Memories of Penmanship


MY HANDWRITING SUCKS.  Technically, I would say that it is a combination of cursive and printing that, by the time I had left school and the necessity to take classroom notes, had deteriorated into a sort of semi-legible chicken scrawl that even I can’t always read.  In school, I concocted a number of abbreviations to enable me to take rapid notes, and I continue to use them today.  For example, I don’t write ‘with,’ I just put a lower-case w.  ‘Without’ has become w/o.  There are a lot more.  In tune with our contemporary technology, many schools no longer bother to teach cursive writing.  First came typewriters, eventually followed by computers, prompting educators to turn from penmanship to typing and keyboarding as essential skills.  By the mid-1990s we had email, by the early 2000s, texting.  Who needs to write anymore?  That is truly a sad question.  I’d say that I was ahead of my time when, in high school in 1958, I signed up for a typing class.  But, in truth, I did that because I figured I’d be the only guy in a class full of girls.  I got nowhere with the girls (not counting Mona Cummings), but I remain grateful for my typing skills today.

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I remember it well!


I have beautiful handwriting (cursive). 🖋 📖 It was kind of your signature style back in my day. Lol My daughter only learned a bit of it in school before they stopped teaching it. But with an 'older' mom (all her friend's moms are at least 10 years younger than me) she can read my handwriting. 💗  I have customers of all ages in my shop so I do have to be careful when writing out something for them. If it is a younger person I always ask "Can you read cursive?". 🤓 Funny how rapidly things we took for granted can change. 🤔😛


I think penmanship is a hereditary trait, you inherit it from your parents. I may be wrong, what do some others think? It is a dying art unfortunately, but hopefully it will survive. How nice is it to receive a hand-written letter compared to those other methods of communication. I am going to cut down on WhatsApp messages and phone my friends, something more satisfying hearing their voice rather than those terse messages which never conclude anyway.


I am wondering if you are referring to the great cook Mona Cummings on Etsy?  Didja’ know ( school slang for did you) know Mona Cumming’s nickname was “Mona monkey” ?😉. Just some trivia for your reading pleasure.  jb 


Hi all when i was in elementary school i had a teacher trying to change me from being a lefty to a righty and when she couldnt read what i wrote and called me up to her desk and asked me to read it i couldnt read it my self, and that was the end of that nonsense.


As I recall, I could not get on very well with cursive writing but I did enjoy writing in italic script. This method of writing is totally impractical for everyday use as it takes far too long. However, it's great for showing off some rhyming verse and the upside is that the finished product is exquisite. The interesting thing is that nowadays a similar effect can be obtained by altering the font on the computer so it still pays to learn to type.

As I get into my dotage, I have found that my artistic hands are no longer a viable proposition for writing in any form because the arthritis means I have difficulty holding small things like pens and pencils, and my hands shake so much that anything written tends to be just a scribbled mess. ( a bit like my cursive writing was all those years ago. ) I think the saying is: 'what goes around -comes around. Although I never did quite understand what that meant.

Best wishes



😂 Mona Cummings. That would be a horrible name for a girl to have in jr/sr high school. Especially, if she got “around”. 😂🤭 ok, carry on with your chicken scratch talk…..

Reply to Justbreathe

I made the name up... 

Reply to HenryM

Ya - I figured you did 😇

Reply to AlexT

Amazing that Henry knew her “back in his school years”


My penmanship is still pretty good.  I am dismayed to learn that children in school are forbidden from using cursive.  Seriously?  The kids can't even read it! A bit like asking them to tell the time on an analog clock... or use a rotary phone! lol Studies have proven that cursive writing is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory! How unfortunate that cursive writing is not encouraged.

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