National Handwriting Day

How bad is your handwriting?

It was 36 years ago today (Jan. 23) that the national trade group of pen and pencil manufacturers created National Handwriting Day, to be celebrated on the birthday
of John Hancock, who signed the Declaration of Independence so clearly that his
name became synonymous with “signature.”

It seems that cursive writing is going the way of the buggy whip, as young children are learning keyboarding and printing. Only 12% of elementary school teachers are trained to teach cursive writing these days.

Back when I was a pup, I got A’s in every subject except handwriting, for which I got a C. Thank heavens my mom told me to take typing “in case that chemistry thing doesn’t pan out.” I wish she had insisted on shorthand as well, as that would have come in handy as a magazine reporter, especially for people who talk really fast, like Carole Keeton Rylander. For her speeches, I’d just listen and laugh.

I once won a handwriting award, though, when I put my mind to it. See past Tip of the Day:

How much handwriting do you do? Probably not enough of it, I would guess.

But if you ever sit down with a blank sheet of stationery or a pretty note card and write just a few nice thoughts about someone and send it via snail-mail, I guarantee you will make that person’s whole day! If you really want to cement your friendships and business relationships, buy a big box of note cards and send one out each day to a different person in your Rolodex, er, Outlook Contacts. (There I go, dating myself again. I gotta stop doing that!) By the end of the year, you will have reconnected with old friends, caught up with former coworkers, and totally endeared yourself with 365 people in your life. Just a handwritten note to say you were thinking about them, five minutes plus a stamp, will change your life for the better.

And it will give you good practice at keeping your cursive handwriting in top form.

John Hancock Quotes of the Day:

“The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.”

“There, I guess King George will be able to read that without his spectacles!”

– John Hancock, American statesman and founder, 1737-1793


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