I was dozing in the Lazy-Boy chair early last Saturday morning, waiting to let JoJo back in from her morning exercise, when I saw Teenage Daughter’s yearbook sitting on the side table. What luck! I could immerse myself in the lives of middle schoolers. OMG! LOL!!
Four hours later, when she finally rolled out of bed, I asked her questions about certain pictures and people. She didn’t look pleased. “You read my yearbook? Did you read my autographs too?” Yes, I explained, I did and didn’t she read every one of my high school yearbooks? “Well, I try, but everyone wrote in cursive back then and the autographs are hard to read.”
Cursive? Back then? Was she kidding?
I mentally flipped through any correspondence that either of my older kids have done lately. By golly, she was right! Everything that my kids write is in scrawled print with not one D’Nealian letter to be found.
This is clearly a case of behaviorism here. Both of my elder children (and myself as well) were educated in their primary grades by honest, hard-working Lutheran teachers, whose own handwriting was right out of an instruction book.
Their cursive spoke volumes. It said, “Straighten up and fly right.” Reading Bible verses written by a Lutheran teacher can literally scare the hell out of you. You would obey and make sure that you crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s or suffer the wrath of the Almighty.
Since Teenage Daughter spent hours practicing handwriting while young, I concur that texting is partly to blame for this downward slide into cursive illiteracy. Come to think of it, I think her strange spelling habits can be blamed on that cursed phone too.
She’s apparently not alone. I saw not one proper use of a contraction in her yearbook and a lot of phonetic spelling. Your (or worse yet, U R) is a close stand in for you’re. Cuz is just another way to say because. Silly English teachers – who are they trying to kid?
The only thing that hasn’t changed are the “yearbookisms” that have stood the test of time. The one I saw the most was “Dont ever change!”
Don’t worry, I thought to myself. The more things change, the more they stay the same. They’re just spelled differently.