When my granddaughter, Sneaks, was little—walking and talking but not yet in school—she handed me a note from her grandmother, Grammy (my wife). The note read: “Get the turkey platter from the garage.” It was Thanksgiving and a few years before cell phones. I don’t know where Grammy was, but I was outside with some of our guests. I finally found it right where I’d put it the year before, but not where I’d put it for years before that, and so it took me a while to find it.
Not long later, when I was on the patio with friends and family, Sneaks handed me another note from Grammy that read: Sneaks wants some ice cream. I told her, “Okay, but only a little. We’re going to eat in about an hour.” I went back in the garage and got the quart of vanilla out of the refrigerator there (on top of which I had located the turkey plate) and gave her one scoop in the kitchen, where I found my wife fussing with preparing scalloped corn in a casserole dish.
I noticed that Sneaks followed me the whole time, with the note in her hands, looking at it as I retrieved the ice cream and put some in a bowl. She suddenly held the piece of paper up at me and demanded, “How do you know what Grammy said?”
Hey! Wow! No other grandkid ever asked me that, and I don’t recall me asking such a thing when I was little. Surrounded by the sounds and smells of Thanksgiving dinner sizzling and bubbling in the oven and on the stove, I taught Sneaks how to write and read the word “Hi.” In the days and weeks that followed, she learned other verbs and nouns. I even taught her to write them in cursive. But then she and her family moved out, and public education intervened.
About three years ago I found out that schools sponsored by the government stopped teaching cursive. Does anyone know why? Are today’s young teachers unable to decipher it? I can read hand-written history from two hundred years ago and more. But my grandkids can only read print? It’s a sad situation. In a few years, will youngins be able to earn doctorates in translating twentieth century script? Hopefully it’ll change, but in the meantime I’m going take advantage of this educational blunder and use cursive to keep young adults in the dark.
We who grew up with early television should have our own set of abbreviations. For instance, I can text: “My grandson bought a motorcycle. PPFF.” Others that come to mind are: DC when I’m happy enough to dance; TZ when a situation is creeping me out; OL when my computer is doing odd things (can be used to describe grandchildren); OSB when the AC in my car and house go out at the same time or any such odd situation (can also be used to describe grandchildren); IDOJ when my wife decides to buy something I don’t agree with, like a pool or dogs; BW when my wife moves furniture around without telling me; and WWW when I’m tired of modern life and just want something simple like barbeque. That’s one I’d use a lot.
To make sure that at least no one under the age of twenty-one will know what those mean, I’m giving the definitions in cursive:
There are a lot more, but I’m done remembering for now. In the meantime, I demand that all forms of such media communication provide cursive as a font, and I want one that’s better connected and with more loops than this example.