Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sunday Scribblers #113: Curves


So, here is what I have to say about curves: when my son was in kindergarten and making his first efforts at cursive writing, he used to call it “curvish,” which I consider an ever so much better tag for a way of writing that most of us have given up long ago. I love my beautiful wife’s curves and curvaceousness, but I was so sad the day she understandably, and reasonably, explained to our son that the kind of handwriting he was learning was, in fact, cursive and not curvish. You know how some things you just want to continue, no matter how innocently misinforming they may be. I miss the innocent way he would exclaim over his curvish letters, like some little preschooler in Hobbiton.

I’m over the sadness—though I do still miss the term—and as long as my son will sing me “Christmas is Coming, the Goose is Getting Fat” with that little catch in his breath when he sings beyond the point of needing to take a breath, I will always be on cloud nine.

But what about that old curvish handwriting, in this day of word processing and myriad fonts? I gave up the stuff thirty-five years ago, developing that hybrid curvish/manuscript personal font that most of us develop if we’re not in the sorori-/fraterni-ty of second grade teachers whose curvish seems to come straight from heaven, or Rune-ville, at the very least. Not only can I not even remember the curvish version of certain letters, I couldn’t recreate them, even if I did. In my classes at the Instituto, we’ll sometimes gather round the board and see if any of us can still write a name beginning in Q. I find that I do love the Zs, upper- and lowercase. A few weeks ago, having finished her latest epic about a classmate and his traveling dancing tacos, The Divine Ms G informed me, in all seriousness, that she needed to develop a professional signature for her name; she found the curvish G problematic, and her first and last names (and made up middle name that I have given her—Garson, so you can imagine what her first name is) all begin with G, those curvish Gs looking way too much like a decal you might find at a truck stop in Dothan, Alabama. We labored for a good while: even LogoMaster NM failed, until Ms AB solved our puzzle and created a perfectly wonderful signatory logo for GGG. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre can chill now: we’ve got the future superstar ready for autographs.

A shout out to all you second grade teachers with your angelic scripts out there in Elementary-ville. Y’all make it look easy, but it ain’t.

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Blogger rebecca said...

to think that all those years in primary school learning how to write "curvish" letters the right way and ever-so-neatly all went to pot! today, you couldn't decipher my signature from first grade scribble...i have nice handwriting, yet i slack with my signature, more precisely, i think i'm bored after all these years of writing the same thing over and over....LOL!

2:44 PM  
Blogger Frances D said...

So glad you stopped by my site.
I can practically hear a little voice talking about curvish writing as I type. Adorable.
Take care - have a wonderful weekend.

3:13 PM  
Blogger alister said...

I see your goose and raise you two geese...

Baby Dervish, more swerving than whirling
Scribbled in crayon more curvish than cursive
He was better at Qs than Suzy you know who
Better at Gs than Winston’s best, Miss AB
When one day he was told by curvy Ms Tina
That he’d really been doin’ the Alphabitalpha
He sang to his Daddie “Da Goose a Big Fattie”


5:49 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

FrancEs (apologies for the misspelling at your place): Thanks for the visit down this way, too. Best to you.

5:58 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Rebecca: I'm with you on the signature lackadaisies: these daze I favor the lowercase e.e. cummings style of authorship.

Miss Alister: That is an awesome poetic throwdown. I bow to you your raise. Thanks for being part of the fun.

6:06 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

"I bow to you your raise..."


Mr Paschal Murat needs to hire a proofreader...

11:18 AM  
Blogger alister said...

How much are you paying?

6:05 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Why, three ganders, of course.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Patois said...

Amen! Add to it a lefty child, my youngest, and the difficulty only increases. Curvish be damned.

8:29 AM  
Blogger San said...

OK, I'm the odd one out here. I'm fond of curvish, always had a knack for it. Once a classmate told me, "Your writing looks just like Mrs. Gardner's." Mrs. G was of course our teacher. As any of my family members will attest, I am fond of doodling--not in pictures--but in curvish. Wish I could write this comment in curvish. It is even quite possible that an entrance exam at the pearly portal will require answering a series of short essay questions (along the lines of Sunday Scribblers) in curvish.

That said (stepping down from pulpit, walking the aisles, arms raised, pentecostal style): PRAISE BE TO A FINE ESSAY! And yes, Walden's coinage of just the right word for handwriting is oh-so-perfect. Walker Percy wrote about this phenomenon in "The Message in the Bottle"--mispronunciations of certain words are based on mishearings, and can be far more poetic, and slantedly truthful than the "correct" saying.

9:00 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Patois, thanks for reminding us that cursive/curvish was probably invented by a righty (I was gonna say a righty in a suit, but it was probably a righty in a cassock). Best wishes and thanks for dropping by.

9:01 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Well, Ms Faux Gardner, ain't nobody out here askin' you to be shamed of your lovely curves. Though incapable of it meself, I LOVE beautiful curvish handwriting, love calligraphy, and love the Viner Hand ITC font (very likely the Official Font of Pearly Gates, Inc.).

My favorite mishearing of recent years is the "are" a recurring handful of students employ instead of "our." It remained a mystery until the day I heard myself intoning "Are Father, who art in heaven..." Folks be tuned to the auditory, and they be tuned in...I now prod myself to clearly pronounce the two-syllable "our."

How cool that your handwriting would look just like Ava Gardner's.

I have about three students who I allow to turn in handwritten work, because they have such awesome "personal" fonts.

Scribble on, Mighty San, scribble on...

9:39 AM  
Blogger Tammie Lee said...

I agree, it ain't (easy)! Imitating those curvy lines, wow what an art. I remember my son coming home from school, maybe 9 years old, chatting about his cursive, "what is cursive?" I asked. He chuckled for a good ten minutes, I do believe he even rolled on the ground. I will never forget what cursive is after that, ha.

12:23 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

No cursive in your day, Tammie Lee? You must have been one of the original curvish-ests.

7:52 AM  
Blogger OneMoreBeliever said...

oh i really smiled at that... it was the pressure to be perfect... and for a lefty gee, the world is full of the wrong rightees... i could not over this thing called curlee cursev.. so now i have perfect lefthanded print.. and my days are so sunny...

6:47 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Welcome, OMB: sun on to the left, all the way...

7:07 PM  
Blogger Daily Panic said...

that was sweet! I love to write in cursive, but rarely do.

8:55 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Daily Panic, you calligraphers need to stay in practice...Thanks for dropping by.

11:07 PM  

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