I think I may have been one of the last U.S. public school kids to receive cursive handwriting instruction in the classroom. Even with that help, among my fellow pupils, there were those who had good handwriting and those who would grow up to be doctors. (I work for a doctor and have worked in doctor’s offices for fifteen years; everything people say about doctor handwriting is completely true.)
Now, it doesn’t matter to me one bit if you have a perfect Palmer Method hand or if you dot your Is with little hearts, as long as I can read your letter, you may write however you wish. If I can’t read it (see paranthetical aside above: I can read nearly anything), then we have a problem. Letters are all about communication. If your letter can’t be read by its recipient, it’s not doing its job.
The thing about communication is that it has to go both ways. There’s no way that the writer will know that the reader can’t read their letter unless the reader tells them. Do you want to continue receiving unsolvable cryptography*, or do you want to have an epistolary conversation? If it’s yes to the later, then you need to politely request that your pen pal try another way of writing to you.
They can try using print if their cursive is what gives you trouble. There is no rule saying they can not write you on the computer and then print it out and mail it. There is our old friend, the typewriter! There are many options out there. You guys can make this work!
Anyone out there have this problem? Have any ideas to share on how to gently inform someone of their illegible writing and work around it? Add your comments below and remember to mind your Ps & Qs!
*Unsolvable cryptography is no fun; the solvable kind is rather nice.