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By your handwrite

handwrite noun Handwriting, style of penmanship.
1973 GSMNP-83:26. They was sixty words wrote, and they was two handwrites. 1995 Montgomery Coll. He had a good handwrite [= cursive writing] (Cardwell).
[OED handwrite n Scot, Irel and U.S. 1483-; cf SND hand of write (at hand 8 (18)); CUD; DARE chiefly South, South Midland]

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English


The girls are continuing to work on their first real cd. Recently they've gave the old ballad My Dearest Dear, sometimes called The Blackest Crow, a try. What a song! If you've never had the good fortune of hearing it click here to see a video of The Pressley Girls singing it and you can read a story I wrote about the song as well. 

The words of the song are so beautiful...and heart wrenching. I guess that's how most ballads are. 

The last lines of the song:

And when you're on some distant shore think of your absent friend And when the wind blows high and clear a light to me pray send And when the wind blows high and clear pray send your love to me That I might know by your handwrite how time has gone with thee. 

The longing in that part of the song gets me every time.

The word handwrite to describe one's handwriting is no longer used in my area. Actually I've never heard it used in conversation-only in the song.

After listening to the rough cut of the girls' first recording of the song I got to thinking about handwrite. 

I could pick Granny and Pap's handwrite out anywhere. I'm pretty sure I could pick Paul's too and maybe even Steve's. Could I pick out the girls' handwrite? I don't think so. The Deer Hunter's probably. 

It's no secret handwriting has fallen by the wayside for lots of folks. Schools in my area don't even teach cursive writing anymore. If the girls have something written in cursive they typically ask me to translate for them. I think that's sad, but if you give me the option of typing or writing I'll choose typing every time so I certainly can't say I'm doing anything to foster the continued tradition of individual handwrites.


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I've always heard the term "hand" used for a person's handwriting - "It's in her hand so I know she wrote it herself," but have not heard "handwrite" used that way.
I was quite shocked when I learned a few years ago that cursive is not taught in every school anymore. Then I read the arguments back and forth, and I can understand the reasoning behind it....but it still seems like a sad loss to me. My own hand is nothing to write home about (hah! I made a joke without even planning to!) but it's read-able. And I enjoy reading things written in a clear, elegant hand.

Hey Tipper: We had a wonderful visit to the mountains this weekend. BUT it also included the funeral services of a dear fellow down in Murphy.

SPEAKING OF HANDWRITING - Handwriting was such a BIG deal in my early years! My Daddy was very supportive in 'teaching us' how important READING AND WRITING were to a person! He was my BEST TEACHER throughout my search for knowledge! And he did not charge me for the lessons!

Lucky me!
Eva Nell Mull Wike, B.S., M. S., PhD
Born, raised and 'educated' in THE MATHESON COVE!

Oh my goodness! I had no idea that cursive is no longer taught in school. I am amazed at the shortsightedness and disturbed by the repercussions that will come of it.
Not too long ago, my husband told me that he didn't believe history was being taught in schools anymore. I said that was absurd. I couldn't conceive of such a thing. I can only imagine that the current crop of elementary school students will be profoundly ignorant. They will have to hire translators just to decipher the contents of their grandparents' letters (that is, if they even care.) And I suppose my grandfather's letters would be out of the question -- he wrote in Spencerian script -- absolutely beautiful.

I regret that cursive is not being taught in schools. Beautiful cursive writing is a lost art.

Despite being lefthanded my handwrite used to be so good that I was always called on to write questions on the blackboard for the teacher. I also got called on to read for the older kids of me which made me very unpopular with them and with kids my own age.
Now when I write something in longhand I will often intersperse the cursive with ordinary printing and with digital printing just for the fun of it.

Wow, I was not aware that they don't teach cursive anymore, that is kinda sad. I also hear they don't teach history anymore in some school districts, and I do worry about that. How can anyone learn from the mistakes or the things that did work, in years gone by. Scary.

Chitter and Chatter and the Gang do a fine job on this song. And I'm so glad I was taught cursive writing in school. It was important to me, and my mama had good hand writing skills and when she told me I had good hand writing, it made me proud.
I can write tiny, almost as small as typing and it's legible. My oldest daughter makes a 7 like a backward F and crosses it. It took me awhile, but I learned to accept it. ...Ken

I was in college and my mother saw a term paper I had written. She told my wife that my writing was just like it was in elementary school. I also don't write much anymore - one check each month to church. My daughter 'writes' with 'printing' letters. She never learned to use cursive and she's 40 years old.

Hi, Tipper
This is such a beautiful story and song. The girls do a fantastic job. I remember how this song moved me when they played and sang it for us at Wofford.
I would like to ask permission to copy or get a copy of this post and the girls' rendition of it . I would like to read the story and words to the song for my Legendary Lives of Appalachian Women students . I would also like to download the girls' performance of this song and play it for my class. I will certainly credit you , Chitter and Chatter for your work.
I have a new group of students coming in on March 20, so would like to get your approval for this.
I continue to read, listen , learn and enjoy you and your work.
Thank you so much!
Maxine Appleby

P.S. My Grandmother used to tell me " Every Mama crow thinks her little crow is the blackest." I think of this and understand now the depth of love held in that saying .

Many of us afflicted with Parkinson's disease lose the ability to make small muscular movements. Our handwriting suffers. If I start writing something, by the second word I am pretty much drawing a line. I often write a shopping list and by the time I get to the store I can't read it. I would say that my handwrite is extremely poor to non existent.

Seems computers and their related contraptions are the culprits. As we seek more speed in everything we do, typing/keyboarding/texting all outpace anything handwrit. Put they also "santize" our communication, in spite of emojis. We don't have the tear stained, coffee spilled, peanut butter smudged communications or the intense slants, relaxed flow, or deep press of the pen to tell us more about the one writing to us than their words will tell. I fear, more than loosing the pretty script of cursive, we one losing another aspect of truly connecting with each other.

When I first heard that cursive was no longer taught I was somewhat concerned. I then thought about my own use of writing. If I wrote in cursive, I couldn't read it a day later as I was such a poor writer.
I print most notes and for the last 15 years of work, everything was done on word processer. We even had to do our own typing as secretaries were no longer hired.

My signature is unreadable, because I hade to sign so many papers that it became a scribble. I think that's why most signatures are not readable. The latest I have come across is digital signature for legal documents. So signatures with pen will also become obsolete.

The other day I was on the computer looking at the cause of death on an image of a death certificate I thought was interesting. When Dusty came in the room I said "Read this!"
He looked at it and said "I can't."
"Well sit down so you can see it better."
"I can see it fine. I can't read it."
"Why can't you read it?"
"It's in cursive."

I heard handwrite often when I was a child but not never no more. Back then your handwrite was your photo ID. Like a fingerprint it could be used to identify you. People went to jail or were proven innocent by their handwrite.
I know others will say I am mispronouncing handwriting as handwrite but they are two different words. Handwriting merely means writing by hand. Handwrite is all about how you form your letters, how you follow a line (or not), how firmly you press the pen to the paper, how and where you put in spaces and punctuation, etc. All this in aggregate can be identified as being specific to you. Not too long ago, if you were arrested, one of the first things you were asked to do wasn't to provide a DNA sample or a fingerprint but to write something so that the authorities would have a example of your handwrite.

Forensic Document Examination is the big words I am looking for.

I think the fact that schools are no longer teaching cursive writing is a shame, how will these students sign any documents with a legible signature in the future. I don't know if this is a product of "Common Core" but I feel that it is and this whole program is doing nothing but "Dumbing Down" American students and is nothing more than a way for publishing companies to make money by selling this trash to the school systems. Penmanship used to be stressed in schools and looking back at documents signed by many of our ancestors show the pride that is evident in their signatures and looks almost like calligraphy.

My grandson was visiting when I got a handwritten note in a Christmas card. I handed it to him to read. He handed it back and said he didn't know how to read cursive. That made me just as sad as the time I heard one of the boys say it was time to go because Mom said to come home when the big hand was on the twelve. I have often wondered if the mail carrier knows how to read cursive. The older folk who still send paper Christmas cards (not greetings on FB) could make the post office employees crazy!

I have never heard 'handwrite'. I have encountered the phrase "write a good hand" or "a good hand to write". Anyone who has tried to read documents handwritten before there were typewriters soon develops an appreciation for good penmanship.

Anybody else ever notice how "signatures" of public figures often contain very few or even no recognizable letters? I guess I'm too old school but that bugs me a bit. It seems to have gotten to the point where a signature is really a pictograph and doesn't even pretend to be letters.

Does this mean pencils and pens will be the next to go?

I don't believe I've ever used handwrite, but have heard and used handwrote. My parents and grandparents always used scribe, so that's what I use. I'm a poor scribe but my parent's were good scribes. My writing looks like doctor scribbling, and theirs looked artistic.

That is a beautiful song, the girls do something special for it.

I would know the handwriting of my mother , father, and sister anywhere. It's so strange to me that we don't write any more. I write a grocery list and that's about it. I rarely even write checks now.

I don't think I've ever heard the word handwrite used, and spellcheck doesn't think it's a word!

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