The recent MCH blog about initials made me think of the time I – and I suspect many others – spent practicing fancy signatures during my childhood. Taking note of adults’ styles, and autographs pictured in books, I’d experiment with loops, italics, underlines, i-dotting/not dotting, and wavy lines rather than actual letters, until I felt I had exhausted every calligraphic possibility. It wasn’t a question of wanting an autograph for when, as was surely inevitable, I became a pop star or professional footballer; I saw it more as an accouterment of adulthood, like being able to drive, or a capacity for enjoying strong cheese.
It is a sad thought that this small joy may be lost to kids in the future, as the signature is clearly dying out, constantly losing ground to the password, PIN and names typed in emails. It’s a shame because signatures are a little expression of our personality; think of a relative and close friend and you’ll know how they write their name – and quite probably think of it with some fondness. Enjoy writing those cheques while you can.