Obsolete Vocations

     Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 29, 2014
     Category: Self-help Schemes | Work and Vocational Training | 1920s

The Navy taught me to be a computer operator. Since I got out I´ve found out that they not only have gotten rid of my rating but also my boot camp, A school, duty station and uniform. Hell, they won´t even allow you to have a beard anymore.
Posted by F.U.D. on 03/29/14 at 07:41 AM
This isn't entirely obsolete, but these days it's being taught as calligraphy, not penmanship, and it's seen only as an art, not as an office necessity.

Oh, and F.U.D.: Did you ever use Kvikkalkul?
Posted by Richard Bos on 03/29/14 at 08:43 AM
Richard: I was U.S.Navy, my wifes the Swede, so no.
Posted by F.U.D. on 03/29/14 at 09:25 AM
When I was 10 (or so) Mom sent me to a summer course on penmanship because she couldn't read my writing! The class was taught by a retired FBI handwriting expert.

@Richard: I had to look that one up! Never heard of it.

@F.U.D.: I was a disbursing clerk aboard the USS Shangri-La which was used as a test platform for a mainframe. Honestly, we could have made the payroll list faster by hand than punch cards!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/29/14 at 10:46 AM
I bought these recently because my kid's handwriting was terrible. Haven't gotten around to him using them yet. But I've started because I could use some improvement, too.

Posted by Robb of Warren on 03/29/14 at 06:41 PM
I have decent penmanship if I slow down and try.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/29/14 at 07:06 PM
Shouldn't the ad be handwritten?
Posted by crc on 03/30/14 at 12:41 AM
When my grandson was applying for the SATs, he had to send in a handwritten affidavit. He had a very difficult time getting all he was required to write in the small box he was allotted. He'd had about 2 weeks of "cursive" writing in elementary school, but at least he can sign his name. Are they even teaching THAT much anymore?
Posted by DebM on 03/31/14 at 11:17 AM
The construction of a 'signature' was one of the elements of the course I took. To do it correctly is way different from simply writing one's name in cursive.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/31/14 at 11:32 AM
With my cursive writing, I could have been a doctor, even though I had to write "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog' on reams of foolscap. But the schools here are bringing back cursive and the times table.
Posted by BMN on 03/31/14 at 02:11 PM
My daughter and her husband left notes for each other in cursive as a sort of code because their oldest two kids couldn't read it. The youngest two are taught it now in school, removing that edge.

My handwriting varies wildly, from near-calligraphy to cat scrawl, depending on mood and circumstance. My printing even varies -- normally a little haphazard, but sometimes lapsing into what I learned as a draftsman.
Posted by Phideaux on 03/31/14 at 02:24 PM
My 80 year old mother, to this day, leaves herself secret notes in Gregg shorthand.
Posted by Robb of Warren on 03/31/14 at 03:34 PM
Of course, these days very few people use a dip pen, as you'd have to to get the copperplate style shown in that advertisement. Even so, I've found that my own handwriting is a lot better with a proper fountain pen than with a biro.
Posted by Richard Bos on 04/01/14 at 06:12 AM
My handwriting was illegible in high school until I took up the hobby of forgery. It teaches you patience, fine control, and attention to detail. During the summers when there were no passes, doctor's notes, etc. to forge for my generous classmates, I took up calligraphy.
Posted by tadchem on 04/01/14 at 12:40 PM
You don't have to use a dip pen. There is one option I know of; a flexible nib fountain pen. I have one from Noodlers that I got on Amazon. They don't have all the flexibility of a real dip pen, but they're not rigid, either, allowing the "shading" as they call it in Spencerian. And they're not even expensive!

Posted by Robb of Warren on 04/01/14 at 12:43 PM
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