|Civil War Diary of Charles Wesley Foulk|
But what I found the most distressing was the account of a 22-year-old and her cousin who found their late Granny's diary but couldn't read it. “ 'It was kind of cryptic,' [the young woman] said. She and the cousin tried to decipher it like one might a code, reading passages back and forth."
Seriously? Are those of us who can read cursive going to become sought-after specialists, the dying breed able to interpret archival material---say, my great-great-grandfather's Civil War diary (the first page of which is pictured above)? I'll admit Charles' authentic Spencerian (according to Michael Sull) handwriting is sometimes challenging to read, but that might be because he was writing with a dip pen in the freezing cold in his army tent. I'm just saying...
On the upside, I see a new opportunity for parents here! When our children were young, my husband and I used to resort to speaking a little Spanish when we didn't want them to know what we were saying (which worked well until their Spanish got way better than ours). Nowadays mom and dad can leave each other notes in plain English that will just look like lovely scribbled designs to their offspring!
In any case, it seems that diary-snooping may be severely curtailed in the near future. So go ahead and let'er rip in your journals, scribes! No one now under twenty will ever know your secrets.