The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Property -

Cheques are on their way out and we are now told that they will prob­a­bly dis­ap­pear by 2018. This is bad news for that other en­dan­gered species, the sig­na­ture, which is al­ready be­ing shoved aside by the PIN and the pass­word. Our sig­na­ture is still part of our iden­tity and sign­ing a cheque is a rare op­por­tu­nity to give it an out­ing. There is a sense of oc­ca­sion about it and a feel­ing that it ac­tu­ally mat­ters. We take trou­ble de­cid­ing what our sig­na­ture will look like – af­ter all, we will be stuck with it for most of our lives. Some peo­ple pro­duce a min­i­mal­ist il­leg­i­ble squig­gle, but I bet an aw­ful lot of thought orig­i­nally went into that squig­gle. Hav­ing a name that be­gins with S or Q or Z gives plenty of scope for stylish strokes of the ball­point and I some­times won­der if peo­ple con­sider the sig­na­ture po­ten­tial when they choose names for their chil­dren. Would Zoe make a bet­ter au­to­graph than An­to­nia? Shall we call him Xerxes and buy him an italic pen? When sign­ing a cheque in a shop, un­der the eyes of the as­sis­tant, you need a self­con­fi­dent flour­ish to con­vey the mes­sage that there re­ally are suf­fi­cient funds in the ac­count, but some­times I con­cen­trate so hard on the flour­ish that I get half­way through my sur­name and sud­denly get a men­tal block about what comes next. Soon, the only time we will need to give our sig­na­ture will be on a lease or on a last will and tes­ta­ment. And, of course, when the de­liv­ery man comes to the door and says “Sign here, please.” But that’s a slap­dash af­fair. And when the man hands you a small elec­tronic box and asks you to sign with a sty­lus on a screen, it’s a dis­as­ter. That’s not my sig­na­ture, that’s a pic­ture of a worm fall­ing down­stairs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.