Sued51's Blog











{November 18, 2013}   Cursive Death

cursive writing

Childhood cursive

To keep cursive writing as part of elementary school’s curriculum or not: this story came on the radio in my car as I was driving the other day. My ears pricked up; I had actually had a draft post on this issue from July of last year that I never completed. I guess it is time.

This is one of the instances when I am proud to be from Massachusetts. Normally a liberal state, but at times…conservative. With the increasing use of computers and hand-held devices, the continued value of teaching cursive script in schools has been questioned in recent years, but the time has now come to make a decision as far as the law is concerned. Massachusetts is one of a few states that will continue to require cursive script to be taught in public school; 45 states are considering not requiring it.

The ramifications for future generations hit me personally, as I sat scribbling in my journal this morning in my own “hybrid” version of handwriting (random printed letters jumbled with cursive). It occurred to me that the generations ahead that I hope might be interested in my written ramblings, may not even be able to read what I have written.

Last year I sat at the desk of a coworker twenty years older than me. I looked at the notes she had written on stickies; some of them were difficult for me to read. Why? Because she wrote in TRUE cursive…I realized it had been so long since I  had seen capital letters written in cursive script that I had to work to process it. (Sometime in high school and college I found it faster when taking notes to use printed capitals and then switch to cursive as I write the words.) I began to experiment in my head, then on paper; I went through the alphabet mentally trying to write each capital letter in script. Guess what? There were a few I wasn’t sure I had totally right, and two I didn’t remember at all (Q and Z)! It horrified me!

I started thinking…Do they still make those preprinted, center-dotted-line pages we used to use in school to practice our cursive? I started thinking I wish I had one of my childhood school papers as a piece of artwork for the wall (I used to have beautiful writing)…I started thinking if future generations don’t learn to write it, they won’t be able to read it and won’t value it. I suppose someone will write a computer program where pages of cursive could be scanned in and translated, but…would anyone bother with the old letters and journals of a dead relative? I like reading my grandmother’s journals, but then I’m from the generation still nostalgic about antiques.

Readers, what do you think? Is learning cursive writing still important?

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I too have a cursive/print handwriting style…and I’m also from Massachusetts. ..lol perhaps this is unique to our state!!?
I’m glad to hear cursive won’t be abandoned there…at least not yet, anyway!! Besides… when the big EMP Burst happens (and you know someday it will) we will need to communicate with pen and paper…hard to do if no one knows how to write!!

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sued51 says:

SHBG…yes, wouldn’t that be ironic…people not knowing how to write…we would be back to cavepaintings…LOL! 🙂

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I write in scattered cursive type… So I’m bias as hell.

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sued51 says:

I do too, Chatty…it isn’t a pretty sight, LOL! But try to read the constitution or other historic documents with fancy script and “f”s where there should be “s”s…imagine when it all looks like a foreign language…

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That sounds so unbelievably intriguing, it actually makes me want to write confusingly deliberately in a mischievous way! Haha!

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eyekensee says:

I am sorry for the 45 US states that are considering not requiring cursive writing in the curriculum. One of these days, people of third world countries like the Philippines, where cursive writing is considered important and valued early on in child education, will be the ‘the educated’ – the ones who can read and do cursive writing.

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sued51 says:

Yes, countless statistics indicate that US children are behind other children worldwide as far as education goes…

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We want to say it’s relavent provided the style is not graded on teh same scale as core subjects. Get out the Kleenex, my poor pub was kept off honor roll all thru elementary school because she could not get above a C in penmanship! Grade 5 teacher even posted her poor script on the bulletin board for all to see. Weirdly, she went on to make her living as a writer. We guess it does not matter how precisely one crosses ones Ts or dots one’s is. It’s the way you arrange the words that matters, not how you write them, nice post, xo LMA

So, is it necessary?

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sued51 says:

LMA…your pub was treated unfairly! Must have been a strict teacher!

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Gaurab says:

I vote for cursive writing, it is still relevant 🙂

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sued51 says:

Thanks, Gaurab! I think it is relevant for historical reasons especially.

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Giovanni says:

Great post! I’m an avid supporter of cursive script. Shouldn’t even be an issue in schools.

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sued51 says:

Thanks, Giovanni…I can’t believe so many states are thinking of making it optional. 😦

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This will probably make me unpopular here, but the purpose of cursive writing was speed. Since typing is way faster, there really is no need to make this a requirement in schools. An elective perhaps? Typing however should be a requirement. 🙂

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sued51 says:

Thank you for your comment…all comments are welcome as long as they are not personal attacks. 🙂

I did not find cursive faster…which is why I ended up with a hybrid of printing and script…those fancy capital letters were too time-consuming.
That being said, I think it is also an expression of someone’s individual style that is lost. I think reading it, at least, should be taught.
It is not right to assume that everyone has access to computers…there are still plenty of poor people who do not have the luxury.

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I agree, although I think that it is not right that people don’t have access to computers, and I would rather that we focus on getting everyone a computer as opposed to teaching them how to get along without one. 🙂

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sued51 says:

Matthew, I believe Gates is working on that. 🙂

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God I love that guy!!!

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