cursive literacy

Do you write in cursive? Could you? As an experiment try writing the entire cursive alphabet both upper and lower case. Did you get to the end without cheating? It seems that the vast majority of states have removed cursive as a requirement for children and I find this distressing. Handwriting and cursive in particular activates parts of our brains that typing just doesn’t and I think we’ll lose something as a society by disregarding it. If you don’t write in cursive why don’t you? What are your thoughts?

Er… seriously?

You do realize that many of us here are over 30, yes?

Not a problem for this old fart. Another 10 years an we old fogeys will have a secret code the young ones can’t read. Bwa-ha-HA!

I learned cursive over a couple of excruciating years in elementary school. I don’t write in pure cursive anymore because I don’t like it and it has no benefit other than signing my name. Instead, I use my own mixed script for day to day writing. It is just as fast as pure cursive writing and much easier for other people to read. I am not ever doing pure cursive again. Many of the cursive characters are just plain wrong to my eyes. I am looking at you capital Q, S and Z as well as lower case m, n, s, r and z.

It is just a made up, arbitrary writing system whose time has mostly passed. I don’t encourage my kids to learn it and honestly don’t know if they have spent much time learning it at all. They have much more important things to focus on in my opinion.

I work in a technical field and my notes tend to consist of long strings of random letters and numbers that need to be perfectly legible to anyone. Cursive is a terrible fit for that use. Now, if doctors would stop trying to use their own (terrible) version of it, we could save lives.

Almost never exclusively anymore, but I sometimes do write in a jumbled mix of cursive and printing ( with an emphasis on printing ) if I’m quickly jotting down notes.

Yes, my handwriting in it is virtually unreadable ( even to me ), but I went through a decade+ of college taking notes by hand in essentially all cursive.

It’s one of those once universal learned skills that I can happily acknowledge is now essentially obsolete. It’s a curiosity to me as a generational divide, but that’s about all it is.

Cursive is dead. Time to get with the program.

I have beautiful cursive handwriting that I use when writing personalized notes to people. I typically use modified cursive when taking notes for myself. Looking at my datebook (yes, I use a physical, paper datebook to record all of my work and personal activities), it looks like it’s mostly cursive, with names and other information that needs special clarity in print.

Yes, I can read it and write it. I should set myself up as a consultant for all the people who won’t be able to do either.

Prove it.

No, I don’t write in cursive. I think I could make most of the letters, but not all of them. Especially Z, I don’t remember that at all, but I do remember it being pretty dumb. I guess it’s not a very important letter so it doesn’t need to make sense.

They taught us in third grade, required it in fourth grade, and stopped caring in fifth grade. I was never as comfortable with it as I was with regular handwriting (“printing”) so I reverted back immediately. I only ever used cursive for school and only when explicitly required anyways. I don’t really write much by hand at all now, actually. My signature is based on cursive but there was a long gap between my last use of cursive and the point in my life where I needed to sign things, so it’s not especially close.

My thoughts? I think the push to protect cursive and make sure state law mandates it is a scam by educational publishing companies that want to keep selling two separate sets of handwriting curriculum. They appeal to some bitter, backwards people who want to keep everything the same as it was in 1953, and that gets some dumb old reactionary legislators to protect the publishers by mandating that every school teach kids to write a second time. Some of the arguments I hear are so breathtakingly moronic that they can’t have come from an honest place. Stuff like that kids won’t ever learn what the Declaration of Independence says because they won’t know how to read cursive (as if it was written in modern D’Nealian cursive), and that kids these days won’t ever be able to sign a contract because OMG they won’t have a signature.

That says handwriting has certain benefits, which I totally believe. I find I remember things much better if I have once written them down. But I don’t see any part of the article that asserts that writing in cursive has any more benefit than printing.

What benefit can you establish for making sure handwritten letters are linked together as opposed to written seperately?

Yup! :slight_smile:

That beautifully written script from an even earlier era–I used to puzzle how people could read it so easily. I guess it’s a similar thing with plain old cursive! I can read it just fine. And yes, I still like to write in longhand.

What do you mean by “cheating”? What do you mean by “the … cursive alphabet”? You realize that there are scores of different ways of writing in script. That one D’Nealian script you were taught in first grade is not the only way of writing “cursive.” In fact, it’s not even a good script for handwriting. That’s part of the problem with anti-cursive propaganda. All the specific criticisms of D’Nealian letterforms are irrelevant, because the D’Nealian script and its specific letterforms are not necessary for cursive.

Cursive is any handwriting script in which the letterforms are adjusted for fast, comfortable writing, which ordinarily requires that many of the letters are slanted, oval, and joined (hence, the British term “joined-up writing”).

One may learn one of the created scripts or one may create letterforms of one’s own. That, in fact, is the freedom of expression that cursive handwriting gives you. You are free to express yourself with your own letterforms. And the genius of teaching people to write cursive is that they are then able to read almost anyone’s cursive. It creates a flexibility of mental skill, somewhat similar to being bilingual.

It shows that it takes brainpower to write something. That is obvious. It shows that writing something is important in learning to write something and then read it, which is also pretty obvious. It may suggest that writing something helps you remember it…but does not suggest that cursive is in anyway better than handwriting or that “good” handwriting is better than “good enough” legible handwriting.

You said that this somehow benefits us societally. That’s really spurious.

Similar studies have suggested potential educational benefits from physical education and sports, video-gaming, napping and later class times. Which ones are significant and which are trivial? Is the cost worth the payoff?

I take notes in a mix of gregg shorthand and cursive. So, I’m beyond old fogey.

I can write in cursive, and it’s a great diversion to scribble off a few sentences during otherwise boring company meetings. They could say anything, since no one can read it!

I haven’t used cursive since seventh grade, when my favorite teacher told me he couldn’t read my cursive writing and that I should print everything from then on. Which I have done, reducing lots of stress for me and for those who want to read my handwriting.

As a college instructor, I agree that students just typing notes on their laptops during class doesn’t really make the ideas stick as well as writing it down on paper. I think that’s true for both longhand and for cursive, so cursive isn’t the critical part of it.

The time wasted trying to teach me to write in cursive would have been much better spent teaching me to print legibly.

Would have been better trying to teach me to touch type properly. hunts and pecks

Writing legibly, whether using print or cursive, is something you can only learn by practicing legible writing. It’s not something that a teacher can beat into you.

Each time you write something illegibly, you are practicing illegible writing. Only you can change that.

I wrote exclusively in cursive, as was demanded of me, until college. That’s when I realized that my handwriting was becoming illegible, so I switched to printing. Except for my signature, I haven’t written in cursive in 50 years … though I still remember how.

But there are still connecting script fonts.