If cursive goes away

In This thread and in a thread from a couple months ago, some people have mentioned their disdain for cursive writing, and I’ve seen a couple of comments or so that it might not be taught any more.

So, I’ve been wondering, and forgive me if this sounds like a stupid question, but how will people learn to sign their name? Or will signatures become a thing of the past also?

Well, there’s always thumbprints, retinal scans and Gattaca style DNA ID. Though I can’t really see any of these completely replacing signatures.

Yeeaaahhhhh…I was thinking more in terms of realistic, everyday use.

I already don’t use cursive to sign my name.

I hate cursive with a passion. I’ll be damned if I’ll write a big Q like a 2. When I was a kid, my signature was my name in cursive, like I was taught. Once I was free of the joined-together-writing yoke, I cast off that signature like that slave guy on the episode of Quantum Leap cast off his slave name and said he felt like a King and so, by implication, became the patrilinear ancestor of MLK, all because Sam is AWESOME.

Anyway, I came up with a new signature that does not incorporate any elements of cursive, except that it is fast to write and has letterforms reminiscent of the printed English alphabet. Oh, and some of them connect, but in a much more dynamic way than cursive’s loops.

Of course, my signature is not exactly legible, and often appears as just the first and last letter of each name, much like “William” was abbreviated “Wm”. But have you seen most people’s signatures? They’re really just a cryptographic hash of the geometry of their hand and muscle control under a specific input.

I’ve been very seriously considering this. My printed name looks the same time after time. My signed name, not so much. My signed name basically looks like the cursive letters SRR (if my middle name were “Ruckin’”). The other day, I accidentally signed my name as SRRR. :smack:

What you hate is D’Nealean handwriting, which is the way Satan himself writes the contracts he uses to steal the souls of the innocent. Cursive is any handwriting that uses joined letters. Write your Q’s any damn way you please, and spit in the eye of any third-grade teachers who tell you you can’t be part of the cursive club for doing so.

So I guess the answer is, signatures will probably become a thing of the past.

A “signature” can be any identifying characteristic. Even if we lost the talent to write completely, we’d still have a need for signatures.

I’ve never written in cursive script. My signature is an apparently random scribble that bears no relation to my name at all.

Why do you need to learn cursive to sign? I never learnt cursive, and I can make a squiggle with the best of them. In fact, why do signatures need to be legible at all? What would be wrong in wanting to sign a picture of snoopy?

I’m puzzled. Joined-up writing doesn’t have to be old-fashioned copperplate-style cursive writing. (I was staggered to find out that US schools still apparently teach it - it hasn’t been used in Britain for decades.)

Why would people not just sign their name using normal joined-up writing?

(Most UK schools teach Nelson handwriting - I couldn’t find a good sample online, but you can see it in the title of the book here. Most Brits under the age of about 40 would have learnt to write something like this, and obviously the style and letter shapes evolve with each person.)

Anyone would think the options were either write like John Hancock or write individual printed letters…

It sounds like those *are *the only options if you’re American. In the UK, joined-up handwriting has never been tied to a specific style (at least, not to my knowledge). I was taught italic (this was about 1970 or so). My handwriting’s since evolved out of all recognition, but has remained legible and joined-up. People who can’t write joined-up come across as illiterate and uneducated, even if they have a PhD or whatever.

If cursive goes away, we’ll just go back to everyone wearing signet rings and impressing their personal icon on paper with them.

I think what I learned, over 60 years ago, was called Palmer. The Q looked like a 2. What I use now, except for my signature (which is a scrawl that bears some vague resemblance to my name) is rather like the Nelson system mentioned above. It is relatively legible on the blackboard, if I take a bit of care.

I have a friend who grew up in NYC and never learned cursive. The banks don’t accept a printed signature, so he worked out an indecipherable sign that they accept. I know someone who had a 9 letter name E_______g and his signature consisted of a cursive E overlaid with a g. The bank accepted it, which is all that matters.

As a mathematician, I use cursive letters symbolically and distinguish them from the usual math italic, so I still have to be able to write them. There is also something called blackboard bold for simulating bold. But you learn those just as you learn the Greek letters.

I guess for other purposes, cursive is likely to disappear as most writing will be on a keyboard and the speed advantage of cursive will be seen as unimportant.

I think you have a point. When I heard about electronic signatures, I wondered what the heck they were, and then a few months ago, when applying for a student loan, I used mine. It’s just typing in your name.

I didn’t know that you’re an MD.:smiley:

Is that acceptable for official documents? And the point of signatures is to make sure that you are who you say you are. If there’s a document with you name, but the signature doesn’t match other documents with your signature, it’s an indication that it may be a forgery.

Funny, but the writing on that book looks pretty darn close to cursive to me. At least the lower case letters. The upper case letters don’t have loops, which seems to be the only difference.

And as for me, my signature is the only thing I use cursive for. Although I’ve seen plenty of letters in cursive. Even if it stops being taught tomorrow, it’ll be a while before it goes away. At least here in the US.

You wouldn’t be able to tell what my surname is from my signature. It consists of first initial, middle initial, then first letter of surname, with the only other letter forms really being the loop of a “g” and the crossbar of a “t”. I don’t know many people whose signatures are totally legible if you don’t know what they say.

Where my wife use to work, she and her coworkers had stamps of the higher ups signatures. They would review documents and then stamp signatures on them, making it look like the higher ups actually, you know, did their jobs and reviewed the documents themselves.

Actually, that gives me an idea. Until institutions stop requiring cursive or scribbles for signatures, maybe people will just buy stamps of their name in cursive. And I obviously mean this kind of stamp, not a postage type stamp.:smiley:

And isn’t it the loops that are what people complain about? This is what I understand as the US-style cursive. What gets taught in British schools is more like printed letter shapes but with “tails” that join the letters together so you can write quickly. The example on that book is more exaggerated, as that’s how it’s taught at first, but in practice most people adapt it. Here are a couple of examples of British adult handwriting:


Even the Queen doesn’t write “cursive”: http://benzographology.co.uk/images/Queen-front-page.jpg

First point, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the whole alphabet in cursive, and I honestly don’t remember Q looking like a 2, but there it is. Wow.

Second, please don’t take offense, but those writing examples were hard to read. But then, so are most American letters that use handwriting instead of printing.