Saturday, August 3, 2013

Death Knell

For, like, the second or third time, the death knell of cursive has been sounded. The so-called faster, more fluid way to write is being replaced in elementary school curriculums by (gasp) typing and computer literacy.

As I made abundantly clear in an earlier post, I am not a fan of cursive. Learning it didn’t help me write (my handwriting is still a “child-like scrawl”) and it never made me any faster. Plus all that instruction never let me decipher cursive writing any better. The m’s and n’s look the same! And if someone forgets the dot over the i, forget being able to figure out if it’s an e or an o. And is it a d or is it a c and an l? You’d think context would be able to help me figure this out, but I’d have to be able to understand the rest of the sentence first.

And the nerve, replacing it with typing. It’s not like I can type sixty words a minute on a slow day and actually understand what’s on the page.

Damn these new-fangled ways of communication! There’s no way a text or an email can be filled with as much thought and consideration as a letter just because it’s faster. Soon those beautiful, curved letters forming coherent sentences will be replaced by txt spk and no 1 wll b abl 2 undrstnd ech othr NEmre. Except the people who take the time to understand text speak. For the rest of you, that sentence is just an unbreakable cipher, isn’t it?

Seriously, I don’t even know if that’s real text speak. I’m actually one of those people who spells out everything. But still, I get the gist of it a lot more than I understand cursive.

So, in summation, good riddance, cursive, and the hand cramps you gave me. I’ll stick with the carpal tunnel from spending all day at the computer, thank you.


  1. My handwriting is horrible. You'd think with as much of it that I've done, it would be legible, but it's not. But, then, it's one of those few things where the more you do it, the worse you get at it. heh
    My kids have not really learned it. No handwriting projects like when I was a kid. My daughter is kind of upset by that.

  2. I think text speak is even more abbreviated.
    I was never good at cursive. My handwriting is terrible. Of course, I never learned to type, so my style is hunt and peck. On a really good day, I can type thirty words a minute.

  3. As a fifth grade teacher, I struggled for years over what to do about cursive. When I started teaching, 24 years ago, students started learning it in 3rd grade, and I just had to refresh. But over the years, it was taught less and less. Some of the kids were seeing it for the first time when they came to me -- and I just did not have enough hours in the day to teach it from scratch. The kids didn't want to learn it, the parents didn't care, and it became more and more irrelevant.

  4. That reminds me of something I saw on a classroom wall once. On each of several posters, it was a quote decrying the adoption of a new technology and how that was going to lead to the destruction of our culture.

    What sort of new technology?

    How ballpoint pens were going to make students lazy. How losing the skill of carving nubs for fountain pens was ushering in the dumbing down of the youth.

    I bet I can find a reference to this online someplace...

  5. I like the idea of cursive, but the reality is it's just not necessary. I don't miss writing it at all!

  6. I guess cursive looks pretty but it's not practical.

    I do think it's a bit sad that a lot of "kids these days" seem to have a much harder time spelling words correctly, though.

  7. I dislike text speak for the most part. I'm like you - I type everything out.

    I also write in a mixture of cursive and print. It drives my retired English teacher mother crazy, I'm sure. xD

  8. Cursive is just never used. I don't get the point of learning how to write in cursive.

  9. My cursive is almost like printing but with a fluid style. As for Twit Speak, I feel it is making a lot of us Twits! I wrote a post mourning the death of letter writing. I have volumes of the letters of Samuel Clemens, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, F Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, and C S Lewis -- they make those writers come alive in ways we will never know modern writers. Sigh.

  10. My cursive is doctor-level illegible. I print when just doing handwriting, because there are times I can't figure out what on earth it was I wrote in cursive.


Please validate me.