Cursive Writing A Dying Art-Signature

There are a few reasons I think cursive writing is important even though most schools barely teach this art and some have discontinued the practice altogether.


Signature

I realize we are trying to go to a paperless society but we still use a signature to sign our name to close on a house, buy a car or any other legal contracts. Many young people today don’t even sign their name in cursive.

Printing your name can be copied much easier than when you write in long hand. There are so many variations to cursive with some putting more curlicues and others making harsher slants.

Our signature is our personality, if we right in block letters there is no personality. I realize some languages only have one form of writing such as Chinese but the English language has had two forms for hundreds of years. I’m not quite sure how they tell a person’s signature when everyone has the same form of writing.


Personality

Psychologists can tell a lot about a person from their handwriting. In the future with everything changing to electronic script I wonder how they will determine a person’s mental health?

Writing a letter out in long hand is more personal and lets the other person know you put thought and time into it.

With text speak we don’t even put the effort into a piece hurrying through to say as few words as possible so we can get on with Angry Birds or YouTube videos.

Everything seems so impersonal these days and less caring.


Please print

Most medical or government forms ask you to please print. I’ve seen senior citizens that hardly know how to write in this format. When they were in school cursive writing was the proper way to write and everyone had to learn to do it well.

Once you reached the third grade you were expected to only write in cursive and if you printed your friends considered you a baby. Only the younger kids wrote in print. Everyone still knew how to print but writing long hand was habit and you had to slow down and concentrate to remember the technique of printing.

Cursive writing uses the subconscious area of the brain while printing requires the conscious area. This is why people in the habit of writing cursive have to stop and think about what they are writing more. It’s why senior citizens struggle with this form of writing.


Handicapped people

Those with motor skills issues do better writing cursive than printing because they don’t have to lift the pen or pencil off of the paper after every letter. Kids with fine motor skill delays have an easier time learning cursive but if no one can read what they write it won’t be of much help.

Occupational therapists will often teach kids with these issues to write in cursive.

Typing on a computer is easier for them but there are times when you still have to write and they won’t always have a computer or cell phone around.


Lost art

There are languages that have been forgotten because the next generation didn’t think they were fashionable enough. I’m thinking cursive writing will end up in the same situation.

They’ll bring in an old guy to translate an antique letter someone found in the back of a bureau they can’t read.

What is this foreign writing? Hopefully it won’t be some hot love letter from his great-great-grandfather to his great-great-grandmother during the war. Some things are best read quietly to one’s self and not meant for an audience.


Keyboarding is more important than cursive penmanship

Educators will tell you the reason they hardly teach long hand writing anymore is because of computers. It’s more important for kids to learn to type than to write cursive and they only have so much time in a day.

Eventually, all schools will be teaching with computers; tests will be taken online so there won’t be as much writing at all, printing or cursive. It’s more important to teach them the keyboard than how to draw letters. The hunt and peck method will slow them down in the classroom, in their career as well as personal life.


The typing generation

So penmanship will go the way of cursive writing and keyboarding will replace them both.

According to Time Magazine in 2009 “people born after 1980 tend to have a distinctive style of handwriting: a little bit sloppy, a little bit childish and almost never cursive.”


Moving into the future

I’m all for new technology, I work on a computer everyday, but I’m thinking some of these things need to be revisited and not lost. Just because we have new ways of doing things doesn’t mean we should forget the past and not teach our children how to read and write in cursive.

Cursive has more color, more personality and more life to it than simply printing or typing. I really hope we don’t forget how to use it.

There are kids who cannot read cursive. Kids that were homeschooled and taught cursive have friends who cannot read their notes.

I see a future of no writing implements and using our thumbprint for signing electronically. If there isn’t an electronic appliance around we won’t be able to leave each other a note or make a shopping list.

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Comments 20 comments

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

I wrote a hub along these same lines called, Progress of Communication, or Has It? It too talked about the loss of cursive, and the ability to read it in the future. Great minds must think alike.


Sneha Sunny profile image

Sneha Sunny 4 years ago from India

I write in cursive writing and I love cursive. My mother taught me cursive and she is my inspiration. I agree most of the people dont write in cursive anymore; reasons are many as you also mentioned (one reason I've heard is to write fast in the exam).

Writing in cursive is really an art and I enjoy writing cursive. I hope it will not get extinct.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Homesteadbound, I have some catching up to do after this contest. I'll have to see what you wrote.

Sneha, My sons don't write cursive but my daughter does. She has Aspergers and her occupational therapist taught her.


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

I agree a lost art when one took the time to create in a flowing hand... always a pleasure to read someones handwriting that had a gift... Hard to find these days.

Hugs from Canada


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Rolly, I see less and less handwriting. It's a shame.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'm afraid my cursive style is nearly unreadable. The only way my words can be legible is if I print most of them. So my script is a mix of printing and cursive. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Alocsin, I think that is due to being a writer. My handwriting isn't so good either. You would think writing a lot would improve our skills but it seems to make it worse.


phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Completely agree with your observations. While they still teach cursive in schools here (UK) it really isn't enforced. My children can write in cursive but it does like more like childish scrawl.

I don't write much in cursive anymore due to nerve damage which affects my right hand. It isn't very neat and my hand gets tired quickly. But I do make the effort whenever possible. I think it helps keep my hand from seizing up altogether and it just feels right, if that makes sense.

I would be a shame if cursive went the way of Latin in schools. To me it's like the most basic form of self-expression and individuality.

Voted up and interesting. Socially shared.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Phoenix, I can understand not writing when you have an injury. I didn't realize the UK still taught cursive, glad to hear that.


jenubouka 4 years ago

I can remember back in grade school the hour long task of learning cursive, and now the schools find it a waste of time. Oh what shall we do it the keyboard and techie world crashes? Grunt our feelings?? I think it is an art form and as you said in your awesome hub a very important part to one's identity.


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

Pamela N Red,

This is a very good hub, and from my experience working with children in the school system, we need to do more cursive writing teaching.

Not in the old rote boring way, with new ways of teaching--as any good teacher can tell you--get their attention and keep it by adding a story to the lesson.

Thank,

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Jen, I will be curious to see what supersedes what we have today.

Bobbi, I agree.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

I think it's a shame. Kid today can't tell time, write or communicate in person. What have we done?


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Breakfastpop, technology has made things too easy.


Sandy Moore 4 years ago

I was just thinking the other day how few people write in cursive anymore. I even stopped to see how much my cursive writing had changed over the years and there isn't much difference.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Sandy, my handwriting is worse but I write a lot by hand. For some reason the more we write the worse it gets instead of improving.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Pamela, this is an interesting and very useful hub. I share your ideas about cursive writing. I had always thought that your signature meant writing your name with cursive letters. In looking at how most of my teaching colleagues sign their name, I can't even make out letters of the alphabet but only scribbling. My cursive handwriting isn't very good, so I prefer to print in the classroom. I'm happy to tell you that kids in the EFL school in Thailand where I am teaching are learning and practicing cursive writing. Oh, and by the way, the Chinese language has more than one way to write characters. They can be written in block characters like our printing, or they can be written cursively which you will see in personal letters or in calligraphy. I am sharing this with my followers.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Paul, I didn't know that about Chinese writing. I learned something new today. Thanks for stopping by.


theclevercat profile image

theclevercat 4 years ago from Massachusetts

I love cursive. There's so much personality in it. Long live cursive!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

I know, CC, I think so too.

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