Cursive Writing Is Now Practically Obsolete

Cursive Obsolete?

If you haven't noticed by now, you will. Cursive writing is now practically obsolete. Have you yet not noticed that your middle-schooler doesn't have a need for turnng in his or her papers in, in cursive writing? When school age children do papers now, what they utilize is the computer. Additionally, all forms that need to be filled out, are done so explicitly in "print." The form will say, "please print." Of course, that is so that it will be legible, because a lot of people have such horrible handwriting that you can't even decifer it. But, I find it a bit sad, that no longer are we getting any hand exercise, and that another profession will fall by the wayside, and that is the profession of Handwriting Analysis....because if there is no handwriting to analyze, then there will not be the need......and it will become a long forgotten art, handwriing will....say, in a matter of 20 years or even less. I predict, that even signatures will be a thing of the past. Why, they can just make us sign with our thumb or our forefinger prints, or even make us gaze into a lens to take a "readng" of our eyeball. After all, one can forge a script, but you cannot forge a fingerprint or a retina/pupil.

As technology races (and it is racing, I tell you) to provide to us more and more ways to make our lives faster and more interesting, and more efficient, we will be losing the ways of the past.....because even now, in our computers, there are cursive fonts that we may choose, if we so wish to create our messages with such. It might be a scary thought for us, the older generation, but for those who are just coming into adulthood, it will be a natural consequence. I'll bet my granddaughter's world of communication will be so very different than mine, that she will someday be asking me, "Grandma, what was writing in cursive like? Would it take you forever to write a paper?" I will probably say to her, "Yes, my dear, it was very cumbersome, compared to what you do now." (whatever that will be)

Cursive Writing

The Cursive That We Once Knew
The Cursive That We Once Knew

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Comments 31 comments

Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago

Wow, I never realized this. Im 31 and we used computers for reports, but everything else was writing.. wow..

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 9 years ago Author

I hadn't realized it either, until my daughter who is in the 8th grade, kept telling me she could not understand my handwriting, and I do not have illegible handwriting. Then I realized that they have no need for it in her school at her grade level. They do everything on the computer and when they do not, they print.

teeray profile image

teeray 9 years ago from Canada

Cursive writing actually helps some people with their THINKING process too. Some people learn as they take their time with writing. Typing words on a keyboard doesn't help as much with learning for those who have a kinetic aptitude or preferrence. Wow, I haven't seen 'cursive' online for a long time...glad you posted the example photo...and - my 'cursive' doesn't look like that! I'd better go practice more so my handwriting is legible! Actually, I've had many comments on my 'nice handwriting' but it still doesn't LOOK LIKE THE STUFF ABOVE...what's with the "P 2 R"? lol


Jillian K. 9 years ago

I knew it was coming to this. I see so many children that cannot write by hand. Forget cursive, even their block printing stinks. Recently I was writing some notes to myself at work & a young intern happened by & commented on how 'pretty' my hand writing was. She said that she never had to learn to do it like that. (I'm 39, she's 18) I shook my head & asked her how her typing was??? Of course, she can type like the wind whereas I type, well, good enough for me. I envy those young people who can type like that!!! But I also lament the fading usage of longhand. I so love a hand written letter. There's something tactile & intensely personal that can never be replaced by e-mail or "please print"ed letters & papers. A related topic: have you ever watched someone write using the Palmer Method? Ooooh, it's glorious. Keep writing by hand! Thanks!

Tea 8 years ago

This article is very premature in its pronouncement.

Marcos 8 years ago

I agree with Tea. Although there is a large movement in the name of convenience to have everything swiped or scanned, that is not to say that cursive writing is anywhere near obsolete. You may have a daughter that prefers the keyboard, but I have a range of friends at the college level who take notes primarily in cursive. Also there are many factions of people that have things such as pens, pencils, or lettering as a hobby. As long as people like the aforementioned are present, cursive writing will never near extinction.

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 8 years ago Author

My thought is that your college friends still like to use cursive because they were taught cursive in elementary. I am referring to the children in elementary now, this younger generation of kids who have computers to work on, and cursive instruction is a thing of the past with them because they will not even receive this kind of instruction. There is nothing wrong with cursive, I like to write in cursive too....but I was first taught to print, and then taught cursive. I sure hope that cursive never dies. If it does, who will be able to understand our script, say, if a buried school is discovered_in the distant future_

Andre LaPlume 8 years ago

"As technology races (and it is racing, I tell you) to provide to us more and more ways to make our lives faster and more interesting, and more efficient, we will be losing the ways of the past"

If you think computers have replaced writing, that cursive is obsolete and that we are losing the ways of the past, you might want to take a look at The Fountain Pen Network. We aren't losing the ways of the past, we are returning to them. Legible handwriting, cursive included, remains important because people do not have a computer with them 100 percent of the time. The majority of people in our world do not even own a computer.

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 8 years ago Author

True, but guess what? Computers are becoming cheaper and much smaller. Just check out the EEE mini computer. It is less than $300.00 and will do much more than the desktop computer I am writing on right now! Computers will become so small and portable, that you will soon see the "new mini laptops" replace those clunky laptops, especially (guess where?) in schools, such as universities, where students have to carry heavy books around....but now with such portability, there might not even be any more textbooks! Technology is racing, I do tell you! I do like cursive writing, though, and printing as well. Maybe it will not die out altogether, but I predict it will be more like an art form, or for people who just want to be different.

Kate Gladstone 7 years ago

Research shows, in any case, that the fastest and clearest handwriters avoid cursive. Highest-speed highest-legibility handwriters tend to use print-like letter-shapes wherever printed and cursive letters "disagree" -- these fastest, clearest handwriters also join only some of the letters, making the easiest joins and skipping the rest. (For further information and source, see the "Writing Rebels" web-page at )Even signatures do not legally require cursive, and never have required it -- see the FAQ page on signatures at the handwriting improvement information site ... or simply ask your attorney! (Yes -- anyone telling you that "signatures require cursive" has misrepresented the law of the land.) Kate Gladstone Founder and CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works handwriting improvement service Director, World Handwriting Contest

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 7 years ago Author

Very interesting; thanks for your comment and website link!

Jeannie  7 years ago

It is sad to see how upset people are that cursive is still used! I found it shocking that my Grade 12 Grad (niece) could not read her "congrats" card as I wrote, instead of printed, in it. She had to have someone read it to her.

Does no one else look at this as a form of illiteracy? There are documents, letters and many people (older if I must say) that use cursive writing. How will non-readers work? Are they going to get someone else to read it to them. And please explain why computer word applications have script font (yes, they would then be cursive font!) in them if this is "old school"!

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 7 years ago Author

Jeannie, yes unfortunately the schools have not realized that by not demanding that the students write in cursive, it means that they will eventually lose the ability.  Now with the advent of the mini laptop, the computer can be taken type with.  So, all we really need to have a pen for is to sign our names and to print with, whenever the laptops or computers are not available.  Penmanship is something else that has gone by the wayside.  I guess we are in for A NEW WORLD soon.  Yes, only the older generation really knows how to me....but I think I prefer to type on the computer keyboard, too.  It seems faster.  Forming every letter with a pen becomes cumbersome.  When my generation dies out, you will be left with people who can basically only type.

A Parent 7 years ago

I happened upon this blog while trying to find some Italic worksheets for my son and wanted to chime in, despite the fact that I'll likely be thrown out of the room.

There are two major dimensions for selecting a writing style: speed and legibility. Manuscript is highly legible, but very slow. Cursive is typically reasonably faster and significantly less legible than Manuscript; to achieve similar level of legibility as Manuscript, Cursive is actually only very modestly faster than Manuscript. Italic is nearly as legible as Manuscript, at speeds that rival illegible cursive.

I learned Italic through trial and error through Middle and High schools about 20 years ago, and only a few years ago found that the writing style I thought was home-brewed, was 95% Italic. My wife switches between Italic and Cursive, depending on speed needs.

Italic adoption is really a survival mechanism - you need to produce quality answers, but quantity is also very important on an exam. Manuscript is pretty-much out of the question on a standardized test or on a college/grad-school exam. Cursive tends to be illegible when trying to produce the required quantity - and, unfair as it seems, no professor or grad student grader is going to take the time to deciper, no matter how good the content. The best solution usually turns out to be Italic.

Sad as it is for some, Cursive will soon be alive only in certain artistic circles. For the majority, Italic is the way to go. Some in the international community have already adopted Italic as the primary writing method (why learn Manuscript then switch to very similar Italic, is the reasoning), and the U.S. is headed that way in a few states.

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 7 years ago Author

What do you mean by italic, because Italic for me is a cursive that is very slanted to the right.

A Parent 7 years ago

You are correct in noting that cursive is also slanted to the right. The slant is also intended to improve speed because the hand can move more naturally.

Italic handwriting can be thought of as manuscript that is slanted to the right. There are two types of italic, one is not connected (which I prefer for legibility reasons), and the other is (which looks a little more sophisticated). The two types of italic are roughly the same in terms of speed because the hand movements are exactly the same, with the difference being that the writing utensil is lifted between letters. (This unlike manuscript and traditional cursive, where there are several changes in letter shape.) Hope that helps.

Here's one example:

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 7 years ago Author

Wow, thanks for the clarification. I've never even been taught italic and that is amazing! I am not a young chick: I'm in my 50s! When and where has this been taught?

caspar profile image

caspar 7 years ago from UK

Cursive writing seems to be getting more popular in UK schools. Some schools are even teaching children to write in this style right from their first day in school at the age of four. It's supposed to be particularly helpful for dyslexia as all the letters start in the same place and there's less of a problem with reversal as the letters don't look as similar as they do in a print style. I don't think it's going to die out in the UK any time soon, but our style is not quite as fancy as the US style - e.g. all our capitals are print style rather than swirly like yours.

There's more information about the cursive writing in the UK at

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 7 years ago Author

Dear Caspar, well, I'll tell you that in Panama (Central America) they also just dive into cursive beginning in first grade. They never learn to print first like in American Schools. I like how I was taught in the American way. I think it helps us understand the formation of the letters and then to go into cursive later on, I think, is just a method of learning how to "write" them faster. But now with all the laptops, I can see how it is going by the wayside. Change is a reality in life.

caspar profile image

caspar 7 years ago from UK

I definitely think it's a good idea to learn touch typing in school at an early age. My daughter learned to touch type when she was six (very slowly!) but she has found it really useful through school and now at university because it means she can type almost as fast as she can think!

babyching profile image

babyching 6 years ago from Beijing, China

The only time I see cursive nowadays is when my grandmother sends me a letter. It seems to be dying because of technology. There is no need to write cursive anymore with the advent of computers, mobile phone text messaging, and email.

Rojina Panta 6 years ago

Is really cursive outdated.But we are using cursive till now with it's amazing styles of writing .

carol albrikes 6 years ago

I've been fighting this to no avail since 1999 when I noticed my daughter not using it.AS I complained to the board of Ed. the principals and teachers for 11 more years. I was told it was too hard to read, and not important "computers are the way of the future" yet keyboarding isn't being taught in my area till high school. Yet what are we allowing to happen will cursive be a new college course for history students. The constitution is in cursive, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence as well as hundreds of documents. Like you said even signatures are affected kids can't even sign a proper signature it's choppy and broken. Two of my kids print when asked to sign things. We're losing an important piece of uniqueness. It's become a secret code for those about 30 and over. We’re locking them out of communication. I wonder an dwould like an answer if anyone can are other countries losing it too? What are our kids missing and what will it doing to the future when they can't read the past?

carol albrikes 6 years ago

Is it weird that you can offer sites that teach cursive yet this is the only site noting the loss of it. Talk about computers taking over.

Bassett 6 years ago

I'm 20 years old, and I'm literally one of the only people I know (who's my age) who only writes in cursive!

Sylvia Berrones 6 years ago

I was a teacher for 8 years and noticed that the 3rd grade teachers only spent about 2 weeks teaching it. Needless to say my daughter did not pick it up nor is she now at age 14 able to read or write it. All her teachers though seem content to print whenever they write on the board so that students are able to understand. How sad it is that they are not even able to print their own names. I understand they may not use it as much because of technology but it should still be taught. This morning I heard on GMA how one state has dropped cursive instruction from its school curriculum. I homeschool my 9 year old and he is learning cursive. He loves it and his handwriting which is awful in print is just beautiful now. I honestly think kids would get a kick out of learning it. I remember being so excited passing to 3rd grade because we would be learning cursive. It was like a right of passage for us. It meant we were no longer "little kids". What a shame it seems to have no priority in education anymore.

Sylvia B 6 years ago

Correction to comment above. I meant they are unable to SIGN their own names.

Jamie 5 years ago

It is very interesting, for sure. However, I am a student teacher, and have been teaching joined cursive from the outset. Research shows that it not only improves the form of the letters, it increases the rate at which children can learn to write, and facilitate a faster pace of writing later on. I'm currently on a mission to link joined cursive with typing on the computer, so I can type 'correctly' on the smartboard. This is not easy given the different forms of letters, due to the different joining points. If anyone knows of an existing way to do this it would make my life a lot easier!

Tori Dowdy 5 years ago

I feel as though learning cursive back then was important because there wasn't many computers available. But into today's world and workplace many jobs require you to type a certain amount of words a minute in their profession on a computer. Also kids in school and jobs are more computer savvy and pick up faster on typing skills ans so forth. I am currently enrolled in online courses for Medical Code and Billing and refreshing my skills on typing on a computer will be beneficial to me in my future career. All records are recorded on a computer in a database rather than handwritten. I personally love writing in cursive but is a thing of the past because most people have horible unreadable penmanship.

krb123 4 years ago

Maricarbo is right. I teach high school and have three teenagers at home. My children were never taught cursive, a fact that I didn't realize until they were in middle school, and I can't tell you how many times my students have been required to sign something, and they've informed me that they were never taught to write in cursive. With all the push to prepare students for "the test", teaching students to write in cursive seems to the last skill on the agenda.

maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 2 years ago Author

It is not too late! We can bring it back so that once again, people will have their own original signature! What if computers and computer technology ceases to exist? We will be in a sorry state of affairs, won't we? It won't take many years for us to be in trouble! How would people communicate quickly? They won't, not if they can't write cursive! Think about it!

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