- Education and Science
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.