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Cursive Writing - Is it a lost art?

Updated on July 19, 2013

Cursive Writing


History of Cursive Writing

Cursive writing is also referred to as script. Do you remember it? Can you "write" your name? Sadly, there are many children and adults today who cannot write their signature, they can print it but they can't write it. Actually there are some places where cursive writing is no longer taught in school! The place where once we were praised for our good penmanship (cursive writing).

When speaking of signatures, what is the most famous to come to mind? Most people will answer John Hancock's. John Hancock's signature on the Declaration of Independence spurred sayings like, "Put your John Hancock here".

In the Middle Ages many monks spent their lives transcribing or copying famous books into script, books like the Bible. These transcriptions led to libraries of books where some were preserved for centuries.

Different religious orders used different forms of script, spacing, and punctuation. Through the centuries the types of script evolved, many can be seen in the selection of fonts you see in your word processing programs. In the early United States, penmen took the place of monks and copied documents such as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

In the 1800's Platt Rogers Spencer tried to make penmanship more uniform and even wrote a textbook to be used in schools. Though it was used in the original Coca-Cola signature it was probably too ornate for the average person. By mid-century, Austin Norman Palmer came up with a more uniform penmanship. It was known as the Palmer method and taught for years to come. Children practicing pages of circles and loops in order to help them learn to write and cursive was a classroom staple in the second through fourth grades in elementary school. In the 1950s the Palmer Method gave way to the simpler Zaner-Bloser Method.

John Hancock Signature


Students taking notes


Benefits of Cursive Writing

  • It helps discipline the mind
  • It stimulates the brain
  • It is an art form
  • It is a way of identifying people as no two people write alike
  • It is a basic skill that can improve with practice
  • It can help with critical thinking
  • It is faster than printing
  • Documents such as letters, are less personalized when not written
  • Without a knowledge of cursive, students will not be able to read historical documents
  • It is helpful for children with dyslexia because the pen moves from left to right
  • You won't get autographs from famous people without cursive writing
  • Learning cursive can help with reading and differentiating letters
  • It helps recognize spelling patterns

Cursive Writing

To those of you who are a bit older, writing in cursive comes naturally. Cursive lettering was part of your curriculum when you were in elementary school and it most likely stayed with you forever. Even now there are free cursive writing sheets to help learn how to write cursive, but, we are still faced with it's demise.

So, you're wondering why I am writing this and why I am making such a fuss. After all, everyone's got a computer or cellphone or both, so why cursive? We won't need to sign our names you say, technology will do away with that with eyeball recognition or thumbprint software. Things are electronic. Think how lucky your local Pharmacist is, he probably gets prescriptions by email directly from your doctor.

What about legal documents? Wills and Deeds, won't they still need a signature? Though I hate to use this as an example, what about Divorce Papers? It seems to me there is still a need for signatures and as long as there is a need for signatures there is a need for cursive writing.

William Klemm, D.V.M., Ph.D. states in Psychology Today, "The benefits to brain development are similar to what you get with learning to play a musical instrument."

Dr. Kathy Hawks, professor of Education at Concord University says, "Eliminating cursive writing in public schools will make our children more illiterate. If they cannot write in cursive, they cannot read in cursive. Our goal should be to do everything in our power to empower our children to be globally literate. They should learn foreign languages. Why would we not teach them cursive when it is so readily available?”

Sheila Lowe, president of American Handwriting Analysis Foundation stated, “The United States Supreme Court has likened handwriting to facial expression, tone of voice, and body language, all expressive gestures. By being in physical touch with the writing instrument on the page, the writer is literally in touch with and processes emotions in a way that keyboarding cannot.”

These are just a few examples of the proponents of cursive writing but I believe they make very good points supporting cursive writing. Cursive is more than a dying art, it is a skill that ties together critical components of learning according to the Association of American Educators. This same association says many claim cursive is an important part of our history. Think about it, what do you do when the computer crashes and you have no other means of communication?

US Declaration of Independence


The Future of Cursive Writing

The future of cursive writing is looking rather bleak. It is being omitted from many states' Common Core Standards. According to a New York Times Opinion Page, "New pubic school curriculum standards in the U.S. do not require the teaching of cursive." Forty-five states have adopted these Common Core Standards.

However, states can of course continue to teach cursive if they want to. California, Georgia, North Carolina, and Massachusetts are still requiring that cursive be taught. Indiana, Illinois and Hawaii are leaving it up to individual school districts. Utah is still studying the issue and hasn't made a decision either way. Indiana has moved it out of the curriculum and then back in.

It is obvious no definitive decision has really been made in spite of the Common Core Standards. Think about it for a minute. How many people are identified by their signature or their handwriting? What about the teachers that say teaching cursive helps students to concentrate? How about the students or others, who can write faster than they can type? Or those who can think better when they write something down, not when they type it on the computer?

Well, again, its obvious feelings about cursive are mixed. As you can probably tell, mine aren't. I believe we should continue to teach cursive for so many reasons. It is a finer skill that even a slower student can revel in. The debate is far from over and you can find tons of articles both for and against cursive writing.

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a comment letting me know your opinions on the subject.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

What do you think about the future of cursive writing?

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    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      Precisely!! :-)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Again Nellianna you are so right. I can still recite "The Raven" and Portia's speech in "The Merchant of Venice" along with "Gunga Din"....I wonder if they even know any of them today. I'm sure they've heard of "Othello" and "Romeo and Juliet" but do they know any of the lines? Memorizing them was exercise for one's mind along with the appreciation of the beauty before you.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you, Mary. Skipping the learning of cursive is but one of all too many contributions to the frightening developing of lazy minds; but the over-all reliance on instant answers & solutions is being directly traced as the cause of increase in those debilitating infirmities at younger and younger ages.

      It's a combination of loss of so many 'tiresome' disciplines which forged real tenacity of mind, I think. Remember when one actually 'looked up' words in dictionaries and facts in encyclopedias? sigh. Remember when one played board games in which much of the excitement was one's own clever imagination, rather than just using a mouse to push around animated characters with life-like manufactured independence of their own? Remember when one needed to actually work out the steps from start to finish in order to produce something unique and original? Now, so much is pre-built-in for one, so that all the 'creativity' it takes is to select from among pre-packaged elements.

      In several of my school subjects, memorizing lengthy passages of poetry, chapters of scripture, and speeches was among the required assignments. Those exercised & stayed with one's mind. My George could still recite the Prologue to Canterbury Tales in Olde English, - even when his memory was fleeting and dementia was setting in (at age 86). One wonders if this new generation even knows it existed and/or who wrote it in order to look it up on Google ;-)

      This discipline of studying and learning masterful words carried over to wanting to continue to get and to 'have' beautiful words in my own memory later on. Those become part of the resources & models for one's own creations, in a similar way to reading great literature and listening to great music and viewing great art is assimilated into one's own processes.

      Anyway - yes - we are in agreement on the sad effects this reliance on easy answers and effortless writing can bring; - and, too often, which have already begun to bring to a whole generation. It would be great if the new things were additions, not replacements or substitutes for the historic parts of education and personal development.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I wish there was a way to share your comment Nellianna. You have superbly summed up my feelings. I fear for the future of those who never use cursive writing and know the personal, intimate relationship a handwritten letter can bring.

      Now I also fear for those who will face the side effects of memory loss, dementia and alzheimer's...all due to not learning cursive writing and honing their memory skills. I agree too it is a key to one's identity.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      Excellent article and discussion, Mary. I have many handwritten letters which I value highly - both to me and from me, thanks to my parents' saving them. I've a lovely book titled "Hand of the Poet" which features handwritten poetry by many of the great poets. My own poetry is all handwritten before it reaches transcribing. Writing by hand seems to make it flow more easily, though I admit that editing is easier on the computer!

      It's not either/or between printing (lettering) or cursive handwriting or even writing with a keyboard. One can do each and use it as fits the various needs. It's a sad testimonial that the most personal means of written communication is about to be disbanded.

      What's happening seems to go right along with limiting education, thinking and personal choices further. I just saw on the news that it's being discovered that over-reliance on instant answers via electronics has been linked to increases in early memory loss, dementia and alzheimer's, due to the ease in recovering information resulting in neglecting to develop memory and reasoning skills.

      Aside from the individuality which accompanies cursive writing and the beauty of it, there may be more serious side-effects. It is an art, but it is much more than that. It's a mental discipline and one important key to one's identity security.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Frank. There is just something about a handwritten note, don't you think?

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      I dunno.. because of modern technology, email writing and the use of many gadgets even texting plays down cursive.. electronic signatures no longer require it.. I guess it's going the wayside of the payphones.. and the landline phones.. sad though cuz I enjoyed writing and reading cursive notes and letters great hub my friend :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Vinaya, many people are moving away from cursive but it just seems to lose yet another part of our heritage. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal


      Children in Nepal are still taught cursive writing. There are even special classes for handwriting training. However, I also believe cursive will soon become a lost art. I was trained to write cursive. But these days my handwriting is only 50 percent cursive.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      It is not surprise Mohan, that someone with your talent and eye for beauty would enjoy cursive and calligraphy. I have a feeling you excel at both!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      6 years ago from UK

      My passion for language started with cursive writing... The local pharmacy used to joke that I'm the only doctor whose handwriting they could actually read! I love writing with ink - love fountain pens and calligraphy. this is a marvellous hub, Mary with so much information on one of my favorite hobbies. Thank you!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you ubanichijioke, it is always nice to hear a different perspective.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 

      6 years ago from Lagos

      Wow! Really impressive...

      I have learnt a lot though cursive writing is not so common in my locality. Good job,,,

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks for sharing Alecia. You would think other adults would share our point of view, but apparently not. I hate to see it go.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I had a 7th grade teacher who made us turn in assignments in cursive. And it wasn't like we didn't have access to computers, this was the year 2000. But she wanted to ensure we could do something other than type our papers. And while it was irritating at times, I see why she did it now.

      I like writing in cursive and signing my name from time to time. I feel like it helps me remember what I learned way back in the 3rd grade.

      If they must get rid of it in schools, I feel like it will really be the end of an art form. Great hub!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I so agree Shyron. Thank you for stopping by and reading my hub.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      6 years ago from Texas

      This makes me sad. It is an art form. I love to see beautiful penmanship.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Alocsin, many people have lost their penmanship due to the computer. I understand illegible handwriting is a problem, but it is still handwriting! Thanks for stopping by.

      Aufait, I think its great you taught your daughter cursive! I know what you mean about spelling and complete sentences, it is so evident in so many areas. Thank you so much for the votes, share and pin!

      Peg, there is just so much to penmanship. How much more dumbing down can students take? Is that why our students' rank among educated nations is falling?

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Education is taking another hit with the loss of cursive. It is not only an effective, long-standing method of communication, an art form and a means of self discipline, it used to be a criteria for education - penmanship was actually given a grade. Lousy penmanship indicated laziness and lack of attention to detail. So interesting that the Powers that Be have put graders in charge of scoring students' test who can't read cursive, therefore, cursive is not to be used. That to me is the epitome of the dumbing down of students. It goes along with allowing school children to use calculators rather than learn how to actually do the math. Wow. Who would have thought this would be considered progress? What a great hub, Mary. Very thought provoking. If this were put to a majority vote, gaging from the response to your poll, the tide would be turned.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Many schools stopped teaching cursive several years ago already. Very sad. As you say, what happens when the computer crashes? Of course most people have given up their computers for cell phones and now they text -- no more spelling or complete sentences! No more punctuation! We are becoming a nation of people who can't do anything at all for ourselves anymore. Writing is just the tip of the iceberg.

      I taught my daughter cursive. I think it will be a sad day when people cannot communicate because all of the technological devices don't work and not a soul knows how to write. Will reading go by the way next? Will Hal start telling us everything so that we need not even know how to read?

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and will share with my followers and pin to my "Education" board.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Alas, Penmanship was one of the few subjects that gave me a C. My cursive was so illegible that today, my handwriting is a mix of script and printing. Of course, I can't remember the last time I wrote anything other than notes to myself. I rely on my printer to write things that people can read. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you Kim for your "professional" opinion, not just because it agrees with me, but because it shows yet again the importance of cursive writing.

    • Kim Grbac Diaz profile image

      Kim Diaz 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York some school programs, cursive will become a casualty. A shame at best. A tragedy at worst. Having been a 3rd grade teacher for many years in my past career, I taught cursive. Beside having the benefit of being able to read this "soon-to-be lost language form"

      ( how will our children and great grandchildren be able to read their grandparents' and greatgrandparents' love letters when they are handed down, or other legal documents for that matter), there is a "gross motor" benefit to the process as well. Writing cursive involves more arm movement than printing and typing words. It stimulates the brain in a way that hand movement in isolation cannot.

      Let's hope parents teach their children this art of penmanship before it becomes a memory.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      FlourishAnyway, now I don't know whether to laugh or cry since I took all three, cursive, shorthand and typing classes! Oh my. I never was very good at shorthand but boy could I type!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I agree that it is a necessary part of a well-rounded curriculum. I cannot imagine not being able to read or write cursive. Hopefully, it's not going the way of shorthand or typing classes.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I tried to post just a smiley face in reply but HP said my comment "is rather short" so, picture a big, fat smiley face!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      I completely agree with you, it is much faster! Actually, the only letters I print are the ones I had the hardest time writing fast, and usually the first letter of certain words.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much for sharing Kathryn. I still think cursive is faster than printing, but that's me.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      Just recently there was a conversation about this at my boyfriend's family's home. It is sad that cursive is no longer taught in many places. Just because many things are digital and electronic nowadays doesn't mean we should let writing slip away.

      I remember learning cursive, and the way I write nowadays is a hybrid of printing and cursive, because I like to write fast. And I still do write quite a lot. I write letters, in a journal, to-do lists, in my planner. I love writing. I also really like having my unique signature.

      This is a great topic, and I hope they don't do away with it. Like you said, if we don't know how to write it, we probably won't know how to read it, and that is sad.

      Have a great weekend!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I still use cursive too, Vellur. It is fun to write and just looks so nice!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      I am all for teaching cursive writing in school. Cursive writing is a great art form. In school whenever I used to write essays I found that cursive writing helped to finish within the given time. I still write in cursive. Great write voted up, interesting and useful.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      That's a great idea ocfireflies. Any way we can keep it alive!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      That's a great idea ocfireflies. Any way we can keep it alive!

    • ocfireflies profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great Hub! Great Topic! I have wondered why if schools are going to remove cursive writing why they did not at least offer the class as an exploratory for those who are interested in learning how to write in cursive, and as an extension, perhaps include calligraphy as well.

      Best Always,


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You're welcome Eddy. In my mind writers love to "write" :)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      So very interesting indeed Mary and thank you for sharing.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you Nell. Yes it is a part of our total signature, not just our written signature!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      I totally agree that cursive writing should be on everyone's curriculum, its so sad that its a dying art. so many texts, automatic signatures, it just drives me insane! I love the old style of writing, and its something that should never disappear, great hub and so very true, nell

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Yes Rajan, I think they are very important benefits as well. Now, if we can only convince the powers that be!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      You have underlined the importance of cursive writing and I feel it must be taught in schools compulsorily as it tends to be faster than print writing and certainly exercises the brain. These to me are 2 very important benefits too.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Good point avianvoice...maybe it will wind up as a special talent like calligraphy. I have a friend who is a calligrapher and he was asked to do presidential inauguration invitations (I forget which president).

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      As times go on, many things are omitted from our history. Cursive cannot be a dying art like calligraphy. A good calligrapher can make a great deal of money. Why throw away history? I personally like to receive a hand written letter every once in a while.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      It seems to be so in ingrained in us Pearl that it is hard to imagine a world without handwriting. It does provide that personal touch, and yes, can even evoke memories.

      You are most welcome barb, and thank you for the congratulations, it sometimes seemed like a long way to go but I made it!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hi Mary! I also just recently heard that they will no longer be teaching cursive here. I was shocked but I have to say. my on two children barely have sibnatures! It seems the importance was taken away even before this and I didn't even see it coming! Thank you for this comprehensive hub! I love all the info provided! Up+++

      Congratulations on your "Graduation" from the apprenticeship program! Great job!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Bravo Mary! Cursive Handwriting is an artform and should not be eliminated. I cannot imagine not grabbing the notepad on my nightstand and writing down my occasional inspirations! I seriously doubt that I would be able to concentrate on an ipad in the middle of the night. No danger of that as we have no decent signal here, and have to go through the DISH for internet. But I digress...

      My Mom has been gone since 2004, but I occasionally come across her handwriting and immediately catch my breath. It is such an identifier.

      I guess old habits are hard to break, because I will continue to jot down my notes in cursive as I have done lo these many years!

      Loved this Mary--Voted Up+++

      ;) Pearl

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Bill I truly believe this is something that shouldn't go the way of the typewriter. What happens to the personal touch as you mention in your comment? I wouldn't be the least surprised if spelling and grammar were next...cater to the younger generation? At what cost?

      WND I don't understand why we have to give up one thing to have another. Glad I could let you in on education's little secret.

      Billrrrr I am afraid you might be right. So sad though.

      Well Lord, not to worry, I have a fairly decent handwriting as well so we're near the same age group. It seems to me though some things needed to be replaced, this is just down home personal and courteous stuff (handwriting). Nice to see you here btw.

      Yup Michelle, me too. We spent hours drawing circles and learning how to get those letters just right. Glad you enjoyed.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Goodness, this brings me right back to the time when I was all of nine, when my teacher was pretty strict about using cursive. I sort of enjoyed writing class. Really handwriting class. We had to do cursives and tracing. So mine's pretty ok! Thanks for sharing, Mary!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      6 years ago from New York

      Typewriters, casettes, Vynil 45, monitors. All are already part of history. Great insight! I still can write cursive like a Hancock! I gave away my age anyway.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 

      6 years ago from Cape Cod

      Fine job on this.

      Sadly in the age of computers, writing is much less important than it was. Like paper money, books, and corn that is actually popped on the stove: it is going to disappear.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Oh my, never thought we were losing the cursive writing art til I read this. It surely would be a shame. Sounds like we are going downhill just cause we are into technology now.

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. We still use cursive all the time. Cards, writing checks (although not many anymore), thank you notes, etc. I wasn't aware that schools were doing away with this. We live here in Massachusetts and my kids were taught cursive but it looks like there are only a few states left doing this? What's next, do away with spelling and grammar because we have spell check? Great hub, very interesting.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Its a shame Kelly but if you want him to learn cursive, you'll have to teach it.

      ChitrangadaSharan , I'm glad you found my hub interesting. I, too, write in cursive only. Believe it or not my cursive is better than my printing.

      byshea, I still think guys didn't find penmanship as enchanting as girls did. It may be a feminine thing, but the Constitution was hand written. Who knows what the future holds. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      You make an excellent point Glimmer, your daughter was able to read her graduation announcement. I wonder how many can't?

      Genna, hand written notes, along with thank you notes, and personal letters are fast becoming a lost art so I guess cursive writing is in their too. Its already out of the curriculum in many states. So sad.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Good points, Mary. I think writing cursive in letters or notes and cards has become a lost art. Actually, it is far more than “an art” -- it is personal communication. We’ve all become so used to our keyboards and SmartPhones that we have lost something. I hope that teaching children cursive remains part of their curriculum, and for a long time.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      I am happy to say that my daughter is still taught cursive. She has to do all of her spelling in cursive. Last night we got a graduation announcement printed in cursive and she could read it. Unfortunately I don't think they teach it after elementary school. They really should. Nice hub with lots of interesting facts.

    • byshea profile image


      6 years ago

      I remember standing in line outside the classroom for my first day in the 3rd grade. We were all looking inside the windows at the cursive letters that were posted along the border of the chalkboard. We kept staring at these alien form of letters wondering what the heck we got ourselves into by graduating into the 3rd grade.

      I quit writing in cursive after high school because no matter how hard I tried, my penmanship was never really very good. My printing was soooo much better. To this day I will still write a few lines on paper to make sure I can still write in cursive, but that is all. Yes, I do think it's a lost art that slowly going away. I do believe that technology receives a good portion of the blame, but I was quite surprised to learn that many schools are not teaching it anymore.

      Great hub!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      What a wonderful hub on a wonderful topic. Truly I feel nostalgic, thinking about cursive writing. Even today I write in cursive writing only, if I have to, but of course writing on paper itself is so rare these days because of computers.

      Enjoyed reading your hub. Thanks for sharing your views on this interesting topic.

    • KellyPittman profile image

      Kelly Pittman 

      6 years ago from Walker, LA

      My daughter learned to write (and read) cursive in second grade and she writes beautifully. However, we switched schools and now my son is on his way to third grade and has never had a lesson in cursive writing. He gets upset when he can't read something. I guess it's up to me to teach it to him! I wish they wouldn't have stopped.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Oh Vicki, I had forgotten about our "rite of pasage"... how true. We were so excited when we could finally write in cursive instead of "baby printing"! You've got some good ideas...maybe someone will take them to heart and introduce them to educative administrators!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I can remember that cursive writing was a rite of passage at school. We first went through early years of printing, but felt really pleased with ourselves when we started to learn cursive writing. I loved it, it was just like drawing, only you were drawing in a different way. When the day came that you developed your own special signature, that you would use for signing anything, that was a huge event. We had a lot of fun with that.

      Echoes from a long distant past! I loved this Hub - maybe those of us who know cursive writing could give classes to children who would like to learn it! There are many on line resources. On line . . . I wouldn't even have known what that was! Maybe we could find a compromise, so that the erosion of our culture is not so swift.

      Great writing, Mary, and provocative, inspiring many thoughts on this topic.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Faith, thank you so much for your kind return! It may be time to educate today's generation about John Hancock ;)

      xstatic you are such a guy :) Thanks for the extra comment.

      Lyricwriter we are losing so much of our past but to me handwriting is more than that. Thanks for your comment and supporting votes. Definitely will see you around!

      Mhatter you share the boat with many!

      pstraubie, that is the problem, not enough time to teach penmanship ....imagine! How structured teaching has become teaching to the test! I certainly appreciate the angels and hope they visit you as well.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from sunny Florida

      I hope it is not a lost art. I know that less and less time was available to teach cursive as it got closer to time for my retirement from teaching. But I found a way to make it happen.

      My Daddy had some of the most beautiful cursive writing I have ever seen. He wrote with large flourishing strokes and the letters were clearly distinguishable. I always wished I could have such lovely writing. Thank you for sharing this.

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I was never that good, but I had the blessing of seeing some of the best.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      Mary, very engaging article. I realize this since my oldest is in school now. It is almost like they don't even teach it. I remember in high school(2001) we never used it. I believe it has been a dying art for a decade at the least. I enjoyed your perspective and I agree. Voting this up, useful, awesome, and interesting. See you around Til.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Oh, Mary, I was lamenting my lousy penmanship for certain. It was always a pain, but not one I corrected.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Came back to share :) And since I did, I will share that sometimes when speaking with younger people, I will say, "Okay, put your John Hancock right here" and they will not have a clue to what I am referring :(

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Like so many other things Jaye, cursive writing has now become a generational thing. We see it as very personal and showing respect and caring, today it doesn't hold that honor any longer. Thanks for the votes. I know sharing is no longer available on HP.

      I know Pamela, it is part of our heritage but the problem is it is not seen that way by a new generation. I feel sorry for them and what they will be losing in the future. Thank you for your visit and votes.

      Yes Bill, and Sister Mary Everyone is shaking in her grave at the thought of the demise of cursive writing! No reason needed, I agree totally ;)

      Thank you Mr. Archer. As you can see it is a topic that has me agitated and yet I know there is nothing I can really do about it.

      Mary as the saying goes, we are good friends, we went to different schools together....we are of the same generation and ilk, call it cursive, penmanship, whatever, it is still a beautiful thing.

      Poetvix not only have you proved my point but you've shocked me as well..."fail students who write in cursive" that has to be the epitome of lameness and inconsideration. True, America seems to be dumbing down every day! I hope you enjoy your retirement.

      Now xstatic, I know handwriting was never a strong suit among the guys but cursive writing is in the same league as multiplication tables. Just because you can find the information somewhere doesn't mean you shouldn't know it!

      I know drbj but I can't help thinking it is an art form in itself and it shouldn't be lost.

      You make very valid points Levertis Steele but not all old things are obsolete or serve no purpose. Let me just quote Aldous Huxley,

      "The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different." I will join you in wondering ;)

      Oh dear Moonlake, forty are using the old fashioned way and adding that personal touch to your invites. Thanks for the vote.

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      I look in old antique books I have and I'm so sorry we lost the cursive handwriting that was used long ago. Now we're going to lose cursive writing completely. I hate to see that happen. It is hard we are all so use to typing on our computer or our phones, my writing is getting worse from not using it enough.

      It has to get better tonight because I have fill out about 40 envelope invites, not looking forward to that.

      Great hub voted up.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      6 years ago from Southern Clime

      Whether we like it or not the things important to us now will evolve. Between a covered wagon and a Hummer, I have no doubt which one we would prefer, given a choice. When I read a book that was written a century or longer ago, I see many words that are now obsolete, or just strange. The English Language is so important to its user, or it should be, but it, too, will one day look as strange as it was in the Middle ages.

      My grandson has not yet been introduced to cursive writing in school, and he has passed to 4th grade, but we are working on it at home this summer.

      I find it very interesting that we can see change occurring in our own time, and we can fight against it, but it will all change. I can write cursiely faster than manuscript, and I find it more useful. Nevertheless, new technology is threatening to make it outmoded. We are in an age where nearly everything written is done electronically. Most businesses frown upon handwriting business correspondences, except signatures. Now, signatures are done by word of mouth on a telephone or a click of the mouse: "By pressing '9,' you are giving us your permission to process your information." Our checks are automatically deposited, and we use plastic to shop and retrieve cash from an ATM machine. With all of these robotics, I am wondering . . . .

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Cursive writing is more beautiful than printing and we still need to know how to sign a check or a legal document. But block printing is easier to read and I've used it for so long, Mary, that now when I use cursive, others have difficulty reading my writing. Me, too, at times.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Hard to believe that cursive is being abandoned so widely. My cursive writing has always been terrible due to some moving around the country and getting out of sync with the teaching of it. I got to know a lot of people from typing pools who had to came ask me questions about my writing over the years. I think it should be taught for certain.

      Another alarming abandonment which I guess is widespread is the multiplication tables. My now 24 year old daughter was never required to learn them. She was a TAG program student, but it seems they just were not taught. I recall how hard it was to get clear up through the 12x tables, but I still know them today.

    • poetvix profile image


      6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      I hate the cursive writing is no longer being taught in my state. But it's worse than that. Not only are we not allowed to teach it, but I got in a huge argument with the administration when I was told to fail students who wrote in cursive if they refused to transcribe it to print! For real! This is mostly girls who learned it from their mothers. The reason the administration gave is classic. "It hurts testing scores." You see, it seems some of the graders, who are not district employees, can't read cursive themselves! They gig points. So, in an effort to keep the districts overall scores in writing as high as they can, they do not accept any student work in cursive, ever.

      Personally, I think it's a systemic way to dumb down America! That and many other things just like it, not to mention things much, much worse, are why I'm a retiring teacher.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I couldn't agree with you more on this. I'm of the old school, and we had to learn cursive handwriting. I still write in cursive and I have beautiful handwriting, too.

      My 11th grade son signs his name like a second grader! He has never been taught to write in cursive.

      Voted UP and will share (through the feed since the share button has been removed).

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      6 years ago from Missouri

      My wife and I have commented on this very subject to each other countless times. We watch our children as they struggle to write cursive and wonder why it is not taught or even encouraged in schools today. Do the teachers think ALL communication is done via computer?

      Great article and it showcases your ability to strike to the heart of the matter.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It should come as no surprise that I think we should be teaching this in schools across the nation....I would be hard-pressed to give you a definitive reason why, but I feel strongly about it.

      If I had a nickle for every word I had to write in cursive on the blackboard for Sr. Mary Elizabeth, I would be a millionaire right now. :)

      Loved this topic, obviously.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is one thing that has annoyed me for some time now. I think cursive absolutely should be taught in school. I have some copies of letters my great grandfather wrote during the Civil War and his script is beautiful. He was a builder of houses, so not that well educated, but his penmanship is beautiful. Children spend more time textiing than talking anymore.

      I know the world has changed, but cursive can be taught very young and as your hub pointed out so well, there are many benefits. I am glad you brought this topic up as I think many of us agree. Up, awesome and shared!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I hate to see cursive writing become extinct, Mary, and disagree with it being removed from any school's curriculum. It's bad enough that so many of today's youth can't spell or write complete sentences because their writing is limited to the hieroglyphics of phone texts! Like you, I believe "real" signatures are necessary for legal documents, but I will also lament the loss of hand-written notes that show caring far more than a printed or typed message.

      Voted Up++


      P. S. This is a hub I would like to share, only the "Share with Followers" option no longer exists on HP.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      That's a perfect example ComfortB. How sad. Thank you for sharing though as it puts perspective on the subject. I can't even fathom "printing your name" where a signature is required! Thanks for the votes.

      Maria, I think its called "a mutual admiration society"...

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Can I share, right here, right darned sweet you are...

      " No no they can't take that away from me...!"

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      My 7 yr. old only knows how to write in cursive because we got him in a private school. It used to be taught at our public schools until about 8 years ago. The school board must think it's a waste of the teacher's time.

      The first time I wrote an assignment in cursive, I quickly became the student as my public school students unanimously pointed out that I don't know how to write the alphabet. So, I had to erase and re-write it in the form they are familiar with.

      My cursive writing style has stuck with me so much so that it's hard to 'print my name' on forms that require it.

      Very insightful hub. Voted up and useful.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks TheKatsMeow, I guess you could tell I too believe it should still be taught!

      Technology and progress plow over lots of things Sheri but it just seems some things should not be wiped out.

      You know Joe, the goofy old folks handwriting was still kind of special. It is something that makes us individual. Of course I wouldn't want to write out every hub or comment, Good Lord, I'd never leave the computer! I agree with most of what you said but still hate to see cursive writing disappear. THE SHARING OPTIONS HAS BEEN REMOVED BY HUBPAGES. I wrote that in all caps for two reasons; one, no one was told about its removal, and two, I think it should be brought back! Aloha my friend. I la maika'i nou.

      I know Faith, there is just something personal and touching about things that are handwritten. I can't imagine a world without a handwriting, but as with other dinosaurs, I will have to learn to adapt or become extinct. There is no more share option.

      Ah Maria, or should I say Wilma? Your work here, or anywhere, is never really done...spoiler alert or no! Bless you woman you are a bright light.

      Jan, I too sign checks. Can you imagine not knowing how to sign your name? I just can't. Thank you for the lovely comment and votes!

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      Boy oh boy, tillsontitan. I'm feeling really old about now (lol), but I digress. This is a superior hub for it's originality and substance. The state of cursive writing that you've outlined here is very sad. Unbelievable that we are talking about something as basic as writing, as a relic art form!?! My goodness. Well, I'm probably one of a handful who still signs checks, LOL! Voted up and interesting.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      If I were not following Faith, I would curse about the issue of cursive writing being obsolete...

      I am so horrified at kids who cannot do basic math when making change at a cash register. To think of writing becoming a thing of the past...I love writing notes...and horrors, I still prefer writing in a notepad to a computer while creating... I am Wilma Flintstone's sister and proud of it!

      Love this piece, Mary...You always have a BEAUTIFUL perspective...oops, "spoiler alert"... My work here is done!

      Love, Maria

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, Mary (Till), what an extensive hub here on the importance, and interesting history too, of cursive writing. I believe it is of great importance that it still be taught in schools to our children. Your list of the benefits is why it is so important, especially in signing one's name on legal documents or, in just signing one's name!

      Can you imagine getting a typed love letter from someone :( It just would not be the same . . . no comparison!!!

      Plus, when we send our precious friends a card, and write little notes in it, it would not be the same, at least to me, if it were written in print.

      Very important topic here for a hub.

      Bravo!!! Let's not let cursive writing die out on us!!!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      (have to return to share, as buttons are not appearing at the moment)

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Mary!

      I write these thank you notes to my customers in cursive, and of course, I still sign my name on checks as well as send out the occasional greeting card. Oh, yes, and there are the love notes to my family. But, you know, you really make a good point here. It IS a dying art. As a writer, I couldn't bear to think of how laborious it would be to write the hubs out longhand before typing them up. And what of these voluminous amounts of comments we weekly pen to our Hub neighbors? It's gotten to be such a rare event that I can actually see my handwriting reverting back to the grade school scrawl. Egads! And to top it off, my eyesight is getting worse, and the reading glasses aren't always where I thought I left them. When I was a boy, I thought, "Why do old people have such goofy writing?" Now, I'm the old goofy writer! Serves me write, uh, right! Hugs and aloha from Washington state, my friend!


      Voted up and more, and sharing! There's gotta be lots of other old folks who can relate! Ha-ha!

      On second thought, something happened to the sharing mechanism. HP must be changing things around again. I hope this is corrected because your hub deserves to be shared, Mary!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 

      6 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      That is interesting. I read recently that lots of kids can't read a regular clock, only digital and that many can't tie a shoelace because most kids shoes now use velcro.

    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      Katee Shew 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Wow so much detail here! I believe that cursive writing is very important and I find it very sad that many youngsters are not learning it. You made a lot of excellent points here, this is a fantastic hub!


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