Cursive is a dying art…

Peanuts

As a former third- and fourth-grade teacher, I remember the joy on children’s faces when they discovered that they could write like mom and dad. Students took pride in forming the graceful slants and curves in cursive writing — almost like drawing. It rarely took more than 10 minutes a day for several months for them to acquire this skill, and by the end fourth grade, the students were proficient. Printing, cursive and typing all use slightly different motor skills, which is good for brain development and small motor skills.

Something is lost when cursive writing is abandoned. Besides losing the unique identifiable quality of the individual’s handwriting, we also lose the ability to read original documents as they were first written. John Hancock’s large signature on the Declaration of Independence, indicating his willingness to die, makes an impact. Would a digitized version have the same power? Would love letters like those between John Adams and his wife, Abigail, or between Napoleon and Josephine, be as powerful? Seeing the handwriting connects us personally to the writer.

If cursive writing is no longer needed in this digital age, then why do we need printing and keyboarding as well? Let’s let Siri do our typing and our thumbprints replace our signatures. I won’t even mention retinal identification.-Dorothy Kimble

New_American_Cursive

Reading this article reminded me of this article on emojis. It also transported me back to childhood journals. I never mastered the legible art of cursive. It pains me that some of these pages are nothing more than scribbles. How I longed for them to be in print so I could fully recapture my elementary self. Nonetheless, whether it’s cursive or print, I think nothing beats a letter. This leaves me with a lot of questions to ask you .What has more presence to you: an emoji or a hand written note? When was the last time you wrote a note? Is the written note dead?

 

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21 Responses to Cursive is a dying art…

  1. Ugh!!! I hate this! I was so mad when I found out kids aren’t learning cursive anymore. It makes me sad.

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. jml297 says:

    The hand written note wins for me every time. I like to find (sometimes I make them using my photos) local handmade cards which I send off to friends and loved ones when I’m thinking of them. I know it’s old school but I love receiving these little moments by mail and sending them also has a special kind of pleasure. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. msw blog says:

    Me and my friends call those little moments “happy mail. I have learned you can find the best affordable handmade cards at art sales and farmers markets. Thank you for reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Handwriting is, unfortunately a dying art. So is spelling. You might like this: https://derrickjknight.com/2012/11/07/prolixity-or-conciseness/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gail Kaufman says:

    Personally, I detest writing. After a short time, my hand gets tired, and then my writing gets so sloppy that I can’t even read it. I also have trouble reading other people’s handwriting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hamish says:

    In the past three years I have thrown myself into writing novels and poetry and I short stories. Typing on a computer keyboard is much faster but this gives less thinking time to fully get to know the characters and words I am writing about. Recently I picked up a pen and began writing again. It is such a different experience to typing and as you say develops different skills.

    Thank you for sharing and encouraging discussion in such an important topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • msw blog says:

      Studies have shown writing is good for keeping one’s gray matter sharp and may even influence how we think, those used in handwriting, activate large regions of the brain responsible for thinking, language, healing and working memory. May your creative endeavors continue…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hamish says:

        That’s really interesting to know, and encourages me to keep getting out the pen and paper. Computers and phones are useful tools, but management of moderation is important.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Despite all the technology I use, I am writing notes etc. all the time. Sometimes its quicker to write a file note than type it out. Of course wee still write birthday cards and the like. One thing that is telling though and that is I do not carry a pen around with me anymore, so that can be a bit frustrating when you have to sign something 🙂

    Like

    • msw blog says:

      Writing is such a great cognitive activity, and its nice to know you still write birthday cards, instead of send them electronically 🤣 Toss a pen, in your makeup bag, or place one in your glove compartment, and you will always have one handy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. MSW, Interesting article! I retired from teaching in 2011. The school did not have a period for writing and no grades were given, but they did provide cursive workbooks. I posted a “cursive letter of the day” and a quote in cursive on the whiteboard agenda for the day in my second-grade class, We practiced writing the letter and reading the quote when we went over the agenda. As the year progressed, I posted the whole agenda in cursive. I gave students the workbooks to do in their spare time. Many of my students successfully mastered writing in cursive, just because they wanted to, and I think all of them learned to read it.

    All the best! Cheryl

    Liked by 1 person

    • msw blog says:

      Thank you for reading and replying. I love that you inspired your pupils to learn the skill of writing in cursive through a daily quote and the daily agenda. I am sure you are well missed as a teacher.

      Like

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