Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Curse Of Cursive

So, does anyone young enough to get carded at the liquor store know how to read and write cursive anymore?

I ask, because this FML post makes me think the answer is "no":
Today, I was told by my history teacher our finals had to be written in cursive. I should have paid attention in 3rd grade. FML
I can't fathom the poster's attitude.

Growing up, cursive was what grown-ups used to write. I assumed it was the graphical equivalent of car-keys - learning how to handle it is a rite of passage into adulthood.

Apparently it's not taught in school any more. Or if it is, it's not a requirement after its introduction.

And I can understand that to a point. Very rarely as an adult do you need to write more than a brief note, and printing is adequate to that task. Plus 90% of the time, you can keyboard & print out, so cursive really is of limited practical use.

Still, to not be ABLE to do cursive? To never progress beyond the communications method of a bumbling 5-year old?

Never-Never-Land is for Peter Pan. I'd rather live like a grown-up.


  1. "So, does anyone young enough to get carded at the liquor store know how to read and write cursive anymore?"
    Yes... but then again, I was young enough to be carded at a liquor store at forty. Heh.

  2. I don't remember how to write capital letters, and when I write at all it looks like shit, but I sorta remember how.

    The thing is, we're taught in third and fourth grade and they tell us, "when you're in junior high and high school and college and life, you won't be allowed to write in anything but cursive!"

    And then, by sixth grade, nobody gives a damn any more.

    I still don't understand what the point of cursive was; printed writing works just as well in every situation.

    I say, skip cursive writing and teach how to use semi-colons, or how credit cards and mortgages work.

  3. Well, the point of cursive is to minimize the number of times the pen is lifted from the paper.

    If I had to guess, I'd say maybe that's an advantage if you're dipping a quill, as it minimizes drips between letters.

  4. Harvey is right. Cursive is an anachronism from the days of quill and well writing. It has no practical value today and is counterproductive. It is harder to read, and easier to misunderstand. But on the bright side, it is easier to get away with misspelling since you can just run letters together.

  5. Well, I wouldn't say NO practical value. More like the same value as learning a foreign language that's used in North America, like Spanish or French - you'll come across documents from time to time where being able to read it comes in handy, but your life (or even your job) isn't likely to depend on it.

    However, like knowing a foreign language, being fluent in cursive possesses a certain snob factor that is not without its charms.