October 11, 2006

Cursive Writing and Me

Instapundit has a link to a Washinton Post article, which started the discussion. Briefly, fewer and fewer kids are being taught cursive. The Anchoress bemoans this trend, saying " the de-emphasis of penmanship is simply another manifestation of the devaluing of the individual over the collective."

Maybe. But for this individual, cursive writing was a freakin nightmare and a horrible mistake. I had an extremely solid private education, grades 1-12, so the quality of teaching wasn't the problem. However, I apparently had a decent block writing style in elementary school, but when we switched to cursive, my handwriting crashed. I had really bad, nearly incomprehensible handwriting through most of school, in spite of several attempts to correct it. Finally, a 10th grade biology course required fast enough notetaking that I had problems deciphering my own notes, and I switched back to print, more or less. It looks kind of weird, and I can pick out my handwriting almost immediately [it would be quite difficult to forge, the style of letters change depending on position], but it is quite legible.

And a subnote: one of the least comprehensible scripts I've seen was from a nurse who wrote beautifully, but incomprehesibly, in cursive.

So, keep cursive, egyptian heiroglyphics, and Norse Runes for art. For trying to communicate information, printing.

Posted by Owlish at October 11, 2006 03:09 PM | TrackBack
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