Saturday, May 7, 2011

Write it Down, Everyone

In case you were worried about cursive writing, Slate has an article arguing that it will never die, so don't fret.

The piece basically says that people naturally want to write faster, so even if they aren't formally taught cursive, they make up their own versions of connected letters. The problem with this is that personally made up styles tend to be very difficult for other people to read. Therefore, we should just go ahead and keep teaching it so that we're all working from the same basic concept of what a cursive letter 'b' should look like and so on.

The piece also mentions bias against poor handwriting, which is unfair but probably real. If you see something that looks as if it were written by a 10-year-old, are you really going to give it same the respect you would if it were a nice, elegant script? Even if the words are actually the same?

My own handwriting has deteriorated over the years, and I honestly think I type as fast as I write these days, but there are still plenty of occasions when you do have to write things by hand (the article mentions essay questions in school). Having writing that other people can read is probably a good thing.

I still try to write legibly, using the general idea of the letters taught to me long ago by my mama. And my mama's friend who was around at the time.

One thing I don't do, though, is cursive capital letters. I gave up on those freakish things when I was about 15. I just put a printed capital letter and then take up with the cursive after that.

Also, I just like to say 'cursive.' Because it sounds like 'cursing.' And who doesn't like cursing?


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