Let Cursive Die

We don’t carve words into rock anymore either

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Can you read this? Yeah, me neither | Source

When I was a child, I overheard my mother gushing to her friend over the awards the friend’s son had received in school for penmanship. I was a bit of an overachiever but, as I was home-schooled, I didn’t often have anyone to compete against. Nevertheless, I decided that I was going to make my penmanship good enough that I could have won awards if I could have been up for any. To this day, my printing is neat and beautiful. I only realized much later that the penmanship awards were likely for cursive, not printing. Unfortunately, my cursive is ugly, though mostly readable.

I have always hated writing in cursive or reading someone else’s cursive, unless they are incredibly neat and legible. I find most cursive unreadable. I once said someone’s handwriting was “beautiful but impossible to read.” I don’t see the point in that, honestly. And, writing in cursive just hurts my hand, though my cursive is readable — probably because I write it so slowly.

Yes, some cursive is beautiful. It’s like art. I consider it more like drawing than writing. But many people have such terrible handwriting that their cursive is not only unreadable, it’s ugly. This kind of writing is often called “chicken scratches” or “scrawl” or “doctor’s writing.”

For some reason, the slow inevitable death of cursive handwriting has become a controversial subject. With computers and texting, many of us don’t even print anything by hand anymore.

All of the arguments against the death of cursive, in favour of writing things by hand, can also apply to printing by hand, and I am all for that. So let’s just do that.

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Photo by me, of my handwriting and printing

Progress will continue no matter how much you fight against it, and cursive is going to be relegated to art, if it isn’t already. I imagine when papyrus and paper were invented, people bemoaned the loss of the art of carving words into rock too.

Poet, lover, thinker, human. https://thewordartist.net

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