Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I hate cursive

I hate cursive writing. Really, totally despise it. It is hard to read, hard to write, and generally is useful only for signing your name. And even there, it can make it hard to figure out who signed.

I've always hated it. I never saw the point in learning it. Now, in the digital age, it is as useless as ever. Hell, if you really want cursive, you can use a cursive font. The advantage there is, it is actually a hell of a lot more readable than real cursive.

Some ancient grammar or pennmanship nazis seem to like cursive, or see it as a lost art or something silly like that, but I don't see it that way. Things become obsolete. We don't use feather pens anymore. The need for cursive is gone. A far more important skill for children to learn is how to type. Typing, texting - that is the new form of communication for our age. Kids who don't learn that will fall behind. Kids who don't learn cursive - well, they'll miss nothing.

I know I won't miss it. I print when I hand write, and I try to type where I can - it is legible, it is savable, and it is editable.

So cursive - R.I.P. You won't be missed.


BadTux said...

I scrawl my signature, and write everything else in regular ole' letters with a few cursive flourishes. They've done studies and found that writing in cursive is actually *slower* than regular handwriting. Given that the only person who reads my handwriting is me (in my notebooks where I take notes at meetings), who cares?

We ought to teach keyboarding in school today, not cursive.

-Badtux the Typing Penguin

KateGladstone said...

Did you know that research shows that the fastest legible handwriters avoid cursive? The fastest legible handwriters tend to use print-like shapes for the letters that "disagree" between printing and cursive, and also join only some letters, NOT all of them (making the very easiest joins, and skipping the rest).

Even signatures don't legally require cursive, and never have. (Yes, I checked this out with legal counsel. Anyone saying that "signatures require cursive" has misrepresented the law of the land.)

Learning to write cursive takes months (or longer), and often fails even then -- learning to *read* cursive takes 15 minutes to an hour, and then you have the skill for life. So why not teach kids to read cursive (you can teach this to five- and six-year-olds once they can read print), teach them to write the way that the fastest legible handwriters REALLY tend to write (which isn't cursive), and use the time saved to teach other important things?

Kate Gladstone
Founder and CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works handwriting instruction/remediation service
Director, World Handwriting Contest