Kansas may halt cursive education

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I think I remember spitting at my teacher's face when I was demanded of to write in cursive. Something about learning a whole new alphabet for the sole purpose of writing slower and making what I completely fucking illegible didn't quite compute to my 8 year old brain.

I already learned the alphabet. It looks nice with its constrained curves and straight lines. It can communicate my ideas effectively. What was wrong with it? Enjoy your mucous.

Correction: still doesn't compute.

Cavan:
I find it strange that cursive writing is considered some additional unnecessary skill in America :/.

You know what we call cursive writing in England? Writing(yes I know this is quite a douchey thing to say). I genuinely did not know the word 'cursive' until I spoke to Americans many years later. I cannot comment on how younger people who are in the early stages of school now are being taught, but I have a friend who is 17 and for everybody he is around it is considered a basic form of writing that is the norm. So unless the schooling system has so radically changed within the past 5 years as to be unrecognizable to me..

It's perhaps unusual to have 100% joined writing but totally separated writing to me would be the sort of thing you see young children doing. Do so many people genuinely labour at writing in such a way?

The fact that some people consider something to basic so be in need of phasing out..baffles me.

LetalisK:
Good. Cursive is an artifact of the past. On the off chance that there is something that isn't computer text, it's almost always normal print text. I have never been in a situation where cursive was necessary. You don't even need to use it for your signature if you don't want to.

The problem with cursive is that it tends to get really hard to read if you do a shitty job at it, while even bad type-written text is still somewhat legible. Still you could always do what I do and just combine the both, using single characters most of the time and sometimes just joining them up. Still my personal problem is ommitting the last few letters of a word if I'm thinking faster than I can write.

Responses like this make me think of those segway machines. I know it's totally unfair but I can't help but think "walking is a relic of a bygone age..what modern human being would need to walk when you can ride?". It's a basic way of making writing more efficient for those times when you may want to write.

On a personal level:I can type at about 100 wpm, but the tactile sensation of writing is nice for me and I find that when I want to scribble notes and reminders and anything like that it is much easier to personalise and accentuate things in such a way that it makes reading it again much more visually distinct and easy to do than if I had typed my thoughts out and printed them out.

Edit: I apologise to the person I misquoted, sorry :(.

Aris Khandr:

I cannot fathom a single situation where an adult would be forced to use cursive. Pretty much everything is typed now.

MILITARY BASIC TRAINING!

Yup, that's right. One of the officers on my BMQ course ordered everyone to write a biography of themselves in order to get to know us better. He also stated that we had to do it in cursive, and that printing was unacceptable.

Needless to say, it ended with the entire course sitting in a certain girl's room (the one person in the barracks who actually knew cursive), getting penmanship lessons.

OT:

Despite my above story, I do agree that cursive is obsolete and serves no purpose aside from people writing their signatures. Trash that stuff, it's hard enough to read when the person is a neat writer, but if their writing skills are anywhere below the level of 'extraordinary', it is impossible to decipher.

Welsh guy here. I first learned joined up writing at age 7. To not write this way seems childish to me, it's just the done thing. However if you're going to be advised to use print anyway then I don't see any point in teaching it.

Ironside:
Well he damn well does speak for a large majority of the UK.

No he doesn't, he speaks for a portion of the UK. Certainly not a minority but certainly not the largest either. Generally only the upper end of the middle class and A level and university students use it. The real majority where never even educated in it let alone have it fallen out of favor, many of those who where educated in it have also abandoned it. Exam papers and course work often insist on "print only" now as well, so do many forms and documents. Even in official capacities it is almost dead, apart from English papers I suppose. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has lead to many documents being digitized for storage purposes rather than storing the original paper document, this always leads to "print only" and further decreases Cursive use.

Immigrants over the last 40 years never use it either, neither do the faith schools teach it and place a larger emphasis on their cultural languages like Arabic and Urdu. Between those that where never educated in it and those that no longer use it Cursive is almost dead, to quote someone involved in the debate in the UK "Cursive hand writing is as relevant as Latin".

Biometrics like finger prints will soon replace signatures too.

Since I'm left-handed, fuck cursive. I wouldn't miss it.

(for you righties that don't understand why lefties hate it - to get it to look right I have to slant the paper at a ridiculous angle and it always gets smudged anyway)

I don't think getting rid of cursive in education would cause any problems. As others have said, it's rarely necessary to use. Might as well focus on educating kids on what will be prevalent in future years, which will likely be computer script.

Also, am I the odd one out since I exclusively write in cursive? I'm not sure why, but I've preferred it to print for as long as I can remember.

ThingWhatSqueaks:
As someone who is left handed all I have to say is: fuck cursive. Also fuck the shitty paper that I forced to use when learning how to write in cursive. So...um, yeah. Go Kansas.

fellow lefty and I agree to this.
Cursive is only useful if you learn something like Calligraphy.

I'm not too bothered either way, but I think it does look a lot more professional when written documents are written properly. Not mine, though. My handwriting looks like a large family of anorexic spiders has died in a long line across the page. Often I'm the only person that can read it.

I am genuinely confused that something as basic as joined-up writing can be considered unnecessary. What do you do when you have to jot down notes? Pull out your smart phone and tap away? Ham-fistedly clutch a crayon and scrawl out "T-O D-O: L-E-A-R-N T-O W-R-I-T-E G-O-O-D"?

Though that said, it would have been nice to have been taught to be able to type correctly at any point in my education. I know qwer and asd like the back of my hand, but everything else is kinda a shot in the dark... balance people, that's what we need! Somehow, proper handwriting and touch typing can co-exist, have faith!

Wicky_42:
I am genuinely confused that something as basic as joined-up writing can be considered unnecessary. What do you do when you have to jot down notes? Pull out your smart phone and tap away? Ham-fistedly clutch a crayon and scrawl out "T-O D-O: L-E-A-R-N T-O W-R-I-T-E G-O-O-D"?

Though that said, it would have been nice to have been taught to be able to type correctly at any point in my education. I know qwer and asd like the back of my hand, but everything else is kinda a shot in the dark... balance people, that's what we need! Somehow, proper handwriting and touch typing can co-exist, have faith!

Is it really that difficult to believe that people who write in print hold their pens in the same fashion that you do when you write in cursive? I could show you just as many illegible scribbles in cursive that look like they were done by a 2 year old. And really, do your eyes bleed and think that the internet is run by little children because the font is like this? Please, stop making a fool of yourself.

tsb247:
By the way, engineering lettering is THE single most inefficient way to write things down. However, it looks badass when it's done!

And no, I do not use lettering guides when I am taking notes. :p

image

Wait, this is actually a thing they teach engineers? I haven't seen anything like that at my university--pretty much everyone I know, including professors, uses a mash-up of print and cursive that's both widely legible and very fast. (EDIT: I am an electrical engineer, which might explain things--we don't do formal schematics by hand, ever. :P)

I actually had beautiful cursive up through 5th grade, but I stopped using it because I couldn't keep it legible when I tried to write faster. Nowadays it's a super-compact hybrid of print and cursive; most of my letters are done with a single stroke, and quite a few flow into each other.

But now that I think about it, I wonder: what are they going to replace cursive with? More time in math or science, where we already spend way too much time for the results we get? Cursive is still valuable, as I use many of the letter-joining techniques to make my "printed" writing faster. At the very least, they could teach good penmanship and fast-writing techniques, instead of making our STEM education even more inefficient.

I think they should keep it. Cursive is not hard to learn. You don't need tons of things that are taught in schools, and cursive can just be another one. If anything, At the very worse it can be a history lesson, and at the very best it can inspire some students to take pride in their penmanship and use it.

aba1:
To be honest I still write everything in cursive.

Same here, except the reason I still write in cursive is because I had it drilled into me for... 4 years, never bothered to swap back to print when they let me, and now I actually have to think on what I'm writing if it's in print.

Vuliev:

Wait, this is actually a thing they teach engineers? I haven't seen anything like that at my university--pretty much everyone I know, including professors, uses a mash-up of print and cursive that's both widely legible and very fast. (EDIT: I am an electrical engineer, which might explain things--we don't do formal schematics by hand, ever. :P)

Lettering is something they teach to mainly to draftsman and somewhat to engineers. Then again, lettering is sort of a dying art since everything is computerized now, so I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't learn it. When I started using AutoCAD and CATIA, the board drafting skills went out the window.

As silly as it is, here is a little video of one way to letter. There are more precise ways to do this, and this little video uses a MUCH larger font size than I used to use on drawings for school. This dude has his font down pretty well, but his line weights are a bit off.

EDIT: A better example

I was studying to be an aerospace engineer for a while, and then life events caused a bit of a paradigm shift with respect to my education. I'm studying unmanned aerial systems now. :)

I actually had beautiful cursive up through 5th grade, but I stopped using it because I couldn't keep it legible when I tried to write faster. Nowadays it's a super-compact hybrid of print and cursive; most of my letters are done with a single stroke, and quite a few flow into each other.

I had somewhat legible cursive when I was a kid. I found that I too combined it with print as a grew up, and I developed a very unique signature.

But now that I think about it, I wonder: what are they going to replace cursive with? More time in math or science, where we already spend way too much time for the results we get? Cursive is still valuable, as I use many of the letter-joining techniques to make my "printed" writing faster. At the very least, they could teach good penmanship and fast-writing techniques, instead of making our STEM education even more inefficient.

That's a good question. I don't know exactly what they will fill the time with. I imagine they will just emphasize typing. You know, the good 'ol, "Home row," nonsense that we had drilled into our heads. Well, at least I did.

I have the most atrocious handwriting known to man... Regardless of how many teachers tried to fix me, it never worked. When I write with cursive, I find it incredibly difficult, tedious and make a million mistakes.

Interestingly, I'm generally pretty good with stuff that requires fine dexterity, like a assembling or disassembling small objects or components. I just can't write.

Luckily, as an undergrad engineering student, the only things I'm required to hand write are typically individual letters and numbers in equations. Anything lengthy is a typed report.

Well, my handwriting is absolutely terrible. Using cursive only compounds this problem as joining the letters leads to further illegibility the faster I try to go. Yes, I do know how to write cursive, I just haven't in years. Whenever I write, either creatively or persuasively, I almost exclusively prefer to type. It allows me to present my work more clearly, as I'm not concentrating on whether or not people will actually be able to read it.

With the exception of signing your name, there's a reason why on most official documents, such as government files or applications for employment, it says at the top of the form "Please print legibly."

Also, sometimes cursive writing can backfire horribly:

Cursive use has clearly dropped in the last 20 years, people from the UK saying they never use it seem to be in their mid 20's or younger. Anyone in their 30's and over most likely had to use it at school. The cursive generation were taught that joined-up was proper, adult, normal writing, and we had to learn it and use it and still make it legible. The main thing though is we are taught to see block capitals as more aggressive, just like typing in caps often is. Cursive is a lot more personal I think, because people can't necesserily read it properly from odd angles, or at a distance, or without actually paying attention and deciphering it, also you get used to reading other peoples handwriting... In the end I think it means that people are more likely to think more about what they are reading.

I might not speak for the whole of the UK, maybe just the people who are 30+, which is fine by me - it's difficult for me to bother too much about how wrong some 20 year old thinks I am.

I use both, depending on the situation, who else has to read it, how technical it or personal is etc etc - sometimes you can just scribble a note for yourself in cursive, or spend time writing a letter that is a lot more personal with it. My handwriting is fairly neat either way, cursive was a bitch to learn but I wouldn't change it. I think it's better to have that option, people should see writing as a skill, it would be nice if the youngsters kept at it - even if cursive is gone forever, people should still try and maintain a good standard - it gives a good impression to have neat, legible handwriting and I guess that's the main thing.

Dyspraxia runs in my family and we've all suffered from some degree of prejudice as a consequence of our poor handwrighting down the generations. Cursive, or "joined-up-writing" as we English plebs are taught to call it, is an anachronism that's as barbaric as beating left handed children.

Wicky_42:
I am genuinely confused that something as basic as joined-up writing can be considered unnecessary. What do you do when you have to jot down notes? Pull out your smart phone and tap away? Ham-fistedly clutch a crayon and scrawl out "T-O D-O: L-E-A-R-N T-O W-R-I-T-E G-O-O-D"?

Though that said, it would have been nice to have been taught to be able to type correctly at any point in my education. I know qwer and asd like the back of my hand, but everything else is kinda a shot in the dark... balance people, that's what we need! Somehow, proper handwriting and touch typing can co-exist, have faith!

Is it rally that far above your head that if I wrote my whole life in print I can write as fast as you with your unreadable gibberish? Just for your information: I can write up to 6-8 pages in one lecture of my prof (with drawings and calculations on seperate pages) in print and have small pauses when he starts cleaning some of the chalkboards he's writing on.

Oh wait, you assume I can't even use a pen because... would you pull your head out of your ass and tell me why you assume I can't write or hold pens?

Wait, so you're telling me you actually learn to write in print letters first and then learn cursive? I learned to write in cursive from the very beginning.

Also, good idea to teach children typing, actually. I never got into it, mostly because the key-layout was designed to be impractical, to limit the typing speed on old mechanical typewriters.

I write cursive (or as we call it in England just plain old, you know, writing). It's fine and i see no problem with it. I do agree some people are just awful at it though, in that case i say go back to writing print if that's better to you it's no big deal.

It's very rare indeed that some one will say they can't understand what I've written also. So to all the people who say they cant understand cursive then i think you have just only ever seen very shitty cursive then.

I was taught it from an early age in school so i find it really hard to print now. i hate filling in forms and things where you have to print because it takes me and age to do. Incidentally i am also left handed and preferentially use a fountain pen to write with and I never get smudges on my work. who;d have thought it eh?

I find myself unmoved here. Cursive writing barely had a point before computers. It was simply a different way of writing with a pen or pencil than printing which is all I use outside of a keyboard now. My penmanship was always terrible and I was forever getting chided on it even though it was still legible. My signature is literally the only thing I remember how to write in cursive.

Let it go, in those rare instances where a keyboard is not available printing works just fine, even for signatures.

From what I've seen (through classmates and all that), cursive tends to be faster if you use it more and print tends to be faster if you use it more. It all boils down to what did you stick to after 4th grade.

TheKasp:

unreadable gibberish

The rest of the of the stuff you've been saying fair enough that is/can be true but Cursive is no less readable than any other font. As much as I like it lets be honest it is just a font. People are going to have shit illegible handwriting no matter which way they choose to do it if handwriting is not a skill that come easily to them. Cursive does not suddenly make your essay look like they were written in Arabic or Cyrillic.

Wicky_42:
Somehow, proper handwriting and touch typing can co-exist, have faith!

There will always be people with shit handwriting as there is now and there will always be people who type with one finger. I had touch typing lessons in my primary school as I said already. I went to secondary school with a good few of those people and plenty of them still typed using one finger this isn't something that is going to change.

I don't see why people think touch typing lessons will suddenly make people be able to type at +50wpm. Handwriting certainly hasn't improved so neither will average typing speed have massive leaps.

Y'know, I can't NOT write in cursive, so this makes me sad.

My handwriting is so terrible that it is entirely illegible. To know that some day people might not be able to read what I am writing is... kind of scary & awesome.

I could spew forth venom in concentrated format on a page, and no one would be able to read it. Does wonders for your stress levels.

TwentyPercentCooler:
Since I'm left-handed, fuck cursive. I wouldn't miss it.

(for you righties that don't understand why lefties hate it - to get it to look right I have to slant the paper at a ridiculous angle and it always gets smudged anyway)

Try to be less left handed... The Victorians would have beaten it out of you, as is only right and proper! :)

I lack any form of manual dexterity whatsoever, I only managed to get through cursive writing classes by squijing (technical term) the letters up really close so it looked like they were joined. My signature isn't really a signature either, it's just my inital with the line of an "H" making the middle bit of an "e" and then making all the letters really... squijed together.

The biggest lie they ever told us in school was "YOU WILL ALWAYS USE CURSIVE. YOU WILL NEED TO USE IT EVERYWHERE."

Fast forward 10 years: "IF YOU USE CURSIVE ON ANYTHING, YOU WILL BE GIVEN A FAILING GRADE."

Locke_Cole:

Wicky_42:
I am genuinely confused that something as basic as joined-up writing can be considered unnecessary. What do you do when you have to jot down notes? Pull out your smart phone and tap away? Ham-fistedly clutch a crayon and scrawl out "T-O D-O: L-E-A-R-N T-O W-R-I-T-E G-O-O-D"?

Though that said, it would have been nice to have been taught to be able to type correctly at any point in my education. I know qwer and asd like the back of my hand, but everything else is kinda a shot in the dark... balance people, that's what we need! Somehow, proper handwriting and touch typing can co-exist, have faith!

Is it really that difficult to believe that people who write in print hold their pens in the same fashion that you do when you write in cursive? I could show you just as many illegible scribbles in cursive that look like they were done by a 2 year old. And really, do your eyes bleed and think that the internet is run by little children because the font is like this? Please, stop making a fool of yourself.

That's not really what I'm saying; just as many as what? So?; font?!

Hey, I don't care - WRITE EVERYTHING IN BLOCK CAPS if you want - after all, it's how people write on the interwebs when they are right, right? Just don't try and tell me that it's superior to a decent fluid connected script.

BiscuitTrouser:
Here in the UK "cursive" is normal. Very normal. Its almost a very small minority of people that dont use cursive all the time for everything. We only dont join up our words when we are very small and once we start with cursive we basically stick to it for life. However my handwriting is terrible. So i have had to learn block writing, im a very small minority. I find it pretty difficult not to let my pen flow into cursive. It just feels fluid and natural. Im SO astounded by the culture difference here. In the US cursive is weird and in the UK cursive is just what everyone does. It doesnt even have a name. Its just writing.

Its funny how you learn cursive as a weird thing and drop it while i learned cursive naturally and now find it hard to unlearn it for the sake of readability.

This. I was unaware it was an option NOT to use it...

Okay then. Your loss, our writing will just be more fancy looking.
(I rarely get to use it but my handwriting is BEAUTIFUL you guiz, Just Beautiful)
...Sadly I'm also Dyslexic. Ha. Life, it's a jumble of fails.

I am also Left handed.
So I will not be forgoing a skill I learned through walking on hot coals while balancing an elephant on a plate. (At least that is how it felt)

Proper handwriting is still important as a skill. If you have to jot something down quickly and no one can read your writing then its going to cause problems. I know mine is really spidery and sometimes when reading notes I have to focus on what I've written to make it out.

(Reads above posts)

What, people don't get taught how to do joined-up handwriting!? Seriously, I thought only children under 7-8 couldn't join up writing, at least in Britain. Don't they teach it much in America? I had to repeat words and sentences until they joined up correctly in primary school.

BiscuitTrouser:
Here in the UK "cursive" is normal. Very normal. Its almost a very small minority of people that dont use cursive all the time for everything. We only dont join up our words when we are very small and once we start with cursive we basically stick to it for life. However my handwriting is terrible. So i have had to learn block writing, im a very small minority. I find it pretty difficult not to let my pen flow into cursive. It just feels fluid and natural. Im SO astounded by the culture difference here. In the US cursive is weird and in the UK cursive is just what everyone does. It doesnt even have a name. Its just writing.

Its funny how you learn cursive as a weird thing and drop it while i learned cursive naturally and now find it hard to unlearn it for the sake of readability.

This. Exactly this. NOT to join up writing in the UK just makes it look childish or show that you haven't learnt to write. Also, good to know I'm not in the minority with bad handwriting. I had to use a laptop in exams instead of writing as it can get pretty illegible once I start to write quickly.

Funnily enough I read today that the British government is trying to put writing lessons in the curriculum and improve teaching. They say that despite tablets and pads it'll still be relevant in the future. I had no idea it wasn't the same in the USA.

LetalisK:
Good. Cursive is an artifact of the past. On the off chance that there is something that isn't computer text, it's almost always normal print text. I have never been in a situation where cursive was necessary. You don't even need to use it for your signature if you don't want to.

Yeah I remembered being taught cursive in 3rd grade, but it was immediately dropped in the new year.

And no one seemed to care

Witty Name Here:

LetalisK:
Good. Cursive is an artifact of the past. On the off chance that there is something that isn't computer text, it's almost always normal print text. I have never been in a situation where cursive was necessary. You don't even need to use it for your signature if you don't want to.

And even then, you don't honestly need to "know" cursive for your signature. Just write out maybe the first two letters and then follow it by squiggles and boom, you've got yourself a signature... If you can remember it.

For example, can you guess who this signature belongs to?

Answer:

It's JFK

wtf? That looks like an S to me and I don't recall his name having that

About time. I only wish that cursive had been abolished before I was forced to learn it. It's always been much MUCH slower than print for me and I haven't used it since I learned it. There's absolutely no point in wasting time teaching something that has no application anywhere.

Lets see in today's world we have emails,texting, and college essays. So I support this.

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