When a friend recently sent me a Wall Street Journal article about how teaching cursive is being phased out of our schools, I was stupefied. I know I’m sometimes resistant to change, but this was really working on me. I loved penmanship in grade school!
As with most things, I decided to write my way through processing it.
Today’s Game Plan: What Does the Demise of Cursive Mean?
(This comment was posted elsewhere on the site, but I copied and moved it here)
I just saw your piece about the demise of cursive. What a shame that will be. I think it must be going the same way as spelling!!
I agree wholeheartedly, Gary. Thanks for writing.
While cursive seems near & dear to some, for many of us, it’s only used to write checks. Since modern computer software has cursive fonts, and practically no one prints anything in them, and we read less & less hand-written material as the years go by, taking up precious class time to learn to do the same thing we’ve already learned to do by printing is wasteful.
As for the argument kids will learn keyboarding at home anyway, no, they won’t. They’ll get ingrained bad habits like hunting & pecking. Typing DOES need to be taught early and formally now.
Cursive is meaningful to some, but not all. There are people who believe football was highly valuable in their lives; for others it might be dance, or music, etc… But just as I have no interest in playing football or an instrument, I don’t see forcing all school kids to learn something redundant & little used. For those who want to learn cursive themselves, nothing is stopping you.
Your article about the disappearance of cursive was nothing more than self indulgent tripe. I totally forgot what the subject of the piece was before I read half way through. I’m sure you are a talented, upright person but Gees, easy on the aggrandizement. Save that syrup for pancakes.
While I appreciate the gist of what you’re saying, Richard, I still maintain that if I could learn script and typing (I happen to excel at both, but I know that’s not true of many) in school then others could as well. As for comparing it to football or dance, really? Look, I don’t regret a darned thing about my education and I don’t want to be stuck in the past as the column clearly says. I took algebra and trig because they were required and I definitely didn’t excel in those, but there were adults smarter than me who said they’d provide value. Isn’t that how it works?
It’s also worth noting that until this issue came up recently, I had no idea so few people used cursive. Now I know.
Thanks for taking the time to write.
I’m sure you’re a talented, upright person, too, George. That is, when you’re not taking time out of your day to jab a columnist who clearly isn’t your cup of tea.
“You know, things like spelling and grammar and now penmanship.”
There’s more at stake here than penmanship I fear. And, since some of your readers don’t seem to know, we were taught “keybording” 50 years ago in school, but it was called “typing”. Do they really teach “touch” keyboarding in schools today? I doubt it.
I’m right there with you, Jim. Typing class sure was helpful when I was a sports writer on deadlines night after night.
Thanks for weighing in.