Don't Cursive Me!

I’m taking a break from writerly posts to a post about — writing.  Um, the actual art of writing.  By hand.  You know, that little thing called cursive. Now, maybe I’m way behind the times, but it was relayed to several weeks ago that cursive is no longer being taught in many schools and hasn’t been for quite some time.  Some parts of the world still do teach cursive in grade school.  Many do not.  There are young adults out there who cannot read a hand-written note unless it’s printed.

How are they going to know when and where the grand ball is if they can’t read the invitation?

I admit to being torn between diabolical laughter, shaking my head in disbelief, and righteous indignation.

This greatly appeals to my diabolical side because the generations that were taught cursive now have a secret language ALL OUR OWN.  It’s great.  It’s like the codes we tried to make up as kids but could never totally remember without a cheat sheet.

Now?  No need to write.  Printing is where it’s at.  Why?  Because printing mimics the computer keyboard, and since kids now use tablets in grade school . . .  <shrug>  Let’s just do away with pens, pencils, and paper, shall we?  Send them the way of the stylus and wax tablet.  No, I won’t wait patiently while you younger folks do a quick Google to figure out what I’m talking about.  And no, a wax tablet is not an IPad competitor.  <head, table>

Sorry, that’s my righteous indignation coming through.

Don’t get me wrong, I *love* technology.  Absofreakinlutely LOVE it.  Gadgets, smart phones, tablets — yeah, I’m all about those things.  But I still write notes in longhand.  Cursive, mind you.  I write lists, keep journals, ON PAPER, damnit.  No, I don’t dip a quill in ink and write on parchment so, you there, in the back, quit your snickering.  But you know what?  Not only would I, I could.  Neener, neener.

Maybe I’m just mad because I had to learn it and feel it’s somehow unfair if everyone else doesn’t as well.  Maybe I don’t want to feel I received education in something that was once commonplace and is now archaic.  Puhlease, I’m not that old.  Won’t we always write?  Doesn’t anyone else remember getting a writer’s callous on their finger from hours spent penning stories on loose leaf paper?

Is cursive in danger of becoming the next hieroglyphics?

At least that gives me a back-up plan for retirement.  I could hire myself out as an expert in deciphering handwritten letters.

<Leaves room, shaking head and mumbling.>

Crack the WIP!



  1. If a massive solar flare knocks out the electrical grid for a few months, those of us who can still write might be in high demand, like the old COBOL programmers were with the Y2K bug. 🙂

  2. Sad to admit, I’ve forgotten most of what I learned in school regarding cursive. I do still write by hand, in a fairly neat print, and I get through it fast; my cursive was usually pretty sloppy. Still, there’s a grace to cursive that really isn’t replicable. It’s a fading art.

    • But the question is: Can you still *read* cursive?

      And I wonder, if kids aren’t being taught cursive, how do they sign their names? Is it all printed now?

  3. A recent trip to South Carolina to do research on family history took us to a county archive wherein we plowed through thousands upon thousands of handwritten deeds and other legal papers. Every last one of them was written in cursive, and most were done by someone with an extraordinary gift for it. That said, wading through the *styles* of certain periods — fs for ss for example — was tough enough. *Not* understanding how cursive works would have made it impossible.

  4. They’re still teaching cursive in the school where my kids go, but I don’t think it’s the most popular subject being taught. I am more concerned about the fact kids aren’t going to know how to spell what with all the texting…so, those of us who can spell will have yet another language all our own. Love that diabolical thinking. 🙂

  5. Loved the comment about the wax tablet – LOL!

    Not only did I learn cursive at school, but we also used fountain pens too. (And I’m not that old… although starting to feel it more and more…). And I think my writing callouses are permanent. But I love the idea of it being a secret code!

  6. Wow, I can’t believe cursive isn’t being taught. It’s so elegant and so nice to receive a hand-written thank you card or a hand written note.

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