by Mike Masnick

Computer-Savvy Kids Say Curses To Cursive

from the who-needs-to-write-anymore? dept

I've certainly heard stories from people who say that with all the typing they do now, they are surprised at how difficult it is when they actually need to write stuff down. Their handwriting has gotten much worse, and it's a skill that they almost never practice any more. Now, many elementary school students are wondering why they need to write cursive at all. Personally, I can't remember the last time I wrote in cursive (other than signing my name). There doesn't seem to be a point to it. If I'm writing notes, to myself, it's always in print. I don't know anyone who still writes actual letters anymore, which seems to be the excuse teachers are giving students for why they still need to know cursive. What's most amusing is reading the "horror" that some people seem to feel about cursive going the way of the horse-and-buggy. One person talks about how computers and video games are causing all sorts of problems because they're making sure students haven't "developed proper forearm and hand musculature, seated posture or mental discipline."

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1. identicon
    Sue, Jun 9th, 2003 @ 11:38am

    Writing cursive

    Well, strange, backward me, I write cursive every day in my journal. It's almost like a secret code.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    McGroarty, Jun 9th, 2003 @ 12:01pm

    Not the only thing going...

    Fewer schools are teaching long division now, as well. I was further floored to learn that students can take certain calculators into the SAT and ACT with them.

    The world's changing. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    dave, Jun 9th, 2003 @ 12:34pm

    No Subject Given

    I use my own hybrid cursive print... can't say I've ever used pure cursive... I really never figured out why we had to learn it, the only people I see who use cursive, I can't read their handwriting anyway. I think learning to print clearly (at a decent speed... actually at any speed) is more important.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Doug, Jun 9th, 2003 @ 1:10pm

    Printing vs. writing

    A few years back I learned that cursive writing is a real problem area for many people (both kids and adults) with ADD/ADHD. They often switch back to printing as soon as they're no longer forced to use cursive.

    I did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    MissinLnk, Jun 9th, 2003 @ 3:17pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I use my own hybrid cursive print...
    Same with me. My writing's basically connected well for me and others can actually read it. The only time handwriting in print rather than cursive is slower is when writing a page or more...and the only time I write that much by hand is when I don't care how long it takes. I'd rather my handwriting be easy to read and comfortable to write.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    ironlife, Jun 9th, 2003 @ 3:32pm


    write? I just smear feces on the wall instead

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Mr. Craft, Jun 9th, 2003 @ 3:33pm

    No Subject Given

    This article is a joke. People are defined by their handwriting? Young kids are "worth" less if their handwriting isn't as nice as the other kids? Puh-leeze. I haven't used cursive since I was 12 or 13 years old and I've managed just fine. Sure, I can print nicely when duty calls, but I'd imagine most people can, too. Typing is more efficient and is a skill that has greater rewards.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Tom Johnson, Jun 9th, 2003 @ 4:21pm

    It's past time

    Cursive seemed pointless when I was in third grade nearly 20 years ago and it isn't surprising that it is a growing trend. They didn't teach us how to punch computer punch cards when I was in high school because that was becoming a lost art, why teach cursive? It's not all that useful, schools have more important things to teach, and limited time/money. Children know when they're being taught pointless information, and the more pointless the info, the more I personally tuned out school. It isn't as bad as drumming dates and names into childen instead of trying to explore the actual lessons we can learn from history, but that's another issue. Those who want to learn arcane skills are always welcome to do so on their own.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Writer, Jun 10th, 2003 @ 12:08am

    Re: It's past time

    What nonsense. Being able to write is an essential skill. Being able to write efficiently is even more essential. Cursive writing (and I don't mean joined up printing) is the most effective way of writing so that is what you should learn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Kate Gladstone, Oct 25th, 2006 @ 8:08pm

    hybrid writers (mixing print & cursive) go faster

    Actually, according to the research, writers who mix the best elements of printing and cursive (all of us hybrid types) write *faster* (as well as more legibly) than the folks who write "pure" cursive or "pure" printing.
    See more about this (and related info) at

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    sophie, Feb 16th, 2007 @ 4:55am

    Re: Not the only thing going...

    that is right

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    John J. Gabner, Oct 5th, 2007 @ 8:11am

    Cursive vs. printing

    The argument that cursive is defunct or useless sounds just as rediculous as stating that books are no longer necessary as the computer will replace all forms of communication.
    Cursive writing is as individual as a person's fingerprint. Imagine the Diary of Anne Frank written in printing! Cursive is as basic to human literacy skills as reading and speaking properly.

    There is a myriad of research proving that cognitive skills are increased through the use of early cursive writing as well as good motor skills.

    Notetaking for the majority of people is faster with cursive. In fact, many jobs require handwriting samples. In Europe, fountain pens are still used becuase handwriting is so cherished.

    Estetically speaking, a fine handwritten letter is far more personal and meaningful than a mere e-mail: I still have handwritten letters and recipes from my mother that mean more to me than gold. A printed version would not look as beautiful. I am proud of my mother's literacy skills.

    In closing, there are people who would argue that books are no longer needed, English grammar should not be stressed, proper pronunciation and speaking are no longer needed, etc, etc. My impression is that there are a lot of lazy people who have excuses for not having self-discipline.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Rommel (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Re: Cursive vs. printing

    What works are those which need handwriting samples?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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