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Perrie Juran

The Death Of Cursive

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There is evidence that writing notes in lecture hall, even if you don't read them again, aids in retention of the material. I used my own sort of ad hoc shorthand, not unlike textspeak. For this reason, I don't rail against cul8r when I see it in an IM, although I can probably type "see you later" as fast as they textspeak it. And there's no cute replacement for Toodeeloo, Caribou!

I'm going through my home library, culling out half the books in it. Time Life book of Spacecraft, old Smithsonian magazines, Simplicity pattern books, etc. They're lovely things to hold, but their information is out of date and easily accessible online. I'll keep a few of my childhood favorites, like Wallace Trip's "A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me" and all my Twain/Thurber/Feynman. I'll miss the page fanning, but I need room for new things, like another curio cabinet to display my pretty geodes, or perhaps an heirloom quality trebuchet.

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I'm not sure it's laziness so much as unneeded and unwanted in higher level education and professional fields. As I said in my earlier post, I retained very little of what I considered a waste of my time in 3rd grade and when I got to HS expecting to have to drag out the cursive helper books, none of my teachers wanted it anywhere near them, and would complain when a student wrote in cursive for a short answer on a test/quiz.

Also at that time, they wanted everything to be typed Times New Roman 12pt double spaced 1" margin last name and page number in upper right corner!! Apparently the formatting is useful but who knows - the educational system in America is deeply flawed and helpful to a small selection of kids who are good at memorization. They don't have to understand the material as long as they remember the answers! Wow! (I'm a little jaded - can you tell?)

 

@Panther - I will admit to relying heavily on the cash register (which is actually very much an antique in its own right) for figuring out change and the like. However it's much faster than me sitting there counting on my fingers or dragging out the calculator to figure change when someone is standing there staring at you like 'I haven't got all day'.

When it comes to printed books vs. ebooks, I used to be hateful of ebooks until I got myself a kindle for school and wow it's just so much more efficient than lugging around 20lbs of text the teacher might not even look at. I like the highlighting and bookmark features and I like how it tells me about how much long the current chapter will take me. It's super handy and I can read it outside and not blind myself with sun-brightened pages. I also bump up the text size to massive to reduce eye strain because I have difficulty putting books down once I start them and little 12 or 10 pt font for a good four hours is a pain!

I still cherish my physical books, and often buy two copies of a title I highly enjoy, however I do not hold books on pedestals so many seem to do. The actual physicality of the book is not of importance. It's what's IN the book, the story, the message, the characters, the life inside the pages that matters. You could easily burn a book after reading it, but the story never gets lost if you keep it with you. The way it is delivered doesn't make much of a difference at the end of the day, it's still going to make an impact either way.

 

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AveryGriffin wrote:

 

I still cherish my physical books, and often buy two copies of a title I highly enjoy, however I do not hold books on pedestals so many seem to do. The actual physieycality of the book is not of importance. It's what's IN the book, the story, the message, the characters, the life inside the pages that matters. You could easily burn a book after reading it, but the story never gets lost if you keep it with you. The way it is delivered doesn't make much of a difference at the end of the day, it's still going to make an impact either way.

 

Buying two copies of a favorite is odd, but hey, I'm all about books.  Any book I read electronically I also purchase in paper.  Books I highly enjoy, I try to purchase/bid-on 1st editions.  And I read a lot of books. 

Mark Twain wrote so eloquently: "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

Just keep reading.

 

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That's what I mean. I'll buy a paper copy and if I can find it for my kindle, I'll get a copy there as well. I read a lot of older fiction (70s-80s) and generally I can only find any copy via second hand stores, but I kinda like those versions better than the brand spankin' new stuff. Always fun to read the 'this book belongs to:' and little notes people add like 'I don't think MC was being v. smart'. Good times.

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AveryGriffin wrote:

... I read a lot of older fiction (70s-80s) and generally I can only find any copy via second hand stores, but I kinda like those versions better than the brand spankin' new stuff.

All books are new until they are read.

 

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AveryGriffin wrote:

the educational system in America is deeply flawed and helpful to a small selection of kids who are good at memorization. They don't have to understand the material as long as they remember the answers! Wow! (I'm a little jaded - can you tell?)

 

@Panther - I will admit to relying heavily on the cash register (which is actually very much an antique in its own right) for figuring out change and the like. However it's much faster than me sitting there counting on my fingers or dragging out the calculator to figure change when someone is standing there staring at you like 'I haven't got all day'.

When it comes to printed books vs. ebooks, I used to be hateful of ebooks until I got myself a kindle for school and wow it's just so much more efficient than lugging around 20lbs of text the teacher might not even look at. I like the highlighting and bookmark features and I like how it tells me about how much long the current chapter will take me. It's super handy and I can read it outside and not blind myself with sun-brightened pages. I also bump up the text size to massive to reduce eye strain because I have difficulty putting books down once I start them and little 12 or 10 pt font for a good four hours is a pain!

I still cherish my physical books, and often buy two copies of a title I highly enjoy, however I do not hold books on pedestals so many seem to do. The actual physicality of the book is not of importance. It's what's IN the book, the story, the message, the characters, the life inside the pages that matters. You could easily burn a book after reading it, but the story never gets lost if you keep it with you. The way it is delivered doesn't make much of a difference at the end of the day, it's still going to make an impact either way.

 

LOL Avery!  Many of us oldtimers could give you a ten minute crash course in making change.  I think we all learned the same way.  Count up to the nearest $.25, then the next $1 and up from there.  It does speed up the process quite a bit.   You do make me chuckle with the "type font size" of professors/teachers.  I, personally, think that they were just as lazy as the kids.  This process made it easier for them to thumb through and find the appropriate paper and allow their eyes to glaze over when grading them.  Hence the confusion for some of us when our perfect paper was returned with a B+ instead of the A it should have received.  ::shrugs:::

Books are very personal when it comes to preference.  Just as some love westerns or sci fi, others love mystery or romance.  To each their own.  I'm all for any method that gets kiddos reading and comprehending AND having the ability to form complete sentences.   I am just a tactile person.  The look, feel and smell of that plant based version is just.... relaxing.  My three kiddos also share this preference and have been caught in the library, "sniffing" the older versions of books.  LOL  As long as you are reading and enjoying the escape into the story, great!  I wholeheartedly agree with your comments on textbooks.  Oh how my life would have been easier not having to lug around Black's along with the other texts when I was studying!

 

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I'm talking about the fresh off the shelves, uncracked spine types ;)

Though those do have a charm of you being the first to give it a new life.

I guess I like preowned because I tend to be nostalgic for ages I've never lived.

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We all learn through sight, sound and touch (probably other ways too but those are the main ways) but not all people learn the same way.  Some may learn best through sight.  I'm one of those, a very visual person.  I can read a technical computer manual and retain quite a bit even if it has concepts that are new to me.  On the other hand my audial memory is awful.  Someone could tell me 10 times the 4 step proceedure to login to some account, say, and I probably won't remember it.  Not until I wrote it down and saw it printed.  Others don't seem to be able to pick up things from manuals but need to be told.  They learn through the spoken word.  And still others learn best by doing the process for themselves.  They require hands on learning. That's why listening to a lecture in class, taking notes and reading them later (or in my case rewriting them neater since my handwriting is so bad) is such a good way to learn.  It uses sight, sound, and touch.

Private schools that specialize in teaching children with learning differences will often teach reading, writing and spelling by having students use their fingertips to write on the backs of masonite boards to help reinforce learning through touch.  They also use many other non-standard techniques.

So although some people may not need to learn to write in order to learn, others will benefit from the process.  The probelm is that our public schools are like an assembly line.   The teaching style depends on the uniformity of the parts (the students).  Those that do not fit that mold fall by the wayside.

 Edit: for spelling.

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Storm Clarence wrote:

Keyboard

If you are saying what I think you are saying, that the phrase should have been, "Has The Keyboard Killed Cursive Handwriting," you do make an interesting point.

My general habit is when I link an article to use the article's actual title.

Maybe it is a sign of the times that the writer of that article used the word "Technology."

As I referenced above, when I was a kid not many households to my knowledge had Typewriters, hence, no keyboards.

I took my Father's portable to College with me and it got very well used by my dorm mates.  Actually it got very well used by their girl friends.  A girl who could type was worth her weight in gold and treated very well by the guys.  When papers were due, her whim was our command.

Which would go back to another comment I made, that I had flunked typing.  Typing classes were generally reserved for girls. (Sexist discrimination......training them to be secretaries.  Girls were normally the only ones who took short hand also).  Regardless, how I ever got assigned to the class was a great mystery.  I was the sole hormone ravished teen aged boy in a class full of perky teenage female breasts who was very easily distracted from my work.

So one semester of typing and that was it.

 

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Studio09 wrote:

So although some people may not need to learn to write in order to learn, others will benefit from the process.  The probelm is that our public schools are like an assembly line.   The teaching style depends on the uniformity of the parts (the students).  Those that do not fit that mold fall by the wayside.

 

This actually reminds me a lot of a vid I saw recently! I can't embed it here (sadly) but if you guys have like, 15mins to watch something interesting about education - check this out!

 

 

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Storm Clarence wrote:

Keyboard

If you are saying what I think you are saying, that the phrase should have been, "Has The Keyboard Killed Cursive Handwriting," you do make an interesting point.

My general habit is when I link an article to use the article's actual title.

Maybe it is a sign of the times that the writer of that article used the word "Technology."

As I referenced above, when I was a kid not many households to my knowledge had Typewriters, hence, no keyboards.

I took my Father's portable to College with me and it got very well used by my dorm mates.  Actually it got very well used by their girl friends.  A girl who could type was worth her weight in gold and treated very well by the guys.  When papers were due, her whim was our command.

Which would go back to another comment I made, that I had flunked typing.  Typing classes were generally reserved for girls. (Sexist discrimination......training them to be secretaries.  Girls were normally the only ones who took short hand also).  Regardless, how I ever got assigned to the class was a great mystery.  I was the sole hormone ravished teen aged boy in a class full of perky teenage female breasts who was very easily distracted from my work.

So one semester of typing and that was it.

 

Well, if the keyboard killed cursive, it sure took it's time. Christopher Latham Sholes invented the first commercially viable typewriter less than a mile from my college in Milwaukee, way back in 1868. Keyboards first hooked up to computers in the 1940s. Computer keyboards penetrated the home in late 1970s. Cursive handwriting was alive and well through that entire century.

One could argue that all those things, including pen and paper, were technology. But that's not the way most people use the term these days. They mean high technology, the stuff of computers, the stuff of modern everyday living. I think the turning point was somewhere in the span of time from HTML's arrival on the Internet and now, with Google and cell phones playing noteable roles in making a world of information readily available to people using keyboards. The keyboard was necessary, but not sufficient.

Lacking a better way to describe the intersection of computers, digital cellular telephony and the internet, I think Technology will do.

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AveryGriffin wrote:


Studio09 wrote:

So although some people may not need to learn to write in order to learn, others will benefit from the process.  The probelm is that our public schools are like an assembly line.   The teaching style depends on the uniformity of the parts (the students).  Those that do not fit that mold fall by the wayside.

 

This actually reminds me a lot of a vid I saw recently! I can't embed it here (sadly) but if you guys have like, 15mins to watch something interesting about education -
!

 

 

Avery, that was an interesting video, but left me feeling a li'l deja vu.

I was home schooled for 15 years (birth to college). My childhood classroom was very much like that fella predicted would arrive in the next 10 years.

My college years were, at times, uninspiring, but I still lived at home and could fall back on my parents for some inspiration.

My career was very much like what that fella described would arrive in the next 30 years. I was enticed out of grad school, where I was earning modest grades by my co-op employer because they were impressed by the things I was building. I was judged by my projects, not my grades, just as in the video 30 years from now.

So, while the future he's describing sounds very nice, I've already been there. I think others will enjoy it.

Here's another view into the future. Handwriting is not mentioned, though there's someone in the audience writing notes...

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Panther Miklos wrote:

::steps up to the front of the class::

Being of the readin - writin - rithmatic generation, I'm torn.  Cursive as it was taught during the stone age is not just antiquated, but totally irrelevant.  I don't remember one student capable of writing EXACTLY like those signs hanging on the chalkboards.  Lord, the hours and hours trying to get that curly on all those letters!  That was a waste of time.  However, to this day I still write letters to pen pals I've had since 3rd grade.  Cursive (legibly) is of high importance in regard to those letters.  I'm a heavy handed writer (started out ambidexterous - more lefty than right and after injury lost the fine motor skill of the left - right hand uses way too much pressure for some reason) and plain print takes me forever.

I'm a huge proponent of the long lost rote memorization and the fine art of what I call muscle memory (I can't think of the actual term right now).  Both of those skills now allow me to belt out all sorts of answers, spellings, auto answer most word problems without taking pen to paper, etc.  The auto answer is simply because we had to copy down the question from the chalkboard and then perform the operations.  After having done so for a few years, my brain automatically started writing those operations out on the blackboard of my mind.  These days, pen and paper are almost absent from classrooms.  Everything being computerized, children have lost out on these things I consider basics.  Just watch the next time you are at a store and their neat little computerized cash register locks up.  They panic!  They can't take pen to paper to figure your bill.  Hell, half of them can't make change in their heads... they have to have the computer tell them that you gave them a $20 and they owe you $14.30 in change.  Or, here's an experiment for everyone.  When their credit card machine goes down, just ask them to bring out the old style slip charger.  hahahahahahaha  Just watch their reaction when they look at it.  Priceless!

Thanks, but I'll keep my 'old school' waste of time skills and blow you modern kiddos away when they start rationing electricity (hey.. it can happen yanno!).  Ah, and the book thing?  I do have a kindle.  Neat little device.  But, um..... I do confess to having a rather LARGE hardcopy library that I gravitate toward more often than not.  I still purchase my paper style books more often than e-books.  What can I say, I'm a habitual 'fanner' of the pages while reading - this does not work well at all with the kindle. :smileyvery-happy:

 

 

My type of person. :)

Your post brought back memories of when I worked at a department store during summers in high school and college and used a pre-point of sale PC terminal ie. a "real" cash register by NCR. ;)  I really took pride in working my skill up to punching those buttons and hitting enter on each item.  Then if someone used a credit card, not only did I use the good ole "zip-zap" machine, but we had a book that we had to look up to see if their credit card number was in it, meaning it was a stolen card. (I can imagine someone doing that today...lol.  The customer would be going wild with impatience.)

While I was in college we had a recruiter from McD's come to talk about their manager-training program.  I expressed interest so after I graduated I did a three-day "trial run" with them to see if I would like to be hired into the program.  During those three days I basically did the regular employee work with the last day being putting me on the cash registers.  By this time they were not the type I used at the department store - they were a bit more mechanized but the amount of the sale had to be entered...not just pushing buttons that say "Big Mac" or "Large Fries."  Not being familiar with the prices of the menu items I had to keep looking up to the sign overhead for the prices.  As it happened (I think they planned it this way), the night I was on the register was a Friday night, in a tiny town, on high school football night.  Yep, I think every teen in town arrived...and at the same time!!!!!  I was sooo flustered trying to take the order, look up at the prices, etc.  (I am NOT a multi-tasker!!!)

Yeah, I decided against entering their training program.

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What a cool thread.  Even though I've hand-written tons of stuff, I haven't used cursive for years (other than my signature, which is becoming less relevant with each passing tech advance). I"m quite old enough to have learned to write and read cursive sript from my earliest schooling,  but I stopped using cursive long ago,

I took two years of what was called 'Mechanical Drawing' in high school. I think I only took the second year because that was when we got to draw/design our own hot rods (as if any of us actually HAD cars). Anyway, the first thing we had to master was lettering. Each (capital) letter had to fit in the same sized box as every other letter. The point was that those letters would appear in the lower right-hand corner of an engineering drawing, so they needed to be perfect. There was a standard. An 'A' wasn't an upside dowun 'U' with a line across it. It was a perfectly geometric acute triangle with a crossbar that went from one leg to the other and no further. I got prettty good at it.

I adopted that as my default handwriting. Letters, notes, whatever: from then on they were all caps because that was what I could write best.  I think perhaps the fact that was my father's style also had a lot to do with it. He always wrote in ' block letters'. My lettering was better than his, though.

Cursive is hard. It's hard to learn to write (I know  because I did and I have a few ancient pieces of paper to prove it) but it's also hard to read. Czari (I think it was Czari  but she may have commented on someone else's post) talked abiout a court case in which a young witness could not read a document because it was written in cursive.  I don't blame the young witness at all.

I've worked through a lot of journals/diaries written in the mid to late 1800's. All written  by Englsh first or only language Americans.  I've seen TONS of images of pages written in English but using cursive script which I can not translate at all, because there's so much room allowed with cursive. I have to depend on the researcher who did the translation (they burrow in to the writer's entire body of work; they know how he writes his d's and r's. They can tell what he wrote.

I think it's okay that cursive should die. If the only handwriting taught in schools is the proper shape of each letter in uppper and lower case, we'll be fine. I don't know where cursive came from (I"ll find out, because I enjoy learning the history of things) but it has run its course.

Everyone needs to learn to read and write (computers/i-phones be damned, you still need to be able write  yourself notes if nothing else). I just see no reason why that writing should  be in cursive.

The Death of Cursive wouldn't bother me a bit

The Death of Writing By Hand would bother me  a lot. If all the young'uns are typing with their thumbs because they can commincate faster//better that way, then good! If they're never going to sit ifn front a computer with a keyboard then why should they learn to type? A useful but perhaps not neccessary skill.

Being able to use a pen or pencil to compose a readable thought, for you or for anyone else ?:That's importand.:

 

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Sephina Frostbite wrote:

My teachers welcomed my cursive but I understand that not all people have good penmanship no matter how hard they try. 

Oooooo, that reminds me - when my mother was in high school they were graded on penmanship...and her's is so pretty, probably like yours. :)  By the time I was in school we weren't graded on penmanship but our report cards sent home to our parents had the teacher's notes on them. (This is in grade school.)  There was usually a note on mine saying, "Czari needs to improve her handwriting" meaning cursive.  I'm right-handed but I write more like a left-handed person - my cursive writing tilts backwards.  I can actually write in block letters very quickly and used that for note-taking in college and grad. school but, maybe because I wrote so quickly, even my printing looks a bit like cursive.

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I found my John Hartford CD. I saw him at the local Unitarian Church 15 years or so ago and got to shake his elbow. He was ailing from cancer at the time and too frail for a handshake. Yet his hands were still able to produce wonderful music, and this beautiful signature...

John Hartford.jpg

I will certainly miss seeing people craft such art in the form of their names, but there will be other ways for us to leave our mark.

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My handwriting became terrible over a 20-year period when I mostly programmed computers for a living.

 

A year ago I bought a LiveScribe pen as an impulse-buy when I visitied PC World for a printer cartidge, and it's caught on. I get the best of both worlds, handwriting short notes together with adding voice recordings , then computer retention and viewing facilities.

 

I'll vote for the Bad choice if cursive gets dropped from schools' curriculum.

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I have always written beautifully.

My words deserve to look good as well as being meaningful

Unlike many of the content-free posters here

Whose words would be as empty or nonsensical, whatever they used to transcribe them.

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I must admit, my experience of even supposedly well-educated Americans is that very few use "joined-up" wriing, and even those who print legibly find difficulty in distinguishing the correct use of lower and upper case letters.

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I ascribe a considerable element of my academic success to the fact that I could write quickly, clearly and in a manner pleasing to the eye for the three hours non-stop that used to be a comprehensive test of rational thinking ability in the days before the "equalisers" started using multiple-choice tick-the-box examinations to bolster the continuous assessment of parental competence.

ETA: Occasionally I wrote short sentences.

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The only time I use cursive nowdays is to sign checks or legal documents.  I used to write long letters to friends and relatives but stopped doing that long ago.

I can write cursive backwards.  Dunno how I figured that one out. 

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Venus Petrov wrote:

The only time I use cursive nowdays is to sign checks or legal documents.  I used to write long letters to friends and relatives but stopped doing that long ago.

I can write cursive backwards.  Dunno how I figured that one out. 

Maybe you were a forger in another life. :smileyhappy:    I think that is trick they use to keep their own cursive style from creeping in, either that or writing upside down.

 

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