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Cursive writing ... a lost art?

Old 11-15-14, 11:21 AM
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Cursive writing ... a lost art?

I rarely use cursive writing anymore, but I do occasionally ... especially taking notes in meetings, and of course as my signature. Apparently there is a lot less focus on cursive writing in school. I understand why, however I'm wondering why it's not being taught as a method of taking notes? In our workplace, it is rare to see anyone in a meeting taking notes on a computer, as it's seen as a distraction to others in the meeting. If I used printed notes vs cursive notes, it would take much longer to make notes.

What are your guy's thoughts? Is cursive writing no longer needed? If not taught, how do people sign non-electronic documents? I'd assume it's much easier to forge a 'printed' signature vs a cursive signature.

Cursive writing a lost art? | Toronto Star
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Old 11-15-14, 11:36 AM
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Yes. One of my professors mentioned a young associate (completed college + law school) who did not know how to read cursive. I'm curious how people sign for things if they don't know cursive... although I suppose I'm unusual in that I don't have the typical signature of a few enormous letters separated by an indecipherable squiggly line. That said, mine is starting to (d)evolve into something similar.

Most of my electronic signatures are supported by a digital certificate, password, IP address, etc. I'm a fan of the /signature/.
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Old 11-15-14, 12:46 PM
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I also noticed this ages ago, and was shocked at how bad my writing had become (combination of lack of practice, and note taking speed of 600 level neurochemistry or similar courses). It bothered me, and me being an autodidact, I sat down and worked not only on getting my cursive back up to snuff, but to also learn calligraphy.

I think they should go back to teaching it. There is nothing nicer than getting or giving a handwritten note in nice legible script, and attention to details and neatness is a transferable and increasingly rare skill.
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Old 11-15-14, 12:50 PM
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Who has better handwriting now, anorexics or bulimics?
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Old 11-15-14, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by black_box View Post
Yes. One of my professors mentioned a young associate (completed college + law school) who did not know how to read cursive. I'm curious how people sign for things if they don't know cursive... although I suppose I'm unusual in that I don't have the typical signature of a few enormous letters separated by an indecipherable squiggly line. That said, mine is starting to (d)evolve into something similar.

Most of my electronic signatures are supported by a digital certificate, password, IP address, etc. I'm a fan of the /signature/.
A few years ago I was taking the tennessee bar exam and as part of the exam you had to write out a certification statement in cursive. About 20 young folks out of about 100 takers immediately raised their hands and said they didn't know how to write in cursive.
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Old 11-15-14, 02:37 PM
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In my 50s, and I use cursive all the time. Then again, I still know how to use a slide rule. And.. As a student at a technical high school, many moons ago, we still had to learn tube technology.
i.e. "Turn on the TV, and let it warm up".

I'm afraid it is on the way out. A co-worker who has kids in elementary school was recently shocked to learn that cursive writing is no longer taught. The reason, directly from a teacher, is that it is not part of the MCAS test, and that is what they teach to. But, she told him that if he wanted his kids to learn cursive, he had the option of teaching it himself. Yee Hah.
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Old 11-15-14, 02:40 PM
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I have two kids; one in seventh and one in eigth grade. They each received about two weeks of cursive instruction in elementary school when their classes had to wait while other classes caught up to their unit. There's simply no time allocated for it.

Realistically, very few people in the U.S. use cursive for long works. Greeting cards from grandmothers and the occasional signature ( which, contrary to popular belief, don't have to be written in cursive ) are the extent of what people use these days. Honestly, that makes me perfectly happy--it's nice to finally see the end of a mode of writing that varied so much between people that it took far longer to decipher than should have been necessary.
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Old 11-15-14, 02:42 PM
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I hated cursive when I learned it in grade school. As soon as I was able to stop using it in high school, I did. This is just my perspective, but I don't feel that it's much of a loss for society that cursive is no longer taught or used.
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Old 11-15-14, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bikebuddha View Post
A few years ago I was taking the tennessee bar exam and as part of the exam you had to write out a certification statement in cursive. About 20 young folks out of about 100 takers immediately raised their hands and said they didn't know how to write in cursive.
Wow, I would have thought people graduating today would still be able to write in cursive / longhand. Personally I'm not sure if I really care if it's taught in school today. I'm glad I know how to do it, as it comes in handy for quickly taking notes ... and allows for a proper signature. Maybe I can get a job when I'm retired, helping the young historians translate our old cursive documents
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Old 11-15-14, 05:40 PM
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I'm 34 and stopped using it at the end of undergrad, about twelve years ago. When I realized I couldn't read my lab book I needed to change.

That being said, about two weeks ago I started to practice cursive again. I noticed my printing has gotten really bad in my lab notebook. Lab books are almost the only place I write. Other than that quick notes, shopping lists and the occasional greeting card.
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Old 11-15-14, 07:46 PM
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I stopped using it when I left high school. I'm an engineer and everything we write is in printing. My printing has had to get better because communication is important in our work. Before CAD I did a good amount of hand drafting, I still do a lot of sketching. Now my cursive would be very bad.

Actually I think people do a lot less writing now because they have computers, phones, tablets.
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Old 11-15-14, 09:44 PM
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Printing is usually more legible. Transcribing cursive is a chore. My mind was made up early on, as I'm lefthanded, and practicing cursive writing in school was torturous.
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Old 11-15-14, 10:29 PM
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My handwriting has devolved into "cursive printing" over the years. Never one to win penmanship awards, and my handwriting combines my father's small letter size with my mother's more irregular letter forms and aging fingers that don't want to work together as smoothly as they once did, so the cursive letter forms break down into illegible waves. I hand-write notes and that's about it.

If I want to communicate with a document, I use modern word processing tools, which are faster and easier for fixing mistakes. I like the added plasticity in editing.
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Old 11-15-14, 10:41 PM
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and... speaking of cursive, to printing, to typing... I've gotten into voice recognition for taking notes from books and other materials. It's usually pretty good, but not always perfect. This is just using the built-in software in windows 7 pro.
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Old 11-17-14, 12:23 PM
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When I was in high school one of my teachers commented that my handwriting was so bad I needed to either learn to write better or become a doctor. That's not how I ended up becoming a doc, but I'm going to mention it to him if I ever see him again.
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Old 11-17-14, 12:31 PM
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It's all part of the dumbing down of America........... Brought to you by "teachers."
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Old 11-17-14, 12:42 PM
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My cursive was pretty bad, so I stopped writing in cursive and got my printing up to speed. Then computers happened and all was well in the world. My signature is a scrawl. People who write cursive legibly enough to read it are way ahead of the curve. I balk when I see it now and it takes a moment to figure it out, but once recognized, I can read it just fine.
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Old 11-17-14, 12:44 PM
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I pretty much only use cursive for taking notes as I can read that. No one else can read my cursive handwriting (at least not easily), so I typically print everything that anyone else may need to read (or better yet, type it).
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Old 11-17-14, 01:44 PM
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Its no longer required... but neither is face to face communication. That said... My neices and nephew still send me handwritten thank you cards... no text or email will replace the politeness and rightness of sending a handwritten note or letter (and the effort it takes). I hate the fact that handwriting is no longer taught in most schools... but I am an old dinosaur who still practices calligraphy... what do I know...
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Old 11-17-14, 02:49 PM
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I'm much faster and more legibile printing than cursive. More practice with printing could be why I suppose. My cursive looks about the same as when I learned it back in 3rd grade while my printing may be on a 4th or 5th grade level...
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Old 11-17-14, 03:13 PM
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Lessons | IAMPETH Members Site

I wrote a handwritten post the other day but accidentally deleted the image when I was cleaning out my server.
The only way to improve one's handwriting is to study penmanship. IAMPETH is the best resource on the net for lessons in penmanship.
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Old 11-17-14, 03:22 PM
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I type almost everything now. My handwriting is attrocious because of it too.
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Old 11-18-14, 10:00 PM
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My daughter is working on cursive now, in 4th grade. 1st time her whole class has done so. My 8th grade son missed that boat, he can read/write less cursive than his younger sister can. I can't remember when my gradeschool started cursive. Thinking 3rd grade. I am 47. Nobody I know writes cursive. We all tap away on computers or tablets for notes in meetings.

I got them the Gnomes book in hopes they would learn to read this foreign language.
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Old 11-19-14, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Allen View Post
Lessons | IAMPETH Members Site

I wrote a handwritten post the other day but accidentally deleted the image when I was cleaning out my server.
The only way to improve one's handwriting is to study penmanship. IAMPETH is the best resource on the net for lessons in penmanship.
'The Palmer Method of Business Writing' was a blast from the past. Anyone growing up in my era, or earlier, will remember the endless practice writing out letters. Here's a link for those interested ...

https://archive.org/stream/palmermethodofbu00palmrich
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Old 11-19-14, 11:16 AM
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Does anybody still do, and do they even still teach shorthand anymore...?
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