The Death Of Cursive

Posted in Trifecta, Uncategorized, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 23, 2013









There was a feature in the NY Daily News about the death of cursive writing. HT to JoemyG-d. It seems like cursive is no longer being taught. PG says good riddance. This is a repost.

Cursive refers to the flowing style of handwriting, where the letters are joined. It is from the French word cursif. This is derived from Medieval Latin cursivus, literally, running, from Latin cursus, past participle of currere to run

Cursive sounds like curse, or using bad language. Many people trying to read cursive will curse. The synonym for cuss, however, is from the middle english word curs.

At Ashford Park , print writing was taught in the first grade, and cursive in the third grade. PG learned cursive, and then promptly forgot. He prints when he needs to write, except for a signature. Printing is much, much easier to read.

Some say that with the decline of cursive, that old handwritten letters will be impossible to read. With many cursive writers, they already are. Some people have the patience to write beautifully, but many others scrawl. There is a cliche about doctor’s handwriting on prescriptions. One wonders how many lives have been lost because the pharmacist is not a mind reader.

There is a quote, attributed to an ancient Greek. “When we start to write, we will lose our ability to remember”. There was grumbling when the printing press replaced hand copied scrolls, and when the typewriter came onto the scene.

Man fancies himself as being an animal who can think. Sometimes, when you replace the legend with knowledge, people like to hang onto the legend. This seems to be a point on the species cusp. On the one side is a rational, thinking creature. On the other side is a superstitious animal that runs on instinct. This is one possible reason that cursive writing lasted as long as it did.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.









4 Responses

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  1. Draug419 said, on September 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    We were taught cursive in second grade in my elementary school. I still use it for signatures and it I have to scrawl something very fast without much care about neatness–when just the fact that there are lines on the paper is enough of a reminder of something. I think it’s a good skill to have, but not entirely vital in this day and age when most missives and notes are done electronically.

  2. kdillmanjones said, on September 25, 2013 at 10:15 am

    What a thoughtful way to connect “animal” not only writing, but to a specific point in our history as well. You had me at the Mnemosyne reference. This was wonderful and challenging.

  3. margitsage said, on September 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I loved the line “One wonders how many lives have been lost because the pharmacist is not a mind reader.” My dad was a doctor… :)

  4. trifectawriting said, on September 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    My kids think that cursive is another language. This is an interesting post and a good discussion point. Thanks for linking up. Don’t forget to vote!

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