Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Slow Death of Cursive

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Some politicians choose to focus on poverty or drop-out rates or foster care or government spending.

But in Idaho, Rep. Linden Bateman is on a different sort of crusade: protecting cursive. According to the Spokesman-Review, he introduced a resolution this morning to make instruction of cursive part of the Idaho Common Core. He's even been visiting with reporters in Boise to show off his penmanship.

As a retired history teacher, he worries that if kids lose their ability to write all swoopy-like, the distance between the past and present will grow even further.

“What will that do to historical research?” he asked. “Family research?Genealogy? Our Constitution, our Declaration of Independence – kids will not be able to read those documents in the original. It disconnects kids from their past – weakens the connection.”

But it may be too late. We're already there. Have you ever sat down with the Declaration of Independence lately? It's entirely illegible. The s's look like f's, making things even more infcrutable. The shapes of letters have changed, and the art of calligraphy has become the province of wedding invitations, not correspondence.

We wrote this article on this exact phenomenon two years ago. Bad cursive is worse than no cursive.

Kathleen Wright is the national product manager for handwriting for Zaner-Bloser, a company whose curriculum has been used to teach handwriting in schools since 1904. “I’m seeing a rise in concern at the university level,” Wright says. Cursive handwriting on essays turned into college professors is becoming increasingly messy. With standardized test prep panicking teachers at elementary schools nationwide, the amount of time spent on cursive instruction has fallen drastically.


And as cursive quality gets worse and cursive usage becomes more rare,choosing to write in cursive becomes ever more dangerous. Something needs to change.

Just ask the ultimate arbiter of truth, the organization that proved the existence of Santa Claus: The U.S. Postal Service. Remember the cursive Q? “The Postal Office asked us to change it,” says Wright of Zaner-Bloser. Postal workers kept thinking it was a “2.”

Expect this trend to continue: As iPads and smart boards become increasingly ubiquitous, cursive still will be taught. But as an elective taken by artists, designers, and history majors.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: ,

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2


Comments are closed.

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
TEDxSpokane 2017

TEDxSpokane 2017 @ Bing Crosby Theater

Sat., Oct. 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Daniel Walters

  • Different Roads
  • Different Roads

    Tim Benn and Kate Burke want many of the same things for northeast Spokane — but have different ways to get there
    • Oct 19, 2017
  • Lane Splits
  • Lane Splits

    The Monroe Street lane reduction has become the defining issue in the District 3 race, but it's not the only one
    • Oct 19, 2017
  • 'black-and-white Issue'
  • 'black-and-white Issue'

    After 4-2 city council vote, MLK Center will run the East Central Community Center
    • Oct 19, 2017
  • More »

Top Topics in Bloglander

News (142)

Arts & Culture (19)

For Fun! (19)

Sports (14)

Music (14)

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation