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(Slate)   We have come to a point in our evolution as a society where the question "Is handwriting worth saving?" must be asked   (slate.com) divider line 165
    More: Sad, to-do list, countertops, society, evolution  
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4905 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Dec 2012 at 4:38 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-01 05:17:59 PM
Help send my children to college. Keep writing cursive.

www.penturners.org
(300 year old White Oak from Missouri trimmmed with original Teak decking from the USS Missouri)

www.penturners.org
(White Tail Deer Antler)
 
2012-12-01 05:18:51 PM

IamAwake: Trollin4Colon: hat wasn't what I was going for but I still chortled.

Chortled? Is that some sort of gay-sex term or something?
.



Oh holy lol. You guys are great.
 
2012-12-01 05:20:09 PM

parasol: Yes, it's worth saving - be a shame in 50 years to have an elite group of ppl who, alone, were able
to read - and interpret - founding documents


why? They're meaningless now. Do you even know what claim the feds have to 99% of the national government and services even existing? "interstate commerce." The Constitution also prohibits a standing army...how's that working out for us?

The documents are already meaningless. Do you really think knowing cursive changes that?

Tell ya what...you guys spend all your time honing your cursive skills for the coming zombie apocalypse, I'll make sure I know how to grow penicillin and ride a horse. If and when the zombies ever come, we'll see whose skills are more useful.
 
2012-12-01 05:20:24 PM
I had perfect handwriting at one point. My mom taught me to write longhand before first grade.

My first grade teacher wouldn't even let me sign my name because the rest of the class hadn't been taught how to. I had to sit drawing block letters for the next three years.

Wonder of wonders - when they finally got around to longhand, my technique had been destroyed.
 
2012-12-01 05:21:06 PM

IamAwake: Trollin4Colon: hat wasn't what I was going for but I still chortled.

Chortled? Is that some sort of gay-sex term or something?

clowncar on fire: You all act like the internet and electrical gadgetry will be immune in the event of: long term disruption to the power grid ore lectromagnetic pulse gerated either by natural circumstances, or as a weapon of war by a foreign government should the US ever be attacked.

Your argument is that handwriting should be saved to keep us safe in event of zomgzombies? Really?

Probably the same generation that thinks it's ok to kitty-corner across my yard when visiting my neighbor.

Oh, well, if you're going to go so far as to literally say the kids need to stay off your lawn, it makes sense then.


Writing does not ward off zombies but it may become a way of accurately keeping stock, writing law, communicating should our little tech heavy world ever meet its demise. Never hurts to be able to write in the event of some sort of major disaster- yes. The people who can write just might be the ones who will be the writers of history.
 
2012-12-01 05:22:54 PM

KrispyKritter: why fark around? shiatcan everything that once was which no longer needs to be. the list is very long. seriously. if something comes to pass that is so horrible that computers & teh 'net no longer exists we will all either be dead or we'll wish we were. you think you want to live in a world that's been reverted to 1810? kiss my arse. we've had it too good for too long. the day the fun dies just shoot me in the head, i'm not carrying buckets of water and sleeping on the ground. screw that noise.

/honest lazy spoiled American


I wouldn't want to be an Irishman from 1810 either. In all seriousness, all the discussion in the world won't doom or save handwriting, just as it wont matter in the world of printed books and the like. Just ask film photographers, vinyl record enthusiasts, geezers with typewriters and those weird carburetor nuts. When something evolves in the tech world that we perceive to be easier we cling to it, regardless of traditions, sentimentality or hipsterdom.

/Ok fine, perhaps hipsters have kept eclectic crap alive to a degree
 
2012-12-01 05:24:31 PM
I write things like grocery lists, or notes at work. I hate cursive, but that could be a symptom of left-handedness.
 
2012-12-01 05:25:46 PM
Oh god yes. My supervisor is a rock star but he needs a freaking rosetta stone for his handwriting. I have to transcribe the words when we're discussing stuff unless I want to ask what the hell the symbols are supposed to mean.
 
2012-12-01 05:26:28 PM

IamAwake: parasol: Yes, it's worth saving - be a shame in 50 years to have an elite group of ppl who, alone, were able
to read - and interpret - founding documents

why? They're meaningless now. Do you even know what claim the feds have to 99% of the national government and services even existing? "interstate commerce." The Constitution also prohibits a standing army...how's that working out for us?

The documents are already meaningless. Do you really think knowing cursive changes that?

Tell ya what...you guys spend all your time honing your cursive skills for the coming zombie apocalypse, I'll make sure I know how to grow penicillin and ride a horse. If and when the zombies ever come, we'll see whose skills are more useful.


Learning cursive takes what, maybe a year or so when you're a little kid. And it's about as intellectually challenging as learning your multiplication tables. I don't think kids suffer too much having to do it.
 
2012-12-01 05:27:04 PM

KrispyKritter: why fark around? shiatcan everything that once was which no longer needs to be. the list is very long. seriously. if something comes to pass that is so horrible that computers & teh 'net no longer exists we will all either be dead or we'll wish we were. you think you want to live in a world that's been reverted to 1810? kiss my arse. we've had it too good for too long. the day the fun dies just shoot me in the head, i'm not carrying buckets of water and sleeping on the ground. screw that noise.

/honest lazy spoiled American


Can I have your stuff?
 
2012-12-01 05:27:04 PM

clowncar on fire: Writing does not ward off zombies but it may become a way of accurately keeping stock, writing law, communicating should our little tech heavy world ever meet its demise. Never hurts to be able to write in the event of some sort of major disaster- yes. The people who can write just might be the ones who will be the writers of history.


Well we should create a group of people who take shifts to keep the kids off your lawn, so that you can maintain that precious heritage of cursive. Because I know that if civilization collapsed overnight (versus some sort of decades-long warning for which we could prepare our survival skills) the very most important thing to me would be making sure someone could write things down. Future generations wouldn't be able to figure out what happened, what with the millions of SUV skeletons about which we'd leave lying.
 
2012-12-01 05:27:16 PM
IamAwake -

I didn't spend all my time mastering cursive - it did, however, take more time than learning to ride a horse. Care to compare knitting a blanket and slicing a tomato?
If you are pressed for time at the end of the world, check the shower tiles while hiding behind the
curtain from zombies - perhaps you have some nice mold cultures already underway
 
2012-12-01 05:33:56 PM
Succeed in teaching them all to farking read one alphabet, then worry if they can write in two.
 
2012-12-01 05:34:03 PM

MayoBoy: Help send my children to college. Keep writing cursive.

[www.penturners.org image 800x548]
(300 year old White Oak from Missouri trimmmed with original Teak decking from the USS Missouri)

[www.penturners.org image 800x424]
(White Tail Deer Antler)


Want!
 
2012-12-01 05:35:18 PM
Mine's too bad to be saved. I do take notes on calls at work on paper, but 75% of the time even I can't understand them. Luckily the physical process of writing etches it into my brain. So maybe it should be saved. I don't know. Don't look at me like that.
 
2012-12-01 05:35:51 PM
www.thisnation.com

1.bp.blogspot.com

kmb.raa.se

modiya.nyu.edu

OR

upload.wikimedia.org 

Which will be around in 50 years, even if left in a museum?
 
2012-12-01 05:36:23 PM
i can't believe this could be taken seriously. everybody should be able to communicate through writing without the aid of a keyboard.
 
2012-12-01 05:36:48 PM
I'm sure some self-absorbed telegraphist had this same argument 50-90 years ago. "It's 1935, can you still transcribe Morse code?"
 
2012-12-01 05:37:43 PM
No matter how many people there are pecking away at miniature screens and keyboards, having handwriting that only you can read is a valuable thing.
 
2012-12-01 05:38:03 PM

MayoBoy: Help send my children to college. Keep writing cursive.

[www.penturners.org image 800x548]
(300 year old White Oak from Missouri trimmmed with original Teak decking from the USS Missouri)

[www.penturners.org image 800x424]
(White Tail Deer Antler)


i38.tinypic.com
 
2012-12-01 05:39:23 PM

Zarquon's Flat Tire: I write things like grocery lists, or notes at work. I hate cursive, but that could be a symptom of left-handedness.


post-it notes aren't going away within our respective lifetimes. A child doesn't need to waste time learning cursive, to be able to make a grocery list (btw, my grocery lists are cloud-sourced and are simultaneously realtime edited by my wife and I, via whatever electronic devices we have nearby. But I digress...)

Pretending it is an important survival skill however, or pretending anyone reads or cares about what is in the Constitution anymore, is silly. Have you yourself looked at the short enumerated list in article 1, section 8, in a while? Should learning ancient latin and greek also be taught to all school children so they can read other historical documents which don't apply to them anymore, in the original form and text they were written?
 
2012-12-01 05:39:38 PM

downstairs:
All in all, I blame laziness at this point.


Agreed. And holy hell is there a lot of whiny laziness in this thread: "Wah! it's hard to do and thurs no durn point ta it NEwayz."

As another poster pointed out, people have said the same thing about simple "analog" computation in the age of calculators and that's developed several generations of mathematical morons.

The truth is, writing longhand - and yes, even in cursive - is a worthwhile skill on its own merit simply because is it another method of communication we are all capable of learning, and it is utterly ridiculous to reduce our diversity of communication methods just because we have machines that can do it or because it hurts your poor widdle handies. Jesus people, man up, and realize that there are innumerable circumstances where hand writing is beneficial or absolutely necessary. Cursive isn't hard. It's easier to write cursive faster than it is to print - that's why it was designed in the first place.

Not only that, but as a teacher myself I can attest to the fact that for the vast majority of students handwriting is a necessary step in composition because when they type work directly into their word processing programs they do so without thought and with the perception that further editing (or even simple proofreading) is necessary, so they end up submitting work that is often sub-literate at best. Hand writing requires more discipline, more intent, and more time, so the thoughts it allows - nay, ENFORCES - leads to higher quality work.


It is the laziness allowed by computer-assisted writing that will affect our thinking in severely deleterious fashion. Orwell was correct on so many levels it's not even funny.
 
2012-12-01 05:40:05 PM
Please destroy cursive! In elementary school I was given the lie by my teachers that cursive would be the "only thing" acceptable in the adult world when you write anything, it's the exact opposite. What's worse is that I unfortunately had a foreign born math teacher who was taught the same. His accent was heavy; and because he only used cursive when he wrote, it made it near impossible to understand this teacher. It made me want to curse!
 
2012-12-01 05:47:42 PM
I am Awake -

To be clear? I never posted learning cursive was a "survival skill" - i may be wrong but you seem to think that average humans can either learn to communicate or survive by learning to grow medicinals and master livestock.
It seems that we've been able to do both and still manage enough free time to bullsh*t on the internet.
btw? school children are still taught languages - including latin - helps in medical school - where they learn about penicillin

odd, that
 
2012-12-01 05:48:26 PM

pisceandreamer: I will be writing by hand until I can't write anymore. Whether I'm doing a paper for school or some attempt at something creative, I can't just type it straight into the laptop.

Also, I can always keep a little notebook & pen in my purse to write things, whereas I don't often take my laptop or iPad with me when I am just out and about.

Not sure why, because we had computers in the house from junior high on up, but it is just completely ingrained in me to write things out by hand first and then transcribe them to the computer.


You printed very well in your post
 
2012-12-01 05:50:01 PM

IamAwake: Pretending it is an important survival skill however, or pretending anyone reads or cares about what is in the Constitution anymore, is silly. Have you yourself looked at the short enumerated list in article 1, section 8, in a while? Should learning ancient latin and greek also be taught to all school children so they can read other historical documents which don't apply to them anymore, in the original form and text they were written?


Because, maybe in 500 years, long after the US has fallen and been remade into a dictatorship, been split up, and reassembled into something different, someone might read that ancient document and find inspiration. It may take work - language will be different 500 years hence, but as long as you have the source document accessible, you can translate it for yourself. Scholars still re-translate and reinterpret writings from old days.

If you rely on a digital copy of a document, that document can be mistyped, changed, taken away without your knowledge or consent. See: DRM, disappearing digital books on Amazon, bad formatting of digital books.

Also one reason I hope Fark never gets and "edit" button - our dumbassery should be displayed for all eternity. :-)
 
2012-12-01 05:51:13 PM

IamAwake: Zarquon's Flat Tire: I write things like grocery lists, or notes at work. I hate cursive, but that could be a symptom of left-handedness.

post-it notes aren't going away within our respective lifetimes. A child doesn't need to waste time learning cursive, to be able to make a grocery list (btw, my grocery lists are cloud-sourced and are simultaneously realtime edited by my wife and I, via whatever electronic devices we have nearby. But I digress...)

Pretending it is an important survival skill however, or pretending anyone reads or cares about what is in the Constitution anymore, is silly. Have you yourself looked at the short enumerated list in article 1, section 8, in a while? Should learning ancient latin and greek also be taught to all school children so they can read other historical documents which don't apply to them anymore, in the original form and text they were written?


Still looking for the part in my post where I implied any of those things. Teach kids to print, screw cursive.
 
2012-12-01 05:52:26 PM
Fine with me if cursive (even something quick, simple and legible like the Palmer method) is no longer taught; I prefer having my handwriting to remain indecipherable to lazy, ignorant 'tards. Helps me to know who isn't worth sparing my attention.

/Seeing an adult writing in childish print is like watching the Special Olympics.
 
2012-12-01 05:53:14 PM

pisceandreamer: I will be writing by hand until I can't write anymore. Whether I'm doing a paper for school or some attempt at something creative, I can't just type it straight into the laptop.

Also, I can always keep a little notebook & pen in my purse to write things, whereas I don't often take my laptop or iPad with me when I am just out and about.

Not sure why, because we had computers in the house from junior high on up, but it is just completely ingrained in me to write things out by hand first and then transcribe them to the computer.


In the future that will be considered a mental disorder.
 
2012-12-01 05:53:29 PM

Duck_of_Doom: Also one reason I hope Fark never gets and "edit" button - our dumbassery should be displayed for all eternity. :-)


Example A of dumbassery to be displayed for all eternity.
 
2012-12-01 05:55:16 PM
CSB:

I was going shopping and my girlfriend wanted me to pick up some things so she started writing a list. I told her to just text me but she refused "You are too technology dependent!" or some such nonsense. I told her I wanted the list digitally not on a dead tree.

I won, she handed me the list. I set it on the table and took a picture of it with my phone.
 
2012-12-01 05:57:15 PM

whatshisname: The ability to express yourself with pen and paper is invaluable - whether you're jotting a quick sketch, a map or some text.


Agreed.

i0.kym-cdn.com
 
2012-12-01 06:06:58 PM
Typing depends on sophisticated technological devices; even the making the old manuals requires a level of technology that wasn't around 200 years ago. Writing with a pen, stylus, charcoal or brush, on the other hand, is one of the earliest technological achievements. Cursive was a big advance over forming every letter separately because it's quicker and by the way prettier. And for those who like forming letters by hand, calligraphy elevates it into an art form.

Typing is to writing what mobility scooters are to legs.
 
2012-12-01 06:08:47 PM
I could never read cursive in the first place, and I've forgotten how to write it.

// I type at over 100 WPM.
 
2012-12-01 06:13:23 PM

Duck_of_Doom: [www.thisnation.com image 600x724]

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 278x400]

[kmb.raa.se image 790x574]

[modiya.nyu.edu image 352x237]

OR

[upload.wikimedia.org image 200x200] 



Which will be around in 50 years, even if left in a museum?


Of course not everything was so carefully inscribed back then. So just take the important stuff and:

www.technologyblogged.com
 
2012-12-01 06:13:44 PM
There will always be a need for writing with some kind of pen or pencil or stick or whatever. Whether it's "cursive" or not is probably irrelevant. The number of people who cannot TYPE, in this day and age, is somewhat shocking, however. Embroiled as I am in a job hunt, I'm amazed that a typing speed of only 45 wpm is still standard for secretarial positions.

If we're going to phase out writing after first or second grade; then typing better be mandatory. And basic grammar and composition still needs to be taught. The stuff that's being passed off as "english" nowadays is beyond disgraceful.
 
2012-12-01 06:17:24 PM
FTFA: Hensher opens his book with the plaintive question: "Should we even care?"

No.
 
2012-12-01 06:19:21 PM

Soymilk: Didn't someone claim that's it's not worth teaching kids to do math in their heads or with a pencil and paper, since now everyone has calculators?

How did that work out?


This attitude has created laziness and people that can't think on their own, make change, use a map, write anything by hand or spell properly. Society has f*cked itself.

/I'm sure this has been mentioned already.
 
2012-12-01 06:22:24 PM

dethmagnetic: I just draw a little wavy scribble whenever I have to sign something. It doesn't even look like my name.


I've gotten by with "fark u." Only one clerk noticed, and she just smirked knowing it wasn't meant for her.
 
2012-12-01 06:27:05 PM

BarkingUnicorn: dethmagnetic: I just draw a little wavy scribble whenever I have to sign something. It doesn't even look like my name.

I've gotten by with "fark u." Only one clerk noticed, and she just smirked knowing it wasn't meant for her.


Mines a sort of bad version of my first initial followed by a squiggle and a loop with a little tail squiggle. Approximately three letters of my name could possibly be made out of it.
 
2012-12-01 06:29:30 PM

Duck_of_Doom: Which will be around in 50 years, even if left in a museum?


I can't recall the actual dates/figures, but one of the biggie tech people (one of the google folks, I think?) figured out there has been more information generated in the last 10 years (at that time, at least) than in the whole of human history prior to that 10 years.

Anything important on that CD is elsewhere. It's digital/ephemeral; it isn't tied to a particular physical object. Will that particular CD still be around? Probably not...but any data on it that is important will still be somewhere.
 
2012-12-01 06:31:37 PM

MayoBoy: Help send my children to college. Keep writing cursive.

[www.penturners.org image 800x548]
(300 year old White Oak from Missouri trimmmed with original Teak decking from the USS Missouri)

[www.penturners.org image 800x424]
(White Tail Deer Antler)


Absolutely beautiful. Email me please.
/eip
 
2012-12-01 06:33:31 PM
Born in 93. My school spent about 3 days teaching cursive, and then we never used it again.

/And I'm ever so OK with that.
 
2012-12-01 06:34:16 PM

Zarquon's Flat Tire: Still looking for the part in my post where I implied any of those things. Teach kids to print, screw cursive.


Sometimes people reply to a comment not to state they are on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, but instead to emphasize middle ground, or perhaps another expression of a similar position that might convey to the target audience the intent better than their own attempts at communication. Just sayin.
 
2012-12-01 06:37:18 PM

Duck_of_Doom: Because, maybe in 500 years, long after the US has fallen and been remade into a dictatorship, been split up, and reassembled into something different, someone might read that ancient document and find inspiration. It may take work - language will be different 500 years hence, but as long as you have the source document accessible, you can translate it for yourself. Scholars still re-translate and reinterpret writings from old days.


I prefer to spend my energies living and promoting a lifestyle which can survive those 500 years, versus pining for a dead idea. Likely, it just boils down to us have different symptoms of the same cynical, grumpy-old-man disease ;)
 
2012-12-01 06:38:13 PM
Just get one of these itty bitty thermal Printers if you want to make notes and whatnot.
 
2012-12-01 06:43:03 PM

The One True TheDavid: Typing is to writing what mobility scooters are to legs.


Typing (and the mass-printing, easily available information which actually in question here...) is why we have democracies, some modicum of liberty, etc. Writing by hand is great if you have an audience of 1.

Mobility scooters just allow people to be lazy, or are something to fall back on after they give themselves serious health issues after a lifetime of poor health decisions (99% of the time, at least...). The internet allows me to have conversations with people across the world, across the socio-political spectrums. One would have to have an extremely limited perspective to think your analogy has any merit.
 
2012-12-01 06:44:24 PM

AbbeySomeone: Absolutely beautiful. Email me please.
/eip




I think I got your email right. My son has had Whooping Cough and I've slept through the night exactly 3 times since Halloween (last night I got 4 hours of sleep). My mind isn't firing on all cylinders and it actually took some extreme effort on my part to translate your email. If you don't get it, leave another post here and I'll try again after I've had a nap.
 
2012-12-01 06:49:41 PM
My 18 year old son can't even sign his name. His 'signature' looks just like when he prints his name.

My youngest's penmanship is so atrocious that he uses a keyboard device in classes that require
him to write (e.g. language arts, etc...). At least his horrible handwriting is understandable. Autistic
kids (even high functioning ones like my son) often have awful handwriting.

My own handwriting is a mish mash of cursive and block lettering. But I've found that I can't write
more than a paragraph or so before my hand will start cramping up. So sad.
 
2012-12-01 07:00:31 PM
Duh.
 
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