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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 25
    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 05:00:42 PM
4 votes:
Cursive is an abomination that only existed for two reasons;
1> Old-style ink pens which might blot if lifted from the page and placed back down, and
2> Forcing southpaws to write right-handed because left-handedness was seen as "wrong".

Cursive doesn't work left-handed with ink; you either need to go into contortions, or you smear what you're writing as you write it. Or you have to hover your hand above the page which is exhausting.

There's literally no point to cursive. Our pens don't blot, and it's a pain in the ass for left-handed kids to learn, moreso than right-handed ones. It's about as relevant to the modern age as farriers are. Sure, there's always going to be a cottage industry for it, but the average person doesn't have to worry about getting their horse shoed, and they shouldn't have to learn how to write cursive.

We should be exposing kids to cursive only to teach them how to read it, since doing so is necessary for reading a lot of historical documents. And that can wait till high school. Other than that, teach kids to print. It's much easier than cursive and doesn't take much time at all, and until we reach a day when every office allows you to enter forms electronically, it's a necessary skill. We might get to that point, but we're not there yet.
2012-12-01 05:39:38 PM
3 votes:

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 12:49:27 PM
3 votes:
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.
2012-12-01 02:40:35 PM
2 votes:
We can shiatcan handwriting as long as students are still obligated to learn how to write properly. Have any of you read an email or anything else from the current generation of college graduates? Twitter is destroying their ability to commit a coherent thought in writing. I sent an email to one of our Jr. Admins last week asking about the status of some tasks he had on a project and I got this in response: "Will l8tr." Then he got snippy with me when I demanded a more detailed update.

This guy isn't stupid, but his communication skills are absolutely atrocious.
2012-12-01 08:31:19 PM
1 votes:
Having a good, readable script as your disposal prevents you from looking like a subliterate moron in settings where you need to write something down for a group to see on the spot (meetings, explaining things to a team, etc)

Bad handwriting is magnified 1000-fold on a whiteboard, too.
2012-12-01 07:23:32 PM
1 votes:
I don't know why I can't leave this poor dead horse alone, but here's my two cents, as a former librarian and teacher who had a Palmer method handwriting class in grade school, and was forced to learn a second style as part of my teaching preparation:

Yes, it sucks. Very few people have the patience and attention to detail to make it an enjoyable task. There are people with dysgraphia or fine motor skill impairments who find it even more difficult. My own penmanship is still awful, but I can probably read yours. However, if we stop teaching handwriting, we risk the scared texts and primary sources of the past becoming indecipherable to all but a few learned scribes within a generation or two. Illiteracy is possibly the best non-violent method of centralizing wealth and power while exerting profound control over the masses, and has been used as such to great effect in the past. 

That is not a risk we should accept.
2012-12-01 07:13:33 PM
1 votes:
The nice thing about handwriting on paper is that it doesn't require electricity to access the stored information.
2012-12-01 07:12:17 PM
1 votes:
My friend, a tradesman by training makes. He does some awesome work but none of it could be called pretty. Each year he sends out holiday cards. In them he writes what has gone on in his life in that year. Everyone gets their own letter.
I wear a size 13 ring and his fingers dwarf mine. The writing in his letters are so beautiful it's a delight to see. In these letters his personality and his artfulness is allowed to shine through.

If there is no more cursive then people like him will no longer be afforded the opportunity to express that beauty from inside.

Damn shame.
2012-12-01 06:19:21 PM
1 votes:

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 06:06:58 PM
1 votes:
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 05:37:43 PM
1 votes:
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 05:36:23 PM
1 votes:
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 05:35:51 PM
1 votes:
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 05:20:24 PM
1 votes:
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 05:17:59 PM
1 votes:
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 05:15:07 PM
1 votes:
Thorak -

Cursive works well for lefties when done with a pencil ;)

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. Sort of like the early church - but with a cursive Bill of Rights instead of a Latin text.

Besides - even if copies and translations exist in perpetuity a learned skill is never a waste - especially when it comes to young ppl who have miles of neurons to keep busy

I am an evil mother
2012-12-01 04:58:18 PM
1 votes:
The ability to express yourself with pen and paper is invaluable - whether you're jotting a quick sketch, a map or some text.
2012-12-01 04:52:33 PM
1 votes:
I write pages by hand every day I do work. I can read my own handwriting faster than typed pages so it's easier that way. Also when I'm writing drafts, I can draw arrows and all that business.

So yeah, handwriting is worth saving if you ask me.
2012-12-01 04:45:51 PM
1 votes:

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


and that too many of us just accept it.
2012-12-01 04:44:58 PM
1 votes:
Handwriting is work saving. Cursive is not.
2012-12-01 04:44:31 PM
1 votes:
Yes but screw cursive.
2012-12-01 04:41:43 PM
1 votes:
www.slate.com

This is just begging to be 'shopped into a meme.
2012-12-01 02:46:17 PM
1 votes:

Lsherm: We can shiatcan handwriting as long as students are still obligated to learn how to write properly. Have any of you read an email or anything else from the current generation of college graduates? Twitter is destroying their ability to commit a coherent thought in writing. I sent an email to one of our Jr. Admins last week asking about the status of some tasks he had on a project and I got this in response: "Will l8tr." Then he got snippy with me when I demanded a more detailed update.

This guy isn't stupid, but his communication skills are absolutely atrocious.



I really think blaming Twitter isn't accurate.  This stuff came about when texting was done on a phone with just 0 to 9 buttons.
 
All in all, I blame laziness at this point.
2012-12-01 11:50:11 AM
1 votes:
No, it's not worth saving.
2012-12-01 10:50:59 AM
1 votes:
With the ubiquity of those little digital signature pads, I don't even bother trying to sign my name properly anymore. It's not like I could come anywhere close to what's on the back of my card on that tiny pad with that giant pen anyway, so I just do a random scribble these days.
 
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