WordPress has conspired against me! I took the unusual step of writing my post in Word, completely separately from this site, so that I could select the Lucinda Handwriting font. Once you start reading the post, you’ll understand why. That font, as closely as any can, replicates actual cursive handwriting. I copied what I wrote and pasted it below prepared to enjoy the appearance of the lovely script on the page. But no. Not only does WordPress not offer font options (that I’ve been able to figure out) but you can’t even paste something here in a different font! If you can, please imagine that what I’ve written below, was offered up in a script, not this dull printed Times New Roman font.
In the future, selecting a font may be the only option our children have if they want to write in cursive.
Schools have announced that they will no longer teach cursive writing.
My immediate reaction was sadness. There is a beauty in cursive that is not present in printing. The flourishes, the loops, the ascending and descending letters, the slant and the variety of style provide so more interest and character than plain block letters.
Cursive makes taking notes possible. If you want to get something down quickly, you don’t print it! First shorthand disappeared, now cursive? We’re slowing down when we should be accelerating.
Will children who don’t know how to write cursive be able to read it? What of the historical documents and correspondences written in cursive? Will those become unintelligible to all but the trained historical handwriting experts?
What about signatures? Will names be printed? Perhaps in the future we will no longer be asked to put pen to paper at all. Everything will be electronic – we just speak and a computer does the actual writing. I hope it doesn’t come to that. There is something special about sitting with paper and pen and writing – not printing. You need the flow and speed offered by those connected letters – each character formed with a single movement, the pen never leaving the page. Yes, I do see the irony in me, a blogger who composes on a computer, complaining about the loss of putting pen to paper but I do 90% of my writing in old fashioned, college ruled, single subject notebooks.
I appreciate that teaching cursive is time consuming and tedious – the hours of carefully following the dotted lines that form each shape, repeating the movement over and over again until, finally, you master the ‘a’ and it is time to move onto the ‘b’. Nevertheless, I feel the time spent mastering all our alphabet is worth it. There is an expression of self that comes through in cursive that is absent in printing. It is your cursive not your printing that handwriting experts analyze! No one admires your printing but we all appreciate when someone has lovely penmanship.
The only up side? Your doctor’s writing, printing in future, might finally be more than mysterious chicken scratching on the page.