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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 12:39 PM
Original message
Handwriting Is History


http://www.miller-mccune.com/culture_society/handwritin...

Handwriting Is History

Writing words by hand is a technology that's just too slow for our times, and our minds.

By: Anne Trubek

At 11 p.m. on Dec. 27, I checked my inbox out of habit. I had 581 new e-mails. All had been sent between 8 and 11 p.m. The days between Christmas and New Year's are not usually a busy time for e-mailing. What was going on? It turns out that the home page for msn.com had linked to a short article I had published a year earlier. In the article, I argue that we should stop teaching cursive in primary schools and provide some background on the history of handwriting to back up my claims.

The comments on my piece were hostile, insulting and vehemently opposed to my argument. The onslaught continued for a few more days: Some 2,000 comments were submitted, and editors took down about 700 of the worst. If you check this article online today, you will find more than 1,300 comments. For some reason, people are very invested in handwriting. If we define writing as a system of marks to record information (and discount petroglyphs, say), handwriting has been around for just 6,000 of humanity's some 200,000 years.

Its effects have been enormous, of course: It alters the brain, changes with civilizations, cultures and factions, and plays a role in religious and political battles. Throughout the even smaller slice of time that is American history, handwriting has reflected national aspirations. The comments posted on my article about handwriting were teeming with moralism. ("I'm sorry, but when I see messy handwriting it tells me something about the person; maybe carelessness? Impatience? ... Penmanship is everything. ... Good penmanship shows the world we are civilized.") One might consider handwriting as a technology a way to make letters and conclude that the way of making them is of little moment.

But handwriting is bound up with a host of associations and connotations that propel it beyond simply a fine-motor skill. We connect it to personal identity (handwriting signals something unique about each of us), intelligence (good handwriting reflects good thinking) and virtue (a civilized culture requires handwriting). Most of us know, but often forget, that handwriting is not natural. We are not born to do it. There is no genetic basis for writing. Writing is not like seeing or talking, which are innate. Writing must be taught.
snip..for the rest of this great article
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't like cursive. It's too "busy" in appearance and that makes it hard to read...
...because of my autistic sensory-perceptual issues. I like the clean, crisp appearance of manuscript writing. I also have great trouble writing cursive because of my Dyspraxia (fine motor deficits) associated with my Asperger's.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. I was never taught cursive and can't read it either
It hasn't been a problem, and everyone compliments me on my writing style, which, in Britain, we call "printing"; writing out letters that are similar to typeset printing.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. All you need cursive for nowadays is a signature
You'll survive without it otherwise.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
39. Cursive writing was another one of those things that made me hate school.
I can't read it, I can only decipher it with difficulty, and I can't write it. I remember classes where I knew the material perfectly well, easily well enough to get an "A" in the class but I'd get a "C" because some fossilized inflexible teacher wouldn't accept anything written in my chicken-scratch printing.

I still write like a second-grader. In college I'd bring a half dozen or more blue-books to an exam because I knew it would take me two or three blue books to write what most people could fit into one. The books I didn't use were there to satisfy my OCD, and a few times I made some friends giving books to people who had somehow forgotten (!!!???) to bring their own.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #39
50. My handwritting is HORRIBLE because of my autistic Dyspraxia.
Word processors are a gift from God. and the different fonts on a WP are much nicer than cursive any day.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. I wish we would put off teaching kids more hi-tech stuff.
Cursive might be out-modes but it is very expressive
and individual in a lovely kind of way.

If x-boxes, coputers, had been around when
I was young -- my parents would have brained me and
sent me outside.
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Grey Donating Member (933 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thank you for this,
Interesting and I am passing it along to friends.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. Who's teaching cursive?
Less than 10% of my middle school students have learned cursive writing when they get to me.

I'm fine with that. I use a pen or pencil for as little writing as possible, myself. I wish the primary grades would teach keyboarding along with phonics.

I also wish my students would have learned one standard form of writing by the time they reach me. I'm fine with printing. I just wish they would print correctly. It would be nice if they knew the difference between a capital and a lower case letter, and if they could refrain from putting flourishes at the end of letters, interesting non-standard angles in the middle of those letters, and circles and hearts in the place of dots. Each student wants to create their own unique, individualized font.

We generally make them write most of their assignments by hand up until the point that they have demonstrated some basic written literacy, rather than depending on word-processing programs to do spell and grammar checks for them. Plowing through 90 hand-written, illegible essays is not fun.

I spend too much time in middle school re-teaching basic penmanship. :(
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Regret My New Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
31. Wow, really?
I remember learning cursive in the 3rd grade (back in 1991/92)

How long have you been a teacher? Any idea when you started to notice cursive stopped being a skill they learned earlier?
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #31
37. Since 1983,
and I've taught K-8. When I taught primary grades, printing was taught through 3rd grade, cursive in 4th and 5th. Sometimes introduced towards the end of 3rd.

It's probably been about a decade since I noticed a decrease in focus. I think it's partly because advances in technology mean that we will spend much less of our adult lives writing things by hand, and because the standards and accountability high-stakes testing movement shifted focus onto those things that would appear on a standardized test to be used as weapons against schools and teachers.
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #4
35. All the schools in Tennessee teach it by third grade.
I can't imagine that schools aren't teaching it, now.

It's fantastic for brain development and helps the brain "flow" when writing out creative writing assignments.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. There are always regional differences;
that's why a few of my students still know cursive when they get to me. I tell them that they can print, or use cursive, their choice; but they have to do it correctly. When I write on the board, which, with the use of document cameras and projectors, we don't do as much as we used to, I use mostly cursive, ensuring that they can read both.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #35
55. and when taking notes, it's easier to remember things that you wrote down
When I was in school, I could mentally flip pages of my notes & even recall the ink color I used..It came in very handy at test time.. :)
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. Re cursive
I always used cursive for speed in writing, and it has
been very useful over the years.

However, if a person can now use a cpu or handheld
device for typing everything electronically, then that
pretty much does make the need for cursive obsolete.

One problem .. at least for me.. is that certain
cursive scripts are very beautiful and comprise a
kind of wonderful creative expresssion. I would
hate to see that lost.

Sue
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. Mine certainly is.
I never had great handwriting, but I can barely form the words anymore.
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thelordofhell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. Writing in cursive will be like caligraphy in a decade
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. I've had a new appreciation for handwriting since starting as a clerk for the census
Some of the things that land on my desk are illegible.

I'm not such a big fan of cursive, per se, but I think practicing penmanship for several years instead of a few months is probably beneficial for the kid later in life.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
10. anytime i write more than three sentences anymore, my wrist really starts to hurt.
but i'm definitely glad that i still have the...'skill'(?) to write in cursive.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
11. I write in my journal in cursive
I write myself notes on post-its on the mountain of paperwork I process to keep myself informed very quickly. It's absolutely necessary or I would get too bogged down trying to figure out what's going on with the paperwork. Writing important info on post-its has taught me to be clear and concise in my communication skills.

Sometimes I write longhand just to feel it happening physically. I like the way the act of writing with a pen or pencil feels. I also like the physical sensation of painting. Once I painted the inside of my garage white just to feel the sweeping motions of painting broad areas.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I really hate to see cursive writing go
Edited on Sat Dec-26-09 04:17 PM by tonysam
I still try to write in cursive every now and then to keep my skill up.

There are elementary teachers who don't know how to teach it, and I suspect there are more than a few who don't even know how to write in cursive.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
13. Seeing and talking must be taught also.
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ThatsMyBarack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
14. I was thrilled to finally learn cursive....
When I was in the 3rd grade (exactly 30 years ago!). Now I can't hardly sign for my pizza!
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. We stopped teaching it about 5 years ago
The kids don't need to learn it. Cursive was taught as a fast way to record notes. Since we now have computers kids are taught keyboarding instead of handwriting. I teach my students how to write their names in cursive since they need to have a signature. But I don't miss teaching cursive at all. It was tedious and a huge time waster, IMPO.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I still remember the Palmer method.. the blotters & those delightful inkwells
I still have fountain pens... the ones wth the little pump-it-up lever

As a kid, I wanted one of the BIG roller blotters..but had to be satisfied with the plain ones..
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I went to Catholic school and they made us use fountain pens
Edited on Sat Dec-26-09 09:43 PM by proud2BlibKansan
Meanwhile our public school friends got to use ball point pens. And I wanted a Bic pen so badly because they had those neat commercials where the ice skater put the Bic on her skate and then stuck it in fire to make it write. But the nuns told us that ball point pens scratched the desks.

To this day I worry about scratching the surface with a ball point and my handwriting is at its best with a cartridge pen.

The nuns were right. Damn it.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. Yep--a real blast from the past
When we got to high school, the fountain pens were required only for formal compositions. Regular homework and tests could be done in ballpoint.

And rememger the little jadkasses who used the cartridges as particularly nasty supersoakers when teacher wasn't looking/
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #17
36. I hated those
I always ended up with big ink blobs and smears all over my papers. Ball point pens were such a blessing..
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #36
56. When I was in school, ballpoints were not in use at all
just the trusty old Ticonderoga #2 pencil & fountain pens :)..pre "cartridge" pens :)
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
51. Wow, that was WAY before my time. I don't even know how to use a fountain pen!
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madamesilverspurs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #17
61. Ah, yes, the Palmer Penmanship lessons;
complete with the rubber egg to keep the hand in proper configuration. My fourth grade teacher (1956) was an absolute bitch with it, doling out the fancy paper and God help you if you made a mistake and needed another sheet of paper. She screamed and whacked and otherwise terrorized. And for all those drills and exercises none of us produced handwriting that even remotely resembled the Palmer script. My own handwriting tends to be a mix of cursive and printing, often depending on the mood I'm in. Friends who are teachers say that legibility is more important than form.

Teaching diagramming makes more sense than teaching cursive.
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Liberation Angel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
18. k&R -
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
19. Darn and I just got it down, too.
:)
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. My mother never learned to print
She was taught only cursive. When we were kids we helped my mom learn to print so she could fill out applications.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
22. Why squander a skill that comes down to us from the ancients?
One that has formed our brains and our language?

Why assume the electricity will always be on?

The author doesn't really state her reason (aside from it complicated her and her son's life) but to say "We want more time to think."

Her comment about the Sumerians as having the same instant gratification motives as we do seems stupid. She can't know that. And it's hard to get instant gratification when you're writing in WET CLAY!!

Why is this a good idea?
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
23. Ola Army war story...
Remember "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche"? This was "Real Sergeants Don't Know What Quiche Is."

One of the ways you could tell a real sergeant was, "A real sergeant has forgotten how to write in cursive, except for his payroll signature."
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
24. Well, I'll never give it up.
Very often, when I want to get some SERIOUS writing done, the best way is to get the hell away from the computer and all the distractions of my apartment, and stake out a space in a coffee shop with a pen and a notebook and no excuses.
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Guilded Lilly Donating Member (960 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
25. I hope handwriting never dies.
Whether educators find it tedious or not, and I can agree to a point that higher tech skills will get you there faster.

But handwriting is personal and unique. It's an art form, it's history and communication in the palm of your bare hand and curved fingers. It's tactile and intimate, which makes it rather a sensual skill. The warmth that emanates from a handwritten letter or note is worth a hundred text messages. To this gal anyway.

Teach it...right alongside the sterile and very efficient keyboard. We have the blessings of being able to enjoy both in our lifetime. Expand the skills, don't shrink them down to the size of a byte.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. The columnist completely ignores the process, which you invoked beautifully
And what comes of the physically different act is also a different type of experience and expression.

Talking about eliminating it seems like more dumbing down of children by adults who've already been indoctrinated.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. That makes cursive sort of like baking your own bread
Even if you no longer have to. at least some people will take pleasure in it.
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Guilded Lilly Donating Member (960 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-26-09 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. ...yeah. Just like that!
Why deny ourselves any small pleasures in this life? :)
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Ysabel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. yes...
Edited on Sun Dec-27-09 12:17 AM by Ysabel
- i skimmed this thread and missed what you said before i posted (below) i agree it (can be) a pleasure (and yes definitely an art form)...
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #32
58. It's very cultural too. Many times you can almost tell where and when
someone went to school, by their handwriting.. My father was schooled in Cuba, and everyone I have ever met who was a Cuban (near his age),writes the same way.. My Maternal grandmother was of German descent, and her handwriting looked nothing like my grandfather, who was Irish..

I used to help translate Polish letters (to try & get them visas), and most of those letters looked as if my grandmother had written them..
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #28
40. and preservation of culture will depend on it
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #40
52. That's a very pretentious thing to say, OM.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #52
59. It's a fact. It's a part of culture that will be preserved.
Edited on Sun Dec-27-09 12:05 PM by omega minimo
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I've read your reasons, which are unique to you. Don't presume to judge me, OD.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #25
34. Meh, writing is writing to me.
:shrug:

Cursive always looks messy and unreadable to me, not pretty.
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TicketyBoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #34
44. Well, certainly that depends
on whose writing you're looking at.

I was first taught the Palmer Method in third grade,



but then they decided to switch to Zaner-Bloser in fourth grade and beyond



That was confusing as all get-out, and my handwriting these days is a bit of a combination of the two.




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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. I was taught Zaner-Bloser in 3rd Grade
I have a hard time telling many of the letters apart. Many of them don't even look like they are "supposed" to look like in my mind. In my mind a "G" is a "G" and should always look like "G", the cursive "G" looks nothing like that.
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Ysabel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
30. writing as an art form..
we created writing and eventually we made it into an art form and we can preserve it i think if we (continue to) view it -- the past the present and the future -- as a continuing creation which tells our past our present and our future...

- and yes i admit since the advent of the internet my "pen_WOMAN_(haha)_ship" has become sloppy as hell / i have however at the same time done more art work focusing on the written word (using typography / calligraphy / pictography / etcetera)...
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 02:03 AM
Response to Original message
33. It's too bad. I love cursive.
I type a lot for work but I can't listen to a recording and type at the same time. So I transcribe all my recorded notes into my journals and so my cursive is still there.

I don't think abandoning it is a good thing.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
41. So is spelling and grammar, with math and science losing ground.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #41
47. You are comparing an obsolete method of handwritting to Grammar, Math and Science?
:eyes:
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #47
53. In terms of no longer being taught, yes.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
42. Not for me, I was taught by the nuns
and I still enjoy the delicious feel of a pen and writing the slow lovely curves onto paper.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #42
60. Here's a site you will enjoy.. I buy pens from them all the time
very fast service & lots to choose from ...not all are expensive
and free shipping for orders over $25.00....enjoy

http://www.jetpens.com/index.php
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. gracias!!!!
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
43. For me, handwriting is like Art
And I have a peculiar fetish for inkpens, so the two put together...


Anyway, I can sit and admire things written in cursive for a long time...


:)

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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #43
54. Indeed. As it should be, I think.
As technologies become outdated, they do tend to turn into art. That's fine with me, there will always be folks who play the harpsichord. :)
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Moosepoop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
45. Not teaching handwriting because keyboards exist
makes about as much sense as not teaching addition and multiplication because calculators exist.

Sure, the electronic methods are faster and very efficient, but they are still only substitutes for skills that should be included in a basic education.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #45
48. What's wrong with plain manuscript ("Prtining") writting?
As long the writing is LEGIBLE what is the problem? Time to leave cursive to the calligraphers.
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Moosepoop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #48
68. There's nothing "wrong" with it.
There's nothing "wrong" with cursive, either. One advantage (for many people, there are exceptions such as yourself) to cursive is that when the need to write something out sans electronic means arises, cursive is generally faster than printing. It's a more continual flow, rather than all the stop-and-starts and multiple strokes needed to create each letter individually. Printing is easier for many. I still think that both forms of writing should be taught.

A lack of instruction in cursive writing will result in students who not only cannot write it, but also cannot read it (as at least one poster in this thread has mentioned being unable to do). I envision entire future generations of students who are unable to read reproductions of the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution, among other things (like old family letters, or even recent ones from grandparents or other older folks). Sure, the words can be reproduced in typewritten font, but the words AS WRITTEN will be gibberish to them. There's something sad about that.

The notion of teaching kids how to write ONLY their names in cursive for legal signature purposes seems odd. At some point, somebody will decide that signatures need only be done in printing as well, so as to save the time teaching students how to sign their names in cursive. Then what? Printing a signature becomes too much trouble too, so everyone will be issued a rubber stamp with their name in a typed font (that's for those times when computers break down and "electronic signatures" aren't feasible)?

Finally, where does the idea that writing needn't be learned because of the advent of keyboarding (as has been posted here) meet a limit? Will printing eventually be considered too much trouble to learn as well, as everyone will have some sort of keyboarding device on their person or available to use at all times? Will "electronic" signatures become not only the norm, but the only acceptable way to sign our names?

I love calculators, and use them frequently, but I still enjoy the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide either in my head or, when the problem is too complex for that, with a pencil on a piece of paper. But since that requires not only the necessary thinking processes, but also all the trouble of actually writing down the numbers involved, I'm sure this method of basic mathematics is destined for the dustbin of history too.














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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #45
65. +1
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MrMickeysMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
49. I love remembering that my mother's style of handwriting was "Palmer method"
Now, I'd like to know that deteriorated handwriting is called the "Sarah method"... would that handwriting incorporate those little hearts over the I's and big curly "look at me!" L's and P's?

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The Midway Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
57. There is nothing like the tactile experience of a thoughtful hand written letter.
They can be stored and passed down, passed around and shared. The personality of the writer comes through the cursive writing process. I have hand written letters and poems from my dad and old friends that are some of my greatest treasures. I will write in cursive and encourage others to do so till the day I die. Magnetic ink will be gone in a flash one day. Poof!
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
62. "Writing is not like seeing or talking, which are innate"
Edited on Sun Dec-27-09 12:27 PM by foo_bar
In 1211, Frederick II, Emperor of Germany, in an attempt to discover the natural "language of God," raised dozens of children in silence. God's preferred language never emerged; the children never spoke any language and all ultimately died in childhood (van Cleve, 1972).

http://www.feralchildren.com/en/experiment.php

Since language acquisition is so difficult for feral children who've missed out on the critical period, some attempts have been made to teach children sign language. The Kranenburg girl (found in 1717) was successfully taught some sign language, and attempts were also made to teach Genie sign language, to avoid repeating the mistakes of Victor. However, sign language is a language in its own right and requires the same neurological development.

http://www.feralchildren.com/en/language.php

The gift of language has always been viewed as distinctively human, or even as proof of the existence of the soul. In the early 19th century. Itard tried desperately to teach Victor, the wild boy of Aveyron, to speak. He began when Victor was about 12 years oldaround the time of puberty, as with Genie. However. Victor never spoke more than a few single words, perhaps because of an injury to his throat, where he had a scar.

Chomsky believes that human beings are born with a unique competence for language, built into their brains. But he adds that the innate mechanisms that underlie this competence must be activated by exposure to language at the proper time, which Chomsky speculates must occur before puberty.

http://kccesl.tripod.com/genie.html
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. I think the author was speaking in the macro sense
most children, exposed to language, will pick it up without formal schooling, but if those kids are raised by illiterate people, they too will be illiterate, unless formally schooled.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
66. If I handwrite,
I write in cursive. It's writing in print that I find a pain in the ass and very sloppy. Teaching children how to write is a very valuable skill. Putting all of our dependence on electronic devices and their keyboards are not only stupid, its probably dangerous. But I guess it no matters since childrens do learn after all with out the needs a no fancy book learnins'. Our former President taught us that after all. :eyes:
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-27-09 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. There is room for both, and when cursive should be taught
Edited on Sun Dec-27-09 12:55 PM by SoCalDem
is when kids are still young.. 3rd-4th grade..once you learn it, you don't forget it..and there are probably very few kids that age, these days, who don;t have some access to keyboards..

It;s reversed.. WE didn't have access to keyboards until someone got us a typewriter (I still have one) or we took typing in high school :)
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