Monday, October 21, 2013

Nothing to curse about

Not long ago a friend wrote to share a small rant of his own. Since it doesn't take much to put me into rant mode, here I go, taking up his cause and blathering as usual.

A friend of his had expressed concern to her child's teacher over the fact that the students weren't learning the art of cursive writing, or as we probably refer to it most of the time, handwriting. The simple act of connected writing is apparently a dying art, no longer even part of the curriculum in most jurisdictions.

And no, the term cursive has nothing to do with cursing (even though my frequently flying-away cursor often sets me off on a string of curse words). Origin of the word relates to 'running' -- the letters all running together in a connected line.

It's become a skill parents have to teach kids on their own -- a situation some parents might say also applies to arithmetic, spelling and grammar. Naturally, the Internet offers everything from animated teachers and practice sheets to patterned images you can follow to learn cursive handwriting, but as with anything, it takes time to learn.

Sadly, if you look at my page of notes in the photo, you'll see that somewhere along the way I seem to have lost the art of connecting my letters -- that my notes have devolved into the more common print scrawl we mostly seem to encounter these days.

About the only people I know who have retained their lovely handwriting are friends who are hovering near eighty. Both of them were elementary school teachers, who no doubt offered examples of evenly spaced loops according to the MacLean Method (or, for those in the U.S., Palmer Method) for their students to copy.  

Yet my pal and I aren't the only ones who wonder about this disappearing skill. Still, in the great end, at the rate we're going, will it matter? After all, how long can it be until all of our 'word' processing/writing and reading are done via voice-activated commands?


Janet Vickers said...

Wish I could still write as I used to. My typing's pretty good but my writing is going the way of the earth worm.

hg said...

...way of the earthworm. Oh, Janet, I love that! Does it mean your writing's gone underground?

Janet Vickers said...

No it just looks like worm castings.

hg said...

Worm castings. Ah yes, I've managed this myself! My night writing (where I write down important ideas/lines in the night -- in the dark!) got tangled up again. Managed to over-write where I'd already written, thus making both sets of 'insights' unreadable. Now may well be time for the 'curse' part of 'cursive' writing.