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Thread: Cursive Writing - Is it a waste of time to teach in schools

  1. #1
    Telaran
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    Default Cursive Writing - Is it a waste of time to teach in schools

    First of all, please begin your reply by selecting one of the following:

    A. I use cursive writing frequently
    B. I use cursive writing occasionally
    C. I rarely use or avoid cursive writing
    D. I print most things if I use a pen/pencil or paper
    E. I prefer to type things and avoid writing altogether

    I almost put the category of "What's Cursive" up there but I really want to know what people actually do!

    I am in my forties (old) and cursive writing was taught to me in 2nd and 3rd grade but even for me, by 9th grade I was typing my papers and fell back to writing all of my notes in print form.

    So what are your thoughts? Should we continue to teach young people to write in cursive. Does anyone have a compelling reason to continue this form of writing? For me it's about as useful as caligraphy... it looks cool but it's sometimes hard to read and is just fancy for the sake of fancy...

  2. #2
    Ascendant the_real_seebs's Avatar
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    I haven't used cursive writing since it stopped being mandatory, and I don't do much writing by hand at all. I really think typing killed the need for "fast" handwriting.
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  3. #3
    Plane Walker
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    A. I use cursive writing frequently

    For myself, it's much more comfortable and looks much better than print. This is also so for many people.

    It's also needed for practical uses, mainly signiture.

    There is also the cultural aspect of cursive, it's been used for centuries and many important documents in our nations history (I'm assuming you're American as well).

    Very importantly though, it aids in neurological growth.


    So overall.. it's how English has been written for centuries and literate people should be able to write thier own language. Many important and older documents and pieces of literature have been written in cursive, and we should be able to read them and not have them as seemingly a different language when they are our history. It has many important practical uses as well. Other english speaking countries teach thier children how to write in cursive, and not doing so puts new generations at a disadvantage. It also aids in basic growth of the brain and necessary connections.

    I'm considered pretty young, and it kind of amazes me when other people my age can't read cursive effectively.

  4. #4
    Ascendant Vyxagallanxchi's Avatar
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    B.

    If I hand write for more than a few minutes at a time (taking lecture notes or something) I start switching back and forth between cursive and print. Kinda odd actually when I look at my notes later as I don't actually consciously do it. It drives my friends insane when they want to double check something in my notes to make sure they wrote it right and the section changes forms 3-4 times.

    Should it be taught in schools? I honestly wonder if it would matter anymore... everything we make nowadays is done with computers, the only time cursive is used in professional settings is for signatures.
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    Rift Disciple Koolthulu's Avatar
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    C. I rarely use or avoid cursive writing

    Beyond signing my name, I never use cursive. I haven't used it since probably middle school a few decades ago.

    Even great cursive writing is difficult to actually read without guessing what half the letters are, and not many people today (well ever, actually) have great handwriting. Printed letters may be a little slower to write, but they are very easy to recognize even when poorly written. And while cursive may be faster to write, the amount of time saved by the writer is more than lost by the reader trying to decipher it. Just ask the pharmacist trying to read your doctor's scribble. I know I'd feel a lot safer if he just printed it instead.

    But, I don't think it is a waste to teach it. I just don't think schools should place the huge emphasis on it that they did when I was in school.

  6. #6
    Champion of Telara Silverangel69's Avatar
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    A. Printing out the letters by hand is too slow. I get impatient with it. Cursive is fast. The drawback is how hard it is to read my writing for other people. It would be a real shame if cursive disappeared. As of this year, they will stop teaching it now in Indiana, supposedly.
    Last edited by Silverangel69; 08-26-2011 at 07:41 PM.

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    Plane Walker desertyeti's Avatar
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    A. I use it frequently.

    Just feels more fluid to me. I'm a lefty and it just feels quicker and more comfortable than trying to use print.

    Shame not as many people use it anymore, but I guess it's just another victim of computers and the internet.
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  8. #8
    Plane Walker
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    The common view that we're using computers so much more often, and so writing is becoming obselete, is a horrible view of reality in my opinion.

    We're becoming more reliant on something other than our own skills and minds. When some people have to write a report, or in many cases type a report, what do they do when the power goes out? What do people do for fun when they lose internet access? What do people use to read books when their Kindle breaks?

    The need to physically express our thoughts in writing, for a tangible source of information, for non-digital entertainment, etc, are all linked because they are being unused due to internet.

    I'm not saying progress is a bad thing, I'm just saying that some things shouldn't and don't need to be replaced. And in completely replacing them, we're just harming ourselves.
    Last edited by Alarox; 08-26-2011 at 08:19 PM.

  9. #9
    General of Telara phyraxian's Avatar
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    When I was in school they stressed cursive because "All your highschool/college writing will have to be in cursive". Then I got to Highschool and the teachers either wanted it typed or print so they could read it.

    Cursive was a waste of time imo.

  10. #10
    Rift Master AsphyxZero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alarox View Post
    When some people have to write a report, or in many cases type a report, what do they do when the power goes out? What do people do for fun when they lose internet access? What do people use to read books when their Kindle breaks?
    I keep typing away on my laptop.
    I usually go for a walk. I can walk for hours.
    What the hell is a Kindle?
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  11. #11
    General of Telara phyraxian's Avatar
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    When my internet goes down I sit in the corner rocking back and forth till it comes back on, like a normal person.

    A kindle is an electronic book, like an Ipod for books.

  12. #12
    Telaran
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    Last year when tablets came out I was adamant that it was just a shiny new toy that really couldn't do much to change how I behave. I refused to get one. Then a very generous person gave an iPad to me. I poo-pooed it for about 2 weeks but I started carrying it around.

    My old habit was to take a yellow legal pad to meetings and I had stacks of these pads filled with hard to read notes... even my printing sucks, I admit it. The notepad app on my iPad allows me take notes, provides a table of contents as to what is on each page and allows me to email the notes to others.

    Now instead of going to a meeting, writing notes and then going to my desk to decipher them and send them out on email its a simple one step process. Sure I have a laptop but the process of undocking, transitioning to a wifi signal seemed to be too much vs the elegance of a slim tablet. Laptops generate heat and can be somewhat of a barrier as well as they take up more meeting space real estate.

    Score one for typing everything there is to type. If the power goes out the iPad still has 8 hours of life. Fortunately I live in a non-third-world country so I don't have to deal with daily blackouts... In fact I don't recall dealing with any type of power outage in 7 years.

  13. #13
    Telaran Savatage's Avatar
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    A. I use it all the time. I'm not "an oldie" since I"m still in high school too. It's a great way to write fast notes. Only problem is while teachers can read my cursive, students never can. I actually use a few short hand symbols while taking notes too.

  14. #14
    Ascendant Laughingstock's Avatar
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    Learned cursive in catholic school the "hard way" and have the knuckles to prove it.

    Most places (job, placing orders, purchasing things, etc) don't allow you to use cursive when communicating to other employees and submitting reports so as to cut down on the number of possible errors that can be made through reading. (ever try to read someone's cursive Q who doesn't know how to make one properly?)

    Most of the communication tools/aids people use in a day require block print (computers, programming devices, instructions on machinery, etc) as well as signs and instructions like maps, traffic signals, etc.

    There really isn't a place in today's world for cursive except for a few isolated places where it's mainly a choice but not a requirement. Cursive writing is merely a form of communication that's outdated in today's world and for good reason. The world is much smaller than when it was invented and it was only used by the White Europeans mainly. Since countries are much more diverse now and most minorities weren't taught it in their native lands by and large, there isn't a need for it.

    Although I still use it on things like invitations, private notes and some letters (typing a letter is way faster than cursive) because it's a little more stylish.

    But in all actuality it's about as needed or useful as charcoal rubbings, morse code or smoke signals as a communication tool in the 21st century so no, I wouldn't waste money teaching it in school because that's why they have Typing classes. Use that money to teach math or accurate world history. That's still in style and far more useful.
    Last edited by Laughingstock; 08-27-2011 at 06:58 AM.

  15. #15
    Telaran
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laughingstock View Post
    But in all actuality it's about as needed or useful as charcoal rubbings, morse code or smoke signals as a communication tool in the 21st century so no, I wouldn't waste money teaching it in school because that's why they have Typing classes. Use that money to teach math or accurate world history. That's still in style and far more useful.
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