According to this story, cursive handwriting is being phased out of educational standards, with the constant evolution of technology. Some states are fighting for cursive to be retained and/or brought back, for those whom have already deemed it unnecessary for the children of tomorrow to learn.
Personally, in one hand I’m not the least bit surprised that this is the current state of penmanship. Technology is advancing so steadily, and hardly anyone writes with a pen and paper in general anyone, much less write in cursive. But at the same time, there’s that sentimental, nostalgic part of me that is melancholy towards the notion of change and the idea that things that I grew up learning and utilizing are being phased out now and for the future.
Overall, I don’t think it’s a good idea for cursive to be dropped; it’s not a necessary skill in the future per say, but for historical educational purposes, it’s nice to at least be able to read it, even if it cannot be written. One defender of cursive writing says this one poignant point:
“The Constitution of the United States is written in cursive. Think about that,”
It would truly be a sad day in American society if there were ever a point where an educated person would be incapable of reading the Constitution, right in front of their very eyes.
This makes me wonder about people and their written signatures; used to sign checks, greeting cards, or autographs if they’re famous/think they are. I like to believe that signatures are all evolved from cursive writing in some capacity, and that they mutate and evolve into their current state by virtue of speed and natural styles. At least, that’s the case of my own signature; that it once started as standard cursive, but as time passed, it eventually evolved into its mostly illegible, but more recognizable iteration. The end result might not look like much, but the motions involved in creating it definitely stem from the ability to write in cursive.
Is it even possible to develop a signature without having a grasp of cursive writing? Or are people of the no-cursive generation essentially creating signature symbols and claiming them to be legitimate signatures?
Unfortunately, I think this is a losing battle though. If things have already gotten to this point where there are individual states that are fervently fighting a battle that’s mostly already been won by those who don’t feel cursive is necessary anymore, the battle is pretty much over.
Frankly, and I know I’m making wide-sweeping generalization umbrella statements, but I think the teachers of today are just simply dumber, and probably don’t have the cursive competency to justify teaching it themselves, so they collectively agree to phase it out instead. All across the country, you hear of stories of teachers who in their 20s, and always being caught doing stupid shit whether it’s fucking their students, being dumb on publicly viewable social media, or having their unsavory pasts dug out from under their noses. And these are the people in charge of educating the leaders of tomorrow?
One of the saddest things I ever heard was during the Trayvon Martin trial, when the “star witness” that looked like Precious took the stand and made a complete mockery of herself when she was systematically owned by George Zimmerman’s lawyer. I know the internet got a laugh of her bumbling responses, eventual indignant defiance and the whole “that’s retarded sir,” but I literally cringed when I heard the part where she said she “couldn’t read cursive.” Like it were some foreign language or fucking hieroglyphics in front of her face. One part of me dismissed her as being a complete buffoon for not being able to read cursive, but it also occurred to me that cursive was already becoming a lost, not even art, but form of communication.
When the day is over, whether cursive becomes extinct in schools or not, it doesn’t really matter. If it disappears from school curriculum, it’s not really going to impact me. If anything at all, the fact that I can both read and write in cursive might be beneficial to me in a future where the skill vanishes. Maybe in the future when I’m old(er), I can secure a job as some sort of historian, based solely on the ability to decipher the alien writing known as cursive English.
Maybe in the future, I can woo a girl with eloquent cursive written mash notes, and impress her that I’m able to write in a “foreign language.”
Maybe in the future, I’ll be able to clandestinely correspond with fellow cursive-capable people in plain sight, and plot for grandiose things right in front of people incapable of reading cursive.
I also like this particular line from the article:
In years gone by, it helped distinguish the literate from the illiterate.
I know I brog as if I were the smartest person in the world, but obviously that’s not true. Regardless, it makes me feel good about myself to read a line like that.