Where has cursive writing gone?

Is handwriting as important as it once was? Via Flickr user Collections of Light by Robert Israelian.

Do you think cursive writing is important anymore?

Not long ago, I was sitting in a restaurant with a French conversation group I’m part of. (I was the youngest person at the table.) The topic turned to cursive, and the others at the table said younger people don’t seem to know how to write cursive. I mentioned that I don’t know it that well. I remember learning cursive in elementary school, where the teachers told us, “You’ll have to know cursive when you’re adults. That’s what everyone writes in.”

Then computers got popular. After I learned how to write cursive, I never used it except when signing my name, which is why you probably shouldn’t ask me to write a cursive “z.”

My fellow Francophiles made the argument that cursive is still good to know.

With all the typing we do, I don’t think cursive is truly needed anymore. I hate to use the word “dead” though. All those people using it about newspapers gives me a bad taste for the word.

Cursive would be nice to know — I would like to take notes faster during interviews on the rare occasions I’m not using a computer — but it isn’t a requirement like it once was. I’ve used print handwriting for 22 years, and I’ve run into few difficulties.

I want to take this argument a step further and say that handwriting in general is not as useful as it once was. I only hand-write things in spurts — events in my planner, scribblings on sticky notes, greeting cards — and I don’t think I’m the only one. Typing has replaced many of handwriting’s uses.

Do you think cursive is necessary? What about handwriting in general?


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