Do We Need Cursive?

When you write by hand, how do you write? I typically default to some sort of strange print, which is more of a scribbly hybrid of block letters and curved cursive lettering. It’s kind of a mess, actually. But do I ever write exclusively in cursive? Fuck no.

It’s not that I don’t like cursive: it’s just so demanding and tedious. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not that practical. Yet, I do support that I know how to write in cursive. It’s definitely informed how I write, when I do write, despite this likely being the source of my illegibility.

Should kids still learn cursive in the age of the Internet? Of course! Some people actually want to see it go which is why a mother-daughter team are fighting to save the script. Their names are Linda Shrewsbury and Prisca LeCroy and they’re making the case for cursive as it activates and stimulates parts of the brain that print writing does not. Interesting!

It also gets at having your own stamp, which is something I certainly see in my mishmash type.

“My strongest feeling about cursive is the idea you can capture individuality and personality in a signature and have it be preserved for generations,” says Shrewsbury, a 63-year-old who has taught government to students in Tulsa and English to students in Africa. “I think about the fact that I know the handwriting of members of my family. The idea of throwing away a tradition that powerful and simple makes no senses to me.”

I can totally get behind that. Moreover, all this talk of penmanship is to support their Kickstarter campaign for a little, quick, smart cursive book. The two have learned and experienced the importance of cursive writing from teaching kids and young adults how to read and write. Those who learned the script seemed to excel more. Who knew?! I mean, they do. Hence, this charge for cursive.

Seeing all this definitely makes me realize the importance and appreciation for having learned to write in this way. It is very important! And, as a writer, I do need to step away from the computer and write more by hand. I’m just being lazy, I am aware, but several studies and teachers have reiterated that handwriting is much better for your work. Perhaps I should write long form in cursive? Maybe this is the key to unlocking literary success. It’s worth a try!

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