US conservatives love cursive handwriting

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lpetrich
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US conservatives love cursive handwriting

Post by lpetrich » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:48 pm

The Conservative Obsession With Teaching Cursive Handwriting To Kids Is Dysfunctional And Weird [Opinion]
Conservatives are really worried that children are no longer being taught to write in that squiggly, often semi-legible analog font called “cursive handwriting” that many of us pointlessly learned as children in grade school. Yes, kids these days may be able to perform basic computer programming functions before they even leave the fifth grade, but the fact that they can’t pick up a No. 2 pencil and do something that they will most likely never have to do in their professional lives or even in their academic lives beyond the sixth grade is to conservatives and other traditionalists a major indicator of society’s continuing degradation.

To remedy this, conservatives across the United States have worked hard to enact legislation that will mandate the teaching of cursive to school kids. These kids may not have adequate access to computers or textbooks or might be stuck in overflowing classrooms taught by underpaid teachers because their schools have been hit hard by Republican cuts to education funding, but at least they’ll be able to write that elusive cursive “Q” that most of us forgot months after being taught cursive and then never noticed because it’s not a particularly useful skill in the real world.
Seems like what would get them to oppose it is to convince them that it is an arts sort of thing, the sort of thing that they consider frippery unworthy of support by taxpayers.

For my part, I think that they should teach italic handwriting, a sort of halfway house between cursive and block letters. Something that can be written relatively fast, while being easy to read.

Until I learned about it, people would grumble about how horrible my handwriting was, even though that was what I was taught.

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:28 pm

Might as well be teaching them how to drive a stagecoach.

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Roo St. Gallus
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:13 pm

Dammit, the buggy whip industry demands it!
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sohy
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Post by sohy » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:28 pm

I confess that I am too lazy today to read my entire linked article but it does seem as if there "may" be some important benefits from learning to write in cursive, even if it's not very useful anymore.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4274624/

In an age of increasing technology, the possibility that typing on a keyboard will replace handwriting raises questions about the future usefulness of handwriting skills. Here we present evidence that brain activation during letter perception is influenced in different, important ways by previous handwriting of letters versus previous typing or tracing of those same letters. Preliterate, five-year old children printed, typed, or traced letters and shapes, then were shown images of these stimuli while undergoing functional MRI scanning. A previously documented “reading circuit” was recruited during letter perception only after handwriting—not after typing or tracing experience. These findings demonstrate that handwriting is important for the early recruitment in letter processing of brain regions known to underlie successful reading. Handwriting therefore may facilitate reading acquisition in young children.
I don't have an opinion yet, but since I have two young grandchildren, I would like to learn more before I decide that learning to write in cursive is an outdated waste of time. There are numerous articles from many different sources that give some evidence that there are important benefits in brain development that come from learning to write in cursive. Maybe there are other ways to obtain these same benefits, but I don't know enough yet to say that learning to handwrite doesn't have important benefits.

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lpetrich
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Post by lpetrich » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:52 am

Did those studies compare cursive to other sorts of handwriting? Like italic or block?

Unless they do so, then there is a serious possibility that the causality in reverse, that the students with the best-developed brains are the ones who are best at cursive.

It's like whether solving puzzles can prevent or delay Alzheimer's disease. It can simply be that those with less mental deterioration are better at puzzles, and that doing puzzles has nothing to do with it.

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Post by dancer_rnb » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:53 am

Do other alphabets have an equivalent of cursive?
Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese?

Actually I prefer Fraktur, which I taught to myself, to cursive.
There is no such thing as "politically correct." It's code for liberalism. The whole idea of "political correctness" was a brief academic flash-in-the-pan in the early 1990's, but has been a good conservative bugaboo ever since.

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Post by Hermit » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:20 am

[quote=""dancer_rnb""]Actually I prefer Fraktur, which I taught to myself, to cursive.[/quote]Marginal comment:

Fraktur is a bit on the nose on account of its association with the Third Reich, which is a pity because it is quite beautiful. At least some of its hundreds of variants are. Some are definitely not.

This family of fonts and typefaces has been around since about 1513. By the end of WW I it had fallen out of favour, but briefly experienced a renaissance under Hitler's regime. Less than a decade after its revival, in 1941, Hitler changed his mind, called it "Un-German" and "of Jewish origin" and ordered all newspaper and book publishers to use Antiqua instead as soon as they could retool their presses. The order was never really carried out during the Nazi regime because the requirements of WW II took precedence.

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Post by sohy » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:02 pm

[quote=""lpetrich""]Did those studies compare cursive to other sorts of handwriting? Like italic or block?

Unless they do so, then there is a serious possibility that the causality in reverse, that the students with the best-developed brains are the ones who are best at cursive.

It's like whether solving puzzles can prevent or delay Alzheimer's disease. It can simply be that those with less mental deterioration are better at puzzles, and that doing puzzles has nothing to do with it.[/quote]

I didn't read the entire article and of course you could be right. I just noticed that there were quite a few other articles that said that there were benefits to learning cursive. But, there are probably benefits to learning a lot things that aren't necessarily practical to use.

I just retired from a job that required me to handwrite my documentation. There are some places that are that far behind the times. It was easier for me to interact with my patients while writing, something that's a lot more difficult to do when using a lap top or tablet like most medical professionals do now. Still, I'm not saying cursive is important to learn. I'm just saying that there might be benefits to learning it.

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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:44 pm

[quote=""dancer_rnb""]Do other alphabets have an equivalent of cursive?
Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese?[/quote]

Well, Japanese doesn't really have 'alphabets'. They have two sets of syllabaries (kana) and a whole raft of ideographs (kanji, ~50,000 of them). They do celebrate an entire artform of calligraphy which excells in running various symbols together in artistic, yet still readable, forms. But I doubt that it is taught in the elementary schools...they are busy building the kanji and grammar skills.

Chinese, of course, is very similar, but that ALL the writing is in ideographs/pictographs and there are no syllabaries of which I am aware. Again, fluid writing form is considered an art amongst Chinese calligraphers, so far as I know. Curiously, as I understand Chinese, as a written language is a critical social bridge, because there are two mutually unintelligible linguistic 'dialects' (Mandarin and Cantonese), which can communicate in writing.

Hebrew, I understand, is where the learner spends a crapload of time trying to fill in all the missing vowels. I've not heard of a connective writing hand in Hebrew, but the person learning it (my wife) didn't really get that far.

As for Arabic, I'm not sure, but it is my understanding that with the ban on artistic representations of living beings, particularly human form, artistic expression compensated by making manipulation of geometric objects and calligraphy....flowing verse from the Quran....in to beautiful objects. I'd guess yes.
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Ozymandias
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Post by Ozymandias » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:58 am

What do you have against cursive? It is my default writing style. Admitedly I type more than I write nowadays, but only slightly. I still like taking notes with a pen because of the fluidity it gives me to annotate and add diagrams (often on my iPad). Being able to write well is very useful, and fortunately my handwriting is very legible and neat.

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Post by Aupmanyav » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:47 pm

I love cursive but it is art and not normal writing. So, those who want to take up as art, they are welcome. But otherwise children should be asked to write letters separately. Written in a hurry cursive is difficult to read and not suggested for medical people. But these public schools insist on it. My grandsons suffer because of it.
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Post by Loren Pechtel » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:57 pm

[quote=""Ozymandias""]What do you have against cursive? It is my default writing style. Admitedly I type more than I write nowadays, but only slightly. I still like taking notes with a pen because of the fluidity it gives me to annotate and add diagrams (often on my iPad). Being able to write well is very useful, and fortunately my handwriting is very legible and neat.[/quote]

Yeah, diagrams (including equations) are about the last case where the pen is truly superior to the keyboard.

A few years back I realized my cursive had atrophied so much from lack of use that it was getting very hard to read. I decided to quit using it, the only cursive I use now is my signature. I write a lot but it's on the keyboard, I write very little with a pen.

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Post by BWE » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:40 am

I write in cursive a lot.

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:00 am

I don't even remember how to write in cursive. Haven't done it in over 30 years.

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