Cursive curses

Sep 07 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

I never understood cursive writing. To me it has always seemed clumsy and forced and not a natural way of writing. Cursive was originally inventeed to facilitate writing with a quill, in which lifting the nib up and down was apparently messy, so it was better to link the letters in a word together. Later is was promoted as a method for writing quickly or more naturally. To me though, cursive is a slow, cumbersome and ugly way of writing. And probably this is due to the fact that I'm left-handed. It seems like cursive was really designed for right-handed folks. The letters and motions feel incredibly forced, and it is impossible to arrange your hand in such a way that you don't create a smudgy mess. That's why in around fourth grade I stopped using cursive and thus my cursive writing looks like a fourth grader's. Here's an example:

My chicken scrawls.

Not that my regular handwriting is any neater, but at least it doesn't look as lame. It's a bit of a hybrid between cursive and block letters. In my normal writing I do everything backwards, including writing vertical lines from the bottom up and making the "o" counterclockwise. From what I can gather, the cursive method I learned was the so-called D'Nealian Script which is supposed to look like this:

D'Nealian Script

Which to my eye looks different to the cursive that my parents used. It was invented in the 70's and might explain why my script looks even more dated. In my kids school they still teach cursive, which is good , I guess. At least they will be able to read it when they come across it, and neither of my kids are lefties, so they might take to it more than I. I wonder if there's a cursive designed for lefties. How about you all, what's your handwriting like?

 

13 responses so far

  • lost academic says:

    Cursive handwriting is designed to be both faster and much easier on your hands and wrists. Writing for any length of time in print for me as an adult, when I didn't realize what a mistake giving up the hated school cursive, just about kills me. My printed handwriting is not particularly legible, as I've picked up terrible habits to speed it along. The only thing that seems to have helped was that high school engineering class where we all had to learn drafting, including proper lettering.

  • gerty-z says:

    cursive is stupid.

  • Well cursive maybe quicker and easier on the hand but typing is way fucking faster and easier. We are evolved creatures damn it. Learning how to print should be good enough.

    By the way cursive writing touches little kids in inappropriate places so no one should like cursive.

  • I am right-handed, but I taught myself how to write numbers and letters just by imitating what I saw before anyone taught me how to do it correctly, so I write them all fucked-up and wrong. Oh, and you misspelled "fucke".

  • becca says:

    I write all of my letters with either water color brushes made of camel hair or medium or broad tipped fountain pens, using proper stroke order for both Zhongwen and English. I then emboss it with gold leaf.

    Unless I'm writing to you know, record shit in real time. In which case I either type or print itty bitty letters in mechanical pencil.

    I'm ok with drawing my letters or writing them, but cursive is an abominable hybrid of the two.

  • Fred says:

    Recently my son and I were looking over my old high school yearbook, and he noticed that all my friends wrote their notes in cursive (which we called "script" back then), while his friends print their yearbook notes. After talking about it, we think the reason is that, even though they learn cursive, they type all their papers on computers, so it never really becomes second nature. So the computer age may finally kill it off.

  • Ed says:

    Oh goodness, these little boys and girls have "writing troubles"... They'll have to be sequestered quarantined given special attention in their own space where they can't disrupt the decent, functional children - think of the (real) children! away from the real children among their own kind. Goodness I hope they will stay from now on after the branding.

    Addendum: Except by the looks of it they might like each other's company. Well we'll grossly underfund the program and throw all the other rejects kids in there too and hopefully they'll make things miserable for each other instead of the real children.

  • Ed says:

    doh, should have used preview, there were supposed to be strikethroughs... oh well.

  • Karen says:

    Being a leftie, I too had trouble with cursive writing. Sometime during high school I developed a sort of hybrid cursive/printing scheme that lets me write quickly without unnecessary flourishes but also without taking my pen off the page too often. It's readable, and as far as I'm concerned that's the only important criteria. Pretty be damned.

  • Karen says:

    I'm another leftie named Karen and I love cursive. I use it whenever I have to take loads of notes and my writing still looks like the D'Nealian script you show above (never knew what it was called though). My writing has obviously not changed since I first learned it in second grade!

  • anon says:

    I'm a leftie. Learned cursive in the '70s. My notes have shadowed block letters, doodles, cursive (curses), print, and fuckin smudges all over the place.

  • Kaz says:

    I actually learned pretty much that script in elementary school - but then my family moved back to Germany, where I was informed that German schools used a /different/ type of cursive and I would have to stop using the one I knew (which I already didn't like very much, even though I am right-handed) and learn this new one. Complete with new writing exercises I was meant to do.

    Long story short: As soon as I could get away with it, I started doing everything possible in print.

    Interestingly enough, what I didn't learn how to read/write in school although I think my parents did was Fraktur - meaning I have a hard time reading most German books printed up to the early/mid 20th century because they're written in that script.

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