Save Our Cursive

1890s penmanship - what grampa taughtHas it come to this? The Tennessee House of Representatives has introduced a measure to require schools to teach students cursive writing. Learning to loop and join together alphabet letters used to be a rite of passage for third grade kids, but it’s in danger of being phased out in some school districts. Now that a computer in every classroom is giving way to a computer at every desk—if not in school, then at home—the handwritten essay may become obsolete.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE computers in general and my Mac in particular, but even my font menu still includes several cursive options. If we stop teaching children cursive, not only will Microsoft Word need to update that font list, but one day only scholars will be able to read original documents that range from the Declaration of Independence to the lyrics for “Eleanor Rigby” (handwritten by John Lennon on a scrap of notebook paper).

Several states (including my native California) have already taken action, adding a cursive requirement to their national standards. Bravo! Keep our handwritten heritage alive, if not in practice, at least in training.

Now if only someone will author a bill that requires doctors to learn a legible form of cursive…

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