Friday, February 3, 2012

The Death of Handwriting

As a kid I remember trying to decipher the secret code of swoops and flourishes that my parents left each other on their notes. I was amazed that squiggles could could have a finite meaning. It wasn't until third grade that I was taught that those squiggly lines were words written in cursive. Ever since then I have been captivated by cursive handwriting and have been trying to reach the uniformity and grace that is seen in old hand written letters. To this day I still take notes in cursive, preferring its faster, flowing letters to the rigid, stagnant sans serifs of print.

Technology is on the rise and students and public schools are changing. Handwriting notes is considered out-dated, slow, and less useful compared to taking notes on a computer, and cursive is almost a lost art. Cursive's downfall started in the 1920's when teachers determined kids should be taught to read print because that is how books were printed, not in cursive. TIME Magazine has an article mourning the death of handwriting, the author says that people born after the 80's have writing that is a "little bit sloppy, a little bit childish and almost never in cursive" because keyboarding skills are taught. The full article is here. ABC News also has an article that poses the question, "Is it the end of cursive?". Studies have shown that handwriting activates more parts of the brain resulting in greater knowledge retention than typing, and cursive activates more parts than writing in print.
Writing in cursive is something that very few people still do. Penmanship that was so common in the 1800's is now rarely seen and its a shame. Every person has a unique way of writing and is every person perfected their penmanship like they did in the 1800's we would have a myriad of different and gorgeous cursive fonts.

No comments:

Post a Comment