Cursive writing seems to be becoming a lost art. Does that matter?
We used to call it script, rather than cursive. In printed form, it’s known as italic. Either way, is this fancier form of writing important? Does formal handwriting matter to one’s career?
“Write it again until you write it right.”
I can still remember my fourth grade teacher harping on pupils to practice penmanship. She’d hand out sheets of lined newsprint paper and call out words for us to write in cursive.
I shudder to think of how many trees were felled, as my classmates and I gripped #2 pencils and struggled to make perfectly rounded cursive letters. Eventually, as we mastered the art of penmanship, we went on to practice with ball-point pens. That lesson plan has been all but dropped across the board.
In fact, handwriting has mostly vanished, as people tap out texts, zip off online messages, and type email missives. Plenty of financial, legal, and other official documents even offer online electronic signature capabilities.
Does anyone hand-write anything anymore?
Is this a script for disaster?
Does cursive writing matter? Clearly, it does.
Consider the few items we actually sign by hand these days: credit card transactions, personal checks, job applications, and business letters. We pick up pens to sign our driving licenses, tax returns, home mortgages, car loans, title transfers, and other critical documents. It seems that a personal, unique, and identifiable signature is somewhat important under such circumstances.
Printed letters are simpler to forge.
Recently, while standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles facility, I was shocked to overhear a teenager complaining that he didn’t know how to sign his name in cursive.
“Can’t I just print it?” he asked the clerk behind the counter.
No matter what career field a person might choose, the ability to pen a professional signature seems essential. An autograph need not be neat and tidy (or even legible), but it must still be signed. Can you imagine completing and submitting a job application without a signature at the end?
Perhaps it’s too soon to scratch cursive writing off the script, after all.
Adapted from public domain artworkFeel free to follow on Google Plus and Twitter.