The lost art of cursive writing

Found this NYT story about how “kids today” can hardly read, much less write in cursive to be quite interesting.  Especially as my 5th grade son, David, basically has no clue on what to do with it.  I can except that he cannot write in cursive (given his fine motor control issues, that’s a battle I’m content to avoid), but it really is a problem that he cannot read it.  Occasionally he’ll read a book where the author shows a letter or some other document in cursive, and he’ll actually need me to read it to him.

The whole article (is brief) and quite interesting, but this one fact really caught my attention:

A spokeswoman for the SAT — for which only 15 percent of students wrote the essay portion in cursive in 2007 —

Wow– only 15%.  Now, one thing the story didn’t mention… I was always under the impression that the main reason to write in cursive is that you can write much faster than in print.  That’s definitely worthwhile, especially when it comes to taking notes.  Sure, more and more kids will do more and more writing on computers, etc., but I wonder about the cost to note-taking efficiency from writing everything in print.  Or, maybe I’m just wrong on that.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to The lost art of cursive writing

  1. itchy says:

    Cursive is one of those methods that will die out as we enter more and more of our data with keyboards. And, really, there’s nothing wrong with that. We also no longer write in blackletter with quill pens.

    On the flip side, typing used to be a rare skill. Now, you can’t get along without it.

    I’m actually surprised at the 15% SAT essay figure. Seems very high.

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