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Cursive is Necessary and Should be taught.
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New River, AZ, USA
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That’s what I thought we were talking about too. Reading cursive is, I think, still a necessary skill. Writing it, not so much anymore. I mean, even in these days of keyboarding, there’s still several “cursive” fonts available if you really want that look. And the single valid claim in favor of writing cursive (that it’s faster than manuscript), kinda falls by the wayside given most writing is now done on keyboards.

And if you hope to do any real academic research, you’re gonna run into cursive in some original sources. I did when doing family genealogy research.

The reading of cursive can be taught in elementary school, soon after the reading of manuscript is mastered. At that early point in education, they’re focusing more on the 3 Rs anyway, and less so on STEM.

Dunsmuir, CA
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Robert said:

How come teens’ books’ covers still use cursive for titles?
This is just one example
A teen sees this book and just shakes nah that looks Greek to me?

Not really cursive here. This is calligraphy. As noted in my very first post ever to this forum, I consistently got bad grades in the Palmer Method of cursive. However, I’m not half bad at calligraphy. The real argument, though, is teaching the reading of cursive vs. training students how to write it. I think the time necessary to train students to write it might be better spent having them read. Period.

Thanks for the forum,


Bob Bridges
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Wait, what do you mean “not cursive”?   Of course this is cursive—rather elaborate cursive, I grant you, with extra curls and swirls, so I don’t mind you adding “calligraphy” to the description, but the basic form (of the one word) is cursive nonetheless:

Dunsmuir, CA
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Are the illuminations in the Book of Kells cursive? (However, let’s not get sidetracked).

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Cursive is probably a retronym against the invention of printed characters.   If that is true, the Book of Kells, along with all writings that predate the printing press, is cursive.

On the other hand, the Kells lacks the characteristics of cursive: not only that the characters are mostly not joined one to another, but each is drawn laboriously as a small picture, not written with a single pass of the pen tip.

Then again the Kells texts have the overall look of flowing, non-block texts.

The question calls for a strict definition of what is or is not cursive, alas one of those topics that will entail endless arguments and ultimately no consensus.

To indulge that topic a little, consider the most distinguishing feature of cursive: the joining together of the characters: the ancient Roman cursive, as so presented by a Wiki article, has separated characters throughout, whereas the modern American hand-prints often have joined characters, even while blocky.

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Most likely Tuesday (but possibly Monday) 9-10-2013, Firstlight had a call-in segment about schools dropping instruction of cursive writing.

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