Cursive writing not necessary
I've taught handwriting for 26 years — and Caleb A. Myers, author of the letter “No longer needed” (Sept. 22 and TribLIVE.com) about cursive, is right. Research shows the fastest, clearest handwriters avoid cursive — skipping most strokes joining letters and writing many in print style.
Reading cursive, which matters, can be learned by 6-year-olds in 30 to 60 minutes. (Even an iPad app, “Read Cursive,” teaches how.) Teach cursive reading — with other essentials, including handwriting actually typical of effective handwriters.
In 2012, textbook publisher Zaner-Bloser surveyed handwriting teachers. Only 37 percent wrote cursive; 8 percent printed. Most — 55 percent — wrote otherwise: some elements resembling print, others resembling cursive. When handwriting teachers — educated adults — quit cursive, why exalt it?
Some suppose cursive confers intelligence or grace. They claim research — which they consistently misquote or otherwise misrepresent.
What about signatures? Cursive signatures have no extra validity over other kinds. (Ask any attorney!) All writing, including printing, is individual. That's how teachers know who submitted unsigned, printed work.
Mandating cursive to save handwriting resembles mandating hoop skirts to save tailoring.
The writer owns Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works (handwritingrepair.info) and directs the World Handwriting Contest.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.