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Letter to the editor: Cursive & printing | TribLIVE.com
Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Cursive & printing

Tribune-Review
| Friday, March 1, 2019 10:00 a.m

In his column “Time to embrace cursive again” (Feb. 4, TribLIVE), Tom Purcell writes: “Because ink dripped when the quill was lifted from the paper, it made sense to connect letters in words together in one flowing line — and the art of cursive writing began.” 

No; quill pens were used centuries before handwriting routinely joined all (or even most) letters in a word.

Dr. William Klemm (whom Purcell cites) is a veterinary neurologist. Readers searching his sources find that the original studies do not support cursive over the other forms of our handwriting, but support all handwriting (including print-writing) over keyboarding.

Research shows that legible cursive averages no faster than print-writing of equal or greater legibility, and the fastest, clearest handwriters avoid cursive — joining the most easily joined letter-combinations, leaving others unjoined, and using print-like shapes for letters whose printed and cursive shapes disagree.

Reading cursive (still important) can be mastered in 30-60 minutes.

Adults increasingly quit cursive. In a 2012 survey of handwriting teachers, only 37 percent wrote in cursive; 8 percent printed; 55 percent mixed the two.

Finally, all signatures (not just cursive) are legally valid. Ask any attorney.

Kate Gladstone

Albany, N.Y.

The writer is director of the World Handwriting Contest and CEO of Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works.

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