Letter to the editor: Cursive & printing
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.
The writer is director of the World Handwriting Contest and CEO of Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works.