Should We Kill Cursive? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  May 2 2013 @ 3:58pm

A reader’s response:

No, we should not kill cursive.  My children attend a Montessori school where it’s still taught and I see many benefits.  First of all, building the muscles and eye/hand coordination necessary to use a pen or pencil is important and takes practice.  For many it’s as close as we get to drawing.  You can’t just magically expect to be able to write when you need to without practice.  Second, there is still a need to write by hand quickly and legibly, regardless of any technical revolution.  I have taken many classes where anything other than a regular notebook would not have worked, and was glad to know how to write legibly and quickly.

And lastly, sometimes the medium is as important as the message.  My husband wrote me hundreds of emails from Iraq when he was deployed there, and two handwritten letters.  Can you guess which of those notes I still read?  To know he held that paper in his hands and wrote that he loved me while so far away meant more than an electronic message that looked like I could have written it to myself.  Why would we rob children of the chance to learn a skill that is both beautiful and practical?  I’m glad my kids can write in cursive.

Another reader:

I suppose that we should also kill signatures while we’re at it (though they are, albeit very slowly, suffering a collective death-by-technology in their own right). I would venture to guess that the majority of adult signatures evolve from a very basic, teen-aged cursive exercise.


My mother’s cursive writing was magnificent, and I spent years trying unsuccessfully to copy it.  I have never been able to master her “W.” My signature is the closest I ever came to emulating her writing:

Betty sig small

I know why cursive is dying, but allow me to mourn.