A reader differs with the previous ones:
Why do so many cursive defenders use the defense of the sentimental value of handwritten notes vs. emails as some sort of strength inherent to cursive? As a product of architecture school, I write almost entirely in capital lettering, and my wife generally prints as well. Yet somehow we still find the notes/letters/cards that we write to each other to be meaningful and cherished, despite their utter lack of cursive.
In today’s world, cursive is a luxury, not a necessity. If someone chooses to spend their time learning and perfecting it, more power to them. If a school wants to offer cursive courses to individuals such as that, that’s great too. But to force every student to spend a significant amount of time learning a skill that’s nowhere near necessary anymore is just silly. Doubly so when you consider some of the far more useful skills (like basic personal financial planning) that schools tend to leave out.
I’m 26. I was taught cursive in elementary school, and I used to be pretty good at making my writing look pretty, but I found it slow and irritating. I was mercifully instructed in middle school that I did not need to write in cursive any more and never looked back. The most I can do at this point with any degree of speed is sign my name.
That came back to bite me in the ass when I took the SATs and GREs.
When you take those exams, there is a paragraph you have to write in cursive that you attest that you are who you say you are, and aren’t cheating. It took me nearly the entire time allotment and I nearly ran out of space on the lines provided. By the end I just printed and connected the letters after I had finished the sentence. I still remember that as the most stressful part of either exam.
Another had a similar experience:
This cursive discussion is giving me flashbacks to one memorable panic attack that nearly blew my LSAT before it even began. For anyone who’s ever subjected themselves to the sado-masochism of the LSAT , they may recall one particular pre-test registration section that requires not filling in bubbles, but for each test taker to transpose a statement certifying their identity and their adherence to the test rules. It sounds simple enough, until the proctor instructs you to, “Write this statement IN YOUR NORMAL HANDWRITING. It must NOT BE PRINTED.” (I am NOT the only person for whom transcribing that short paragraph in “script” or “cursive” posed a serious fucking problem.)
The exam was in a massive gymnasium at UMass Boston with about 300 other people. I don’t know whether it was just test-day nerves that made me freeze up, or more likely the fact I hadn’t written anything in cursive/longhand longer than my signature since about 4th grade or so. But I began to shake uncontrollably; I couldn’t even put my pencil to the paper because my hand was so spastic. Even gripping and trying to steady my writing hand and pencil with the other hand couldn’t stop it. And then all at once, I drew a complete blank on even the most basic, grade school ups-and-downs and simple swoops to create even a single letter. Shaking, just staring horrified at lines of illegible chicken-scratch when the proctor called out over the mic that we had one minute before the exam would begin.
And that was when the full-body seizing began. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I’d stopped breathing entirely. When I started blacking out, I managed to raise my hand, and then somehow yell out to the proctor and 300 horrified test takers, “I think I’m having a medical emergency!” It wasn’t til the proctor got me breathing again and swigging some OJ that I finally got my shit together, only to then have to take that fucking test for five fucking hours.
I’d never had a panic attack before, and haven’t had one since. Hell yes, kill cursive.