Tag: Literacy

A loss of literacy

By Razib Khan | April 28, 2011 12:49 pm

The Case for Cursive:

For centuries, cursive handwriting has been an art. To a growing number of young people, it is a mystery.

The sinuous letters of the cursive alphabet, swirled on countless love letters, credit card slips and banners above elementary school chalk boards are going the way of the quill and inkwell. With computer keyboards and smartphones increasingly occupying young fingers, the gradual death of the fancier ABC’s is revealing some unforeseen challenges.

Not too surprising. But here’s a question: does anyone out there have problems writing by hand, period? I do so little on pen/pencil & paper* that I have been noticing some strangeness in my non-signature writing. Usually when I have to send a letter where I have to write out the address, or perhaps to write something on a card. A lot of our day to day tasks are implicit/subconscious. Our “reflexes” emerge through repetition. But what happens when “basic” tasks become exceptional events? I’ve probably gotten much better at typing with my fingers on my smartphone’s screen at this point than printing out letters. As for cursive, don’t even go there….

* Supermarket shopping lists are now a constantly updated Google Doc which I access in my smart phone.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture
MORE ABOUT: Cursive, Literacy
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