Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Can You Read This?

I recently visited my sister and learned something surprising. She said that when she and my brother-in-law want to write notes to each other that their kids can't read, they write in cursive. As incredible as it seems, my nephews (aged 19 and 12) can't read cursive. It's indecipherable to them, like some sort of top secret WWII Enigma code. My nephews can no more read (or write) it than they can Mandarin Chinese. I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard that.

Apparently most schools around the country are no longer teaching cursive. I'm conflicted about this. Somehow it just seems wrong to totally abandon a form of written communication. After all, there are a lot of old documents out there that are written in cursive. You know, little things like the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. It might be a good idea if people were able to read them now and then, along with the thousands of other similar documents.

On the other hand, besides my signature, I can't remember the last time I actually wrote something in cursive. Whenever I write something, 99.999% of the time I print it. So despite the fact that I have misgivings about totally abandoning cursive, I honestly don't use it much myself.

Maybe this could lead to a whole new job field for middle aged people: Cursive Translator. When the young whippersnappers of the world encounter an old stock certificate or a will that they can't read, they'll call in the Cursive Translator to read it to them. I think I'm going to go set up my store front right now!


  1. This type of thing just makes me sad. I once told a math teacher of the troubles my daughter was having with her times tables and she, A MATH TEACHER, told me she didn't need to memorize them, she could just use a calculator! WHAT NOW?? I was as you would say, GOBSMACKED lol (love that word).

  2. Weren't there some Star Trek episodes where the inhabitants of a planet depended on their machines and technology for everything, then when the stuff broke down, no one knew how to fix it and they were all screwed. That's what's gonna happen here some day.

  3. That just guts me - I write in cursive a LOT. But then again I'm a weirdo and tend to use a fountain pen when at all possible as well. Even if I'm the only one left on the planet to do so I'm gonna keep the cursive candle burning dangnabbit!

  4. Chandra: I have a feeling most of the population doesn't even WRITE anymore-- cursive or printing. Everyone just taps away on their phones these days.

  5. Wait, wait, wait... They're 19 and 12 and they can't read cursive? That's... Beyond sad. I'm 16 (17 this Friday :D) and I've been able to read cursive since I was 10. I can't even begin to understand how someone roughly 2-3 years older than me doesn't know how to read cursive.

  6. Well, we live in Indiana, which from what I've read is the country's leader in eliminating the teaching of cursive from the classrooms.

    Go Hoosiers!


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