Saturday, March 24, 2012

R.I.P. cursive

I took the GRE test yesterday. If you aren’t sure what that is, it’s like the SAT for graduate school. I studied very hard for a week and then took it on Friday. When I was done, it felt like I’d stubbed my toe, only instead of my toe, it was my brain.

I can’t really disclose too much information about the GRE. They’re super secretive about that. I can say they test took about four hours and consisted of essays, math questions and English questions. Each section was timed—so you had to pace yourself on figuring out the answers or you’d run out of time. Aside from that, I can’t say much about it. I had to sign a form promising my first born if I revealed too much—ok, maybe not my first born, but you get the idea.

On the form where I promised to not share the answers with the world, there was a section where I had to re-write a paragraph stating just that. When this was explained to me by the nice man at the desk, he underlined the part of the directions that said DO NOT PRINT. This meant I was to write the paragraph in cursive.

Cursive? Really?

The only thing I use cursive for is to sign my name. When I print anything, it’s in all capital letters—and it’s a mess.

I blame my poor handwriting on two things. First, college. This may sound strange, but it’s true. When taking notes in class, I would write as fast as I could and I wasn’t concerned about how it looked because I was the only one who needed to decipher the mess. Second, working as a TV director. During live programs, directors are marking scripts, making notes and such. During live programs, you have precious little time, so speed trumps neatness.

But back to cursive.

I had arrived early for the test so I had plenty of time to fill out the forms. I did my best to remember how to make all the letters in cursive—but frankly, I didn’t remember some of them. I dare say it took me twice as long to copy the paragraph in cursive as it would have by printing it. Thank goodness that wasn’t part of the graded test.

I remember my kids saying how cursive is being phased out of the school systems. I’m sure some traditionalist are freaking out about that. I did some digging and came across an interesting article which can be found here.

Some interesting facts I learned was that, quote “44 states no longer mandate teaching cursive in the classrooms. Of those 44, two of them--Indiana and Hawaii-- have taken it out of the curriculum completely.”

Why is that? Well, it states that, quote “computers in the classroom have left little time for educators to teach print, cursive and typing. Something had to give. It certainly wasn't going to be math or science. Instead, it's cursive.”

From my point of view, cursive is a dying art form. During my lifetime I’ve seen it become less and less prevalent. As I stated before, I don’t use it—and until yesterday, I hadn’t missed it.


  1. For me, I hand write before I type up what I'm working on. I find that I write faster in cursive and the ideas flow more. Maybe this is because I've gotten good at shorthand and reading my own chicken-scratch this way because you don't have to fully form letters, idk. But to me, this is my firs preference despite the fact it isn't as well-known now. That's okay, though: Who needs to keep a coded diary when you have cursive?

  2. Working at the temple, brides and grooms are required to sign their names on their marriage license, not print (county requirement). The other day, a young groom said he didn't know how to sign his name in cursive. Thought that was pretty sad, cursive is becoming a dying art form....