Technology has made cursive handwriting nearly obsolete in the marketplace. Much of the work traditionally done by calligraphers is now done digitally. E-mail has by and large replaced most personal correspondence, and even when traditional postal services are employed to deliver traditional personal letters, those letters are more often than not word-processed and printed by an inkjet printer. Yet cursive handwriting can still be a useful skill to have.
Cursive writing is a system of writing in which the letters of a word are joined. There’s very little lifting of the pen or pencil from the paper except between words. This makes cursive a much faster method of handwriting than printing, and the handwriting of choice for students, who often must capture a great deal of information in a short period of time. Just as important, they must be able to read their writing later.
Managers and Professionals
The need to be able to take notes quickly and legibly does not end when you stop attending classes. Managers and professionals attend meetings, conferences and presentations where ideas and strategies are developed. Though useful, digital devices are not always practical, and many people write cursively faster than they can keyboard. Lawyers in particular sometimes draw up documents on the fly, to be entered into a word processor later.
The days when bookkeepers would make general ledger entries in cursive script with a fountain pen are gone, but only by a couple of decades. Note-taking is every bit as important for administrative staff as it is for the managers and professionals they support. Some administrative staff are proficient at shorthand, but many are not, and cursive is their fastest handwriting. In addition, administrative staff are sometimes called upon to read and take action on the cursive notes taken by their managers.
Grade School Teachers
The people who teach cursive writing must be able to produce it, at least in those schools where cursive writing is still taught. Only by having mastered it themselves will they be able to teach it to others. Further, if their report cards and other communications with parents are written in cursive script, it may help those parents better to appreciate the skill, which is admittedly a dying art.
Although some of the work that was traditionally performed by calligraphers is now done digitally, there is still an active market for the fine, flowing cursive script and other art these artisans can produce. They are in great demand for documents and other artifacts for special occasions such as weddings and other family functions, dedications and celebrations. They also create charter documents for governments, associations and other enterprises, and hand-letter diplomas and degrees for universities and other educational institutions.
- Mobile (AL) TimesLeader Online.com: Letter to the Editor: Cursive Writing
- Parenting Squad: 7 Reasons Why Cursive Writing Should Still Be Taught in Schools
- The National Review Online – The Corner: North Carolina’s “Back to Basics” Education Revives Cursive Handwriting
- New York Times Room for Debate: Is Cursive Dead?
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images