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Can you write???

  • I can print but not write.

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • I can print and write exceptionally well.

    Votes: 26 56.5%
  • I can print and write but at a low level so I always print.

    Votes: 16 34.8%
  • I can't print or write and do not have a physical limitation to do so.

    Votes: 2 4.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I'm was shocked and then became very concerned when talking to younger friends of mine (25 and under). They don't know how to write in cursive, they only know how to print, and at what most people of my generation (X) would be a grade 3 level. They said all their work was done on a computer and writing (cursive) skill weren't required by their teachers at all after grade 6.

So I'm wondering how many people here only print or write at a lower level. It never occured to me there may be some lliterate people out there who might not be able to write at all because they've spent their lives on computers.

I would also love some feedback from those under 25, especially those in school right now.
 

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That is an interesting question. I'm 35, and while I can write in cursive, I almost never do, partly because I type most things, and partly because my cursive was so messy it was almost impossible to read afterwards. I also found that I can print a lot faster than I can write so it made a huge difference in University in trying to keep up taking notes in lectures.

I'll add another question to the topic, does anyone know what the point of cursive is? Why should we be using cursive over printing?
 

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I'm in that "under 25" bracket, and I haven't used cursive since I learnt it back in grade 5. There simply is no need for it. Cursive writing is (generally, afer you get your own style) harder to read and sloppier than most people's printing, so for notes to others etc, printing makes more sense.



If I need to write on paper (rare these days), I print.
 

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Not in the age bracket mentioned. I've had paying gigs for calligraphy, but you wouldn't want to have to read my handwriting. I take notes at meetings/lectures/conferences in cursive, I find that I write more to the point than when using a laptop. I write essays on the laptop, often from cursive notes.
 

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I do write, but the quality of my penmanship is quite poor. As a consequence, I have been typing (yes, typing, not keyboarding) since Grade 7. My mother saw an essay I was going to hand in, blanched, and went out and bought me a typewriter. :D

I'll write when I'm taking notes for myself, but anything I pass on to others is typed. I still have my portable Olympia typewriter in my basement (circa 1976) and it's in great shape!
 

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Mac Guru
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I used to be able to write cursively fairly well back in middle school, but that talent has since been dropped from my abilities as its usefulness has all but completely worn off. As John Clay pointed out, it's usually sloppier and more difficult to read than printed text.
 

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I can running write (as we called it in my day back in aussie land) we where not allowed to print untill we reached grade 10 and certainly no Biro (ink pen) alowed till last yr of primary (Grade 7) my running writing is neater than my print cause i tend to scribble.. its faster for me if im taking my own notes to shorthand print...
 

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I too am great at any kind of writing. My cursive is neat and very readable. I spent years doing ad layouts for newspapers and page dummies as well. I can print in either u and l case or caps. People regularly comment on my printing skills being so easy to read. I also type at 60 wpm and use every finger, no hunt and peck here as I took typing for two years in high school. I also operated Linotype in the 60s and developed that skill as well.

But then again I will be 63 this month, so the age thing is there. I lament the loss of cursive writing skills and still feel every school child should be taught our written language before they are ever swallowed up by the keyboard. Don't take that the wrong way as I write three columns a week on my MBP and embrace the technology. I just think it would be a very sad day if humans lost the skill to communicate by their own hand on paper.
 

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I remember during my Drafting classes that it was all about printing neatly in block leaders when working on blue prints which helped me a lot to become a neat writer. I then took it upon myself to perfect my cursive writing skills as well.

Now that I am mostly typing on keyboards through the course of my day (and night), I always make sure that at some point of the day I am writing with a pen. I usually take notes in my book and then transfer them onto the computer from all of my meetings. Something that I hopefully will not stop doing.
 

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I agree wholeheartedly, but I'm fairly certain that schoolchildren are taught cursive, actively and for some duration. But if you leave it to the schools it probably won't be before they use a keyboard. Computer keyboards at home are going to be used very early.

I remember seeing children using "Babysmash" on a 68030 type Mac, years before they could write.

It's "their own hand on paper," btw.

But then again I will be 63 this month, so the age thing is there. I lament the loss of cursive writing skills and still feel every school child should be taught our written language before they are ever swallowed up by the keyboard. Don't take that the wrong way as I write three columns a week on my MBP and embrace the technology. I just think it would be a very sad day if humans lost the skill to communicate by there own hand on paper.
 

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I must be on the cusp. I type most things, but looking at the notes I take while on sales calls, etc., I use mostly cursive - simply because it is faster than printing.

My mother has beautiful handwriting, mine is often complimented by those who see it, and even my daughter has good, readable, cursive writing - mostly, I think, because she edits other people's typed stuff and is writing notes in the margins for them.

And I made her hand-write thank you notes all her life. (Maybe there's a bigger issue here?)

Cursive is simply faster, and legibility, at least in our family, isn't an issue.

There are people I know who can't even print numbers legibly.
 

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Indigent Academic
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While I word process scientific articles and such, I prepare my lecture notes in longhand, I use a sort of "styles" system that mixes printing and cursive to show hierarchies and so on. This is not the greatest demonstration of handwriting/calligraphy but it is eminently readable in the 'heat of the moment'. I'm 61 and learned 'penmanship' and printing in grade school.

In high school I took draughting - to have spelled it 'drafting' would have earned us a cut across the shins from Andy Monteith (the totally old school Dickensian Scottish instructor) using a wooden pointer which actually had a rubber hand grip just as we got if the quality of our lettering slipped.
 

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Interesting topic.

I'm 50 and I hardly ever write in cursive. I don't even print as much as I used to. I used to write long letters all in printed caps. Being on ehMac has improved my typing speed and now I find printing frustratingly slow - partly because I have to account for the lack of a delete key. :)

My cursive writing was always pretty crappy. When I was a teenager I focused on developing dynamic looking all-cap printing, since I was interested in cartoon and comic art, sign writing and typography in general.

For a few years in the '80s I was playing around with calligraphy and had developed a calligraphic cursive writing style, but have since abandoned that. Now when I use a pen usually it's quickly scribbled caps, that is sometimes as unreadable as bad cursive handwriting. If I want to I can still sit down and make nice looking printing.

I spied some handwriting from a 23 year-old recently and was surprised how nicely done it was, so I don't think all is yet lost. I think rather than teaching standard cursive writing to children, calligraphy courses would be more interesting to them and would give them a real appreciation for beautiful hand made letterforms. It would also develop the hand-eye coordination and control more than slavishly copying standard written letters.
 

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Interesting remarks. I used to use "draught" exclusively until corrected by an Associate Dean who was fresh from over there.

Then again, sources remain inconclusive. Check these on answers.com ; I'll check my Fowler's later.

draught draft The UK uses usually uses draft for all senses as a verb;[57] for a preliminary version of a document; for an order of payment (bank draft), and for military conscription (although this last meaning is not as common as in American English). It uses draught for drink from a cask (draught beer); for animals used for pulling heavy loads (draught horse); for a current of air; for a ship's minimum depth of water to float; and for the game draughts, known as checkers in the U.S. It uses either draught or draft for a plan or sketch (but almost always draughtsman in this sense; a draftsman drafts legal documents). The U.S. uses draft in all these cases (except in regard to drinks, where draught is sometimes found). Canada uses both systems; in Australia, draft is used for technical drawings, is accepted for the "current of air" meaning, and is preferred by professionals in the nautical sense.[58] The pronunciation is always the same for all meanings within a dialect (RP /drɑ:ft/, General American /dræft/). The spelling draught is older; draft appeared first in the late 16th century.[59]
While I word process scientific articles and such, I prepare my lecture notes in longhand, I use a sort of "styles" system that mixes printing and cursive to show hierarchies and so on. This is not the greatest demonstration of handwriting/calligraphy but it is eminently readable in the 'heat of the moment'. I'm 61 and learned 'penmanship' and printing in grade school.

In high school I took draughting - to have spelled it 'drafting' would have earned us a cut across the shins from Andy Monteith (the totally old school Dickensian Scottish instructor) using a wooden pointer which actually had a rubber hand grip just as we got if the quality of our lettering slipped.
 

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I use messy writing for personal notes (faster for me than messy printing) but can see why it could be on the way out in education: it is not particularly useful relative to many other things not being taught. I'm 30 and, when in school, it was already becoming obvious that it was not that useful. All nostalgia aside, there is not much use for it for most people, nor is it a basic necessity for a broader ability, like literacy. For now, kids will at least need to know how to read it. They can practice with some of those danged cursive fonts on their computer. :)

The skill could make for an excellent niche skill and something that people get to brag about or break the ice with at parties, like many other basic skills no longer taught.

Interesting thread, by the way.
 

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Depends on what I am doing.

The legibility of my handwriting varies greatly depending on speed, but it's usually readable. Mostly though, I handwrite things that only I see.

If I'm making notes on things that need to be faxed, or leaving short instructions on a sticky note, I print in block capitals.

I tutor in adult literacy, so for that, I have to print in proper case and very neatly at that--if I'm sloppy, my learner mistakes my 'n's for 'm's.

I do a lot of computer work for business, so I type fairly fast... not as fast as I'd like to, but it hasn't held me back so far.

In my creative writing, I vary between typing and writing by hand. Most things are direct to computer, but I find that I write more emotionally and more personally by hand, and that writing by hand gets a lot more creative, so I'll switch to handwriting if I get stuck, and then retype it (with edits) on the laptop.

Journal writing varies--sometimes on the computer, sometimes by hand. The computer stuff comes out funnier and more ironic, the handwritten stuff more personal and with greater emotional depth. Funny how that works.
 

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I would like to be able to write well, but circumstances were against my learning the skill. I started grade school in Alberta and continued there through Grade 2, but we moved to BC the summer before I started Grade 3.

In Alberta at that time (1952) Grades 1 and 2 stuck to printing - cursive writing started in Grade 3. In BC, though, the kids had been writing in cursive since Grade 2. I had to pick up the skill on the fly, and the result still shows in my illegible handwriting.

So, my handwriting was never good, but it has deteriorated even further since I finished University, (1993) because I seldom need to write with a pen. After all, I have my Mac, I have InDesign CS2, I have a laser printer, I can produce professional-looking printed documents any time.

Bottom line - if I want to be able to read my own notes, I print.
 

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I agree wholeheartedly, but I'm fairly certain that schoolchildren are taught cursive, actively and for some duration. But if you leave it to the schools it probably won't be before they use a keyboard. Computer keyboards at home are going to be used very early.

I remember seeing children using "Babysmash" on a 68030 type Mac, years before they could write.

It's "their own hand on paper," btw.
Yeah, I KNOW that. Little slip there, but I corrected it. Thanks.

@#$% spell checker!
 

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I never developed exceptional handwriting, and devolved into my own hybrid of printing/cursive while an undergraduate. Since then, almost all of my 'writing' has been done using keyboards, and I can now barely print.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it's obviously a valuable skill, and has been essential in my life, however, it does appear to me to be something that is quickly heading for obsolescence. When everything is digital, and the tools for manipulating digital information are ubiquitous, how much need will we have for making marks on squashed wood? Even now, the only use I have for writing is to make notes for myself, doing simple calculations, and drawing schematics. If the tools were up to the task, I could do without writing completely.

Cheers
 
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