At long last, cursive is going out of favor.
As PBS NewsHour notes, the school day has filled up with Common Core preparations and fewer and fewer schools teach it, opting to ditch the Time-Honored Art of Handwriting in favor of A Skill You Will Actually Use At Any Point In Your Life Whatsoever. Hand-writing, especially cursive, compares unfavorably to such skills as forging horse-shoes, lute-playing, or jousting passably, which could at least come in handy if you go to Renaissance Fairs. All the ability to hand-write is good for is making you feel guilty that you have not sent a thank you card in the past 11 years.
Fewer and fewer kids now learn cursive, and they have to come up with crazier and crazier justifications for the ones who do. “Maybe we won’t have electricity anymore and it might be a blackout so we have to write letters to each other,” one of these Last Scrawlers told PBS. If something you are trying to teach third graders relies on that kind of apocalyptic scenario, maybe it’s time. “But it might come in handy in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and/or Real Live Hunger Games” is not an adequate rationale to put something in the curriculum, even if that something is Cool Manly Harpooning.
It used to be that your handwriting said something about you. Now all it definitely proclaims is that you were born before 2000. Mine is a series of illegible chicken scratch runes that strongly suggest I am a serial killer.
Sure, you still need it to make purchases and sign things. But do you, really? You would not even have to make an effort to forge my signature. To be entirely honest, even I am not sure what my signature looks like. As far as my credit card is concerned, my name is Disconsolate Squiggle.
And perhaps cursive never entirely made sense. It was the quickest you could write, legibly, and the most legibly you could write, quickly, but it was only one of the two at any given time, never both. The best and worst that could be said of it was that it was not D’Nealian.
Like remembering facts, keeping track of people’s birthdays and actually being able to drive from one point to another without assistance from your phone, handwriting may finally be over. Handwriting lessons are selling like hotcakes, in the sense that no one has purchased a hotcake in the last 30 years.
Maybe it’s time. If you urgently need to make something feel childlike and scribbly, there’s always Comic Sans.