Friday, October 20, 2006


While the loss of most childhood institutions would be bemoaned, here's one the Mailbox is glad to see die a slow death.

The Washington Post reports that cursive writing is slowly being fazed out of American classrooms. It's being killed by computers and printers, experts say. Teachers say penmanship seems reliquary, when there’s so much technology, foreign languages and state testing standards to teach. Lord knows, kids aren’t crying about it.

Of course, some think that cursive teaches good cognitive lessons. The 15 percent who wrote SAT essays in cursive scored better than the 85 percent who didn’t, according to a blurb in this press release. Others think that our national culture is at a crossroads, switching from the written word to the typed one.

The Mailbox thinks this is B.S. Cursive is a waste of time. The Mailbox, as a third-grader, dreaded the inefficiency of having to learn a second alphabet. The only use for cursive in high school was for girls to send florid notes with i’s dotted with hearts or smiley-faces. Sure, it’s supposed to save time, but how much? Any time saved writing my cursive was lost trying to read my cursive. Many may mourn the loss of this fancy form of writing, but the Mailbox won’t.

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