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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Curse-ive: archaic writing form unnecessary

It’s another SAT Saturday and students are again faced with the hardest section of the test: signing the certification statement in cursive, something that seems redundant in today’s world. Many students stall as they try to remember the archaic form of writing, long lost since the second or third grade.

Today, in the age of computing, cursive has become an outdated and almost useless form of writing. In the classroom, not enough time is devoted to learning cursive for students to gain fluency.

Once students become proficient at printing letters, cursive is briefly taught to students in third grade, but never used as the primary writing style. Moreover, students simultaneously start to learn how to type. This quickly becomes both the students’ and teachers’ preferred method for bringing thoughts to paper, saving them the hassle of deciphering sometimes hieroglyphical handwriting.

Today’s classroom already fails to emphasize cursive as an efficient way to connect letters and expedite the writing process. So why introduce it at all? Other countries, Germany for example, require students to learn cursive in first grade, using it as their main form of handwriting. This makes the students’ cursive writing much faster than their printing. But this still poses the question: Is cursive really relevant in our time?

In the past, good cursive penmanship was something many aspired to and was interpreted as a sign of a good education and etiquette. Today, however, letters are getting replaced through emails, text messages and social networking.

In today’s technology-centered world, cursive is almost exclusively used for signing documents or receipts or writing the occasional letter to an elderly relative. Teachers assign essays to be typed and printed, making an originality check easy by requiring students to submit their papers to websites like Writing in cursive does promote originality, but it is a very inefficient and painstaking process, often requiring unnecessary effort.

While cursive writing can often be more aesthetically pleasing, it serves little to no other purpose. Referred to as “a dying art,” cursive is a nice skill to have while labeling folders, creating posters or writing a thank-you note, but has little value in the real world. In a world of iPhones, iPads and computers, quick, efficient typing will remain the dominant form of writing, making cursive a nice but hardly necessary skill.

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