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More and more young people abandon cursive writing

Published: Sun, August 7, 2011 @ 3:57 p.m.



Rayana McGuire of Youngstown rarely writes in cursive.

“The only time I write in cursive is when I’m signing my name,” the Youngstown State University sophomore said.

She’s not alone.

Every year, Beloit College in Wisconsin releases a Mindset List “to reflect the world view of entering first- year students.”

First on the list for the college class of 2014: “Few in the class know how to write in cursive.”

So in this age of text messaging, is cursive going the way of the typewriter and cassette tapes?

For taking notes in class, McGuire prints and when she’s communicating with friends, it’s email, or more often, texts.

It’s a similar story with Boardman High School sophomore Richard Steiner. He hasn’t written in cursive since sixth grade. Other than his signature, he doesn’t use it, opting to print in class.

Judah Johngrass, a junior at Boardman, uses a combination of printing and cursive for her notes. Her demonstration resembled printed letters with connecting pen strokes.

Indiana recently dropped cursive writing as part of required instruction and mandated that elementary school children learn keyboarding.

At least part of the reason some states have abandoned such instruction is the Common Core standards, an initiative adopted by most states that outlines the knowledge and skills children should learn in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The standards don’t include cursive, but they do include keyboarding.

Mahoning Valley elementary schools, however, still do include cursive writing in their curriculum.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and at Vindy.com.


1crimelander(122 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

What an article.

Students can't write in cursive, but they had a class to do such... Another educator fail? Seems so.

Same students likely lack functional literacy. At minimum they are shortchanging themselves. The world will not be a digital-only experience ever. Printing letters in a business environment won't go over well. Clearly, it will leave a lacking impression.

A technology dependent society that views texts and messaging as communication has it's obvious problems. The same group also view being social as sitting online looking at Facebook.

Perhaps what we are seeing is the emerging consumption end-of-culture. A place where as we did with TV, they do even more with i-Gadgets and other always tethered entertainment drip feeds.

This is one of those pieces and ensuing commentaries where people inevitably will claim the passing of time and change that occurs.

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2300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Or maybe, Thomas, they just don't want to waste anymore time than they have to dealing with you.

I've seen your kind in stores, those pensioners with so much free time on their hands that they have to play mind games with cashiers to amuse themselves.

I get a strange feeling, too, that you're not a college graduate. Am I wrong?

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3USNBOY(76 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

It has NOTHING to do with being a college graduate. You don't learn cursive is college. Who are you to stereotype anyone? How do you know that "pensioner" you see in the store isn't that cashiers neighbor, grandfather, close family friend, etc. or maybe he has a mental illness and doesn't know any better or maybe hes just trying to make that person smile.

I abandoned cursive for 2 reasons. #1, I'm left hand dominate and it was easier for me to print.. #2, I was in the military and they MAKE you print when maintaning a Deck Log or Ships Movement Logs so the next person can read it clearly and without any doubt of what it says.

Now, I am, as you say a "pensioner". what does that matter? If THOMAS53 is retired, he probably worked his butt off his whole life for that retirement and deserves to be retired. As far as i'm concerned 300, You can take that college degree and wipe your lazy khaki covered butt with it because ITS USELESS. Just because you wasted your mommy and daddy's money on a degree that you'll NEVER actually use isn't our fault. Maybe you're just jealous and that USELESS piece of paper you have is the ONLY thing you can jam in his face. Your college degree didn't teach you how to be a normal human being with compassion and understanding. All it did was give you an ego that forces your mouth to open and blurt out douchebag'isms. Somehow in that brain of yours, you think you're important and better than everyone else because you wasted 4 years of your life getting drunk and rolling in the hay with anything with a heartbeat. Well i'm sorry to inform you that you're not. I would rather hire a man with 2 years of experience than someone with a 4 year degree.

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4crimelander(122 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

/ #2, I was in the military and they MAKE you print when maintaning a Deck Log or Ships Movement Logs so the next person can read it clearly and without any doubt of what it says. /

That's actually a good reason to print. If we can only teach doctors to print now :)

The left hand dominance never dawned on me. Interesting topic there about how cursive perhaps is ineffective in teaching lefties.

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5NilesOhio(986 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I've been out of school for many years and know how to write cursive. To me, it's a more formal way of writing, and it allows for more artistic penmanship.

With that being said, I choose not to write in cursive except to sign my name. Cursive is often difficult for others to read and when rushed, it's sometimes even difficult for the original penman to read. Printing simply looks neater to me.

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6LawDoc(38 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"I would rather hire a man with 2 years of experience than someone with a 4 year degree."

Good thing the rest of the business world doesn't see it the same way. You seem to take real issue with those who have furthered their education.

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7USNBOY(76 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

LawDoc, You can read every book on Earth and have 10 million degrees from every accredited school in the world and you STILL won't know how to do the job. A man with 2 years of experience knows exactly how to do the job the day he gets hired because he's done it for 2 years. Maybe the problem with the US economy is people get hired to do a job that they've NEVER done but they are "qualified" because they have a piece of paper that says they read books about the job.

//You seem to take real issue with those who have furthered their education.//

I don't have an issue with people who further their education. In fact, I have 2 degrees myself. I do however, have a serious issue with punks who think they are better than everyone else because they went to college. In reality, no one cares. I don't run around rubbing retirees noses in it. Maybe its just the fact that, that is their only accomplishment in life. I'm just really sick of people who think their special because they went to college. MOST people nowadays go to college. In the 60's and even the 70's when most of these retirees were working, they didn't need degrees. They went to the steel mills or found other jobs so they could support their families. That age group that is retired now is the same age group that is forcing their kids to go to college so they don't have to have a physically demanding job like they did. Doesn't matter, I'd still hire a guy with 2 years of experience over someone who just graduated. Maybe its just me, I want employees who know what they're doing instead of hiring a college graduate that I have to spend the time teaching to do the job.

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8LawDoc(38 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Maybe you've been out of the workforce too long to realize that there aren't too many jobs out there, especially skilled jobs, that don't require at the very least a two year degree. Explain to me how one gets two years of experience in a field where you need a degree first and foremost. I'd take the person with college experience over someone with just military or just basic work experience. It shows that the individual at least has some drive, can follow deadlines and is apt enough to follow directions.

This isn't the 60s and 70s anymore, you don't wait in a line outside of a mill to go to work these days. That and not too many folks want to work anyway! Many, many folks who are laid off from their factory jobs where they made an extraordinary amount of money refuse to take mundane work. They feel they are better than that, I digress. Maybe paying some high school flunky 75k a year to turn a bolt on a cavalier is the reason the economy is in the mess it is in?

Part of my job entails (which I also have two degrees for as well as teach) taking statements from those in the juvenile age group. Most of these kids write like they are texting. I.E incomplete sentences, unnecessary shortening of words and a complete disregard for grammar.

I was in the military as well for 18 years; imagine how long it took for me to break the habit of writing in capital block letters. Luckily, I either type everything or have someone else write for me. The only time I write longhand is for my own notes.

I also don't believe it is at all the educators fault. Either way, cursive is unnecessary when print will do. And why print when typing will do?

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9USNBOY(76 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Maybe you're right. Maybe I have been out of the workforce for way too long. That is because I'm disabled and CAN'T work and by the way, you can't get THAT hurt being a "high school flunky and was forced to join the military as a cook".

Granted there are a LOT of people in the military now that don't have the drive to succeed but there are some. The ones who have the drive are extremely easy to pick out. Those ones are perfectly hirable when they get out and will probably work circles around your college graduate. I was that one AND I managed to get 2 degrees.

You can't read a book on say, how to build a jet engine, then go try to build one. It WILL eat itself. The guy with 2 years of experience building and tearing down that engine CAN do it correctly the first time with VERY little help if any. That is what employers want and NEED.

I realize that this isn't the 60's and 70's anymore. There ARE still jobs out there. Not like they were, but they're out there. There was an article a few weeks ago saying that the trucking industry is short 100,000 drivers. its not and easy job, but its a job that pays the bills and you can feed your kids with it.

I don't agree with people who have been laid off for YEARS and collecting unemployment for YEARS. The repo man is taking their cars, the bank is taking their house and they would rather sit and watch it happen. If that was me, I would be out working as many jobs as I can flopping woppers to keep what is mine. Those 75k a year jobs are far and few between. Thats when you pack up and move to where the jobs ARE. Most people around here have NEVER left home and NEVER will. They would rather sit around on their duff and cry cause they're losing everything they ever worked for than go get 3-4 part time jobs. With that mentality they'll be living at the Resue Mission before you know it. breaking into cars, shoplifting, and addicted to crack.

I can tell you for a fact that my kids don't write like that. I won't allow it. My kids are both A&B students who are both in sports.

I was in for 12 and not because I dropped out or whatever you accused me of in another article. I left because when I graduated I needed to get away for home. I realized that I wouldn't go anywhere or do anything if I stayed here. When I got there I LOVED it. It was my life. I was trying to figure out ways to stay in when they medically retired me but you can't go up and down ladderwells in a wheelchair. I was going for 30 but I got hurt. I STILL to this day print in capital block letters. My cursive is a trainwreck on paper due to the fact that I'm left handed.

I never blamed educators. I feel the same way about cursive, only I would rather print than type. Its more personal.

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