[lbo-talk] The death of cursive

Chuck Grimes c123grimes at att.net
Thu Apr 28 23:44:28 PDT 2011

This basically means that they are entirely cut off from looking at original written documents, whether historical or personal.

It is also likely to discourage first written drafts, as it's a pain to print.



Interesting. I've been thinking about typewriters and writing long hand for several days, remembering how I learned to read and write. I was a very late reader and writer. We used to have about an hour each day in school, in Mexico to practice writing. It was essential for spelling and easy grammar and it helped to copy passages of text for all kinds of reasons that are not immediately apparent.

It's an important skill to have and I think it is fundamental to literacy in a language.

I went through nine years of college writing long hand notes in class, working up term papers, spell checking and editing what I knew about grammar, and then putting the notebook pages on a stand and typing them. Somehow these physical skills created a foundation for literacy.

Later, when I went back to study particular topics I wanted to know a lot more about than I got from school I kept up with a manual typewriter and then an electric portable. After I read a book I'd write it up or parts of it so that it stayed in my mind longer. I started buying hardbound books to keep for a personal library. I also could afford bound reference dictionaries and style manuals. There are great scientific writing manuals out there. I used to wonder around in a dictionary and find interesting words. The Shorter QED usually notes a first printed useage, which is often in poetry or a play or some well treatise. You get a rough history of literature course from using it. I discovered that literacy never stops. You just keep going about it.

The first thing I did with a computer was keep a journal where I did the same thing. But I had already learned manually. I don't see any of this kind of learning possible on a computer.

I think computers should be banned in classrooms. If the schools want to integrate computers into their curriculum, they should ofter computer lab classes to serve maybe as an hour to do homework or something like that.

There is another form of literacy that has to do with art and math that can't be learned on a computer. I learned hand writing an equation and solving it was essential for me. There are many skills in art that need the hand, drawing for example.

So I doubt the expertise of the quoted people in the article.


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