Cursive or cursed?
If I owe you a thank-you note, I apologize. My Catholic school upbringing has led me to believe that I can only express my gratitude in one way: legible script.
Computer use and its attendant impatience have led to the near demise of my handwriting. Were you to see my scribbled signature on any given credit card receipt, you might conclude that I have a medical degree rather than a diploma from Holy Cross Grammar School, once a nerve center of the Palmer Method of penmanship.
Should today's kids learn cursive as I did? Is it essential for developing hand-eye coordination, knowing how to read the past and express one's creativity? Or is script obsolete, like vinyl records and paying for content?
After noting the absence of cursive writing instruction in the Common Core State Standards, Brian Lehrer, a talk show host on public radio in New York City, took up the matter. You can listen to his conversation with teachers here. The listener comments posted beneath the audio link are also interesting.
If cursive hadn't faded in recent decades, the great American novel I wrote 15 years ago might not be sealed on a Zip disk that my MacBook Pro has zero interest in reading.
But if you really want to feel sorry for someone, tour the National Archives. You'll see what record keepers have had to do in the computer age to preserve American history, much of which now resides in a nameless cloud.
What do you think? Should we—can we—keep cursive alive? Let me know, preferably in script.