Alex Blaze

Cursive schmursive

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 22, 2008 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: France

I'm working on cover letters now to various jobs. In France, they have to be handwritten in cursive.

I don't write anything by hand anymore that isn't just for me, and it's never, never, never in cursive. It's useless and ugly. Typing's the future present.

Sheesh. (I should mention that I'm still bitter that I had to miss activity and snack time in third grade to be pulled aside for remedial penmanship education.)

The worst part? They want it handwritten because a lot of these places (definitely not all) use handwriting analysis to judge job candidates. Yeah. Seriously. Why not ask my birthdate and hire me based on where Mercury was when I was born? It'd save me some time.

Because the only thing a handwriting analyst will see here is that I forgot most of the capital letters and that it's taking me 50 minutes a letter, just to recopy (after I translate, which is another boatload of time).

School's are phasing out cursive education because it's useless. The biggest lie I was ever told was that I'd have to always write in cursive after the third grade. Well, I don't. And I write a lot.

I do need to respond to that old Washington Post article:

Many educators shrug. Stacked up against teaching technology, foreign languages and the material on standardized tests, penmanship instruction seems a relic, teachers across the region say. But academics who specialize in writing acquisition argue that it's important cognitively, pointing to research that shows children without proficient handwriting skills produce simpler, shorter compositions, from the earliest grades.

Without even knowing what studies are being discussed (because the article doesn't mention them), I wonder how much of that correlation is caused simply because handwriting skills and writing skills stem both from another ability? There isn't enough there to prove causation.

Personally, though, I'd rather think that the link is that kids who write cursive poorly are discouraged from writing because it's harder to write, harder to read, slower, and completely pointless if someone already knows how to print neatly.

Besides, I was the worst kid in my third grade class when it came to penmanship, and I don't think I have trouble turning out long compositions with complex sentences now.


Recent Entries Filed under Living:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Don't folks cheat?

Handwriting Services: Get Cursive Writing, Calligraphy, Personalized Mailing
IT Outsourcing Services: An Ideal outsourcing partner for Handwriting Services
One should have the right attitude, the right introduction and the right message to develop valuable relationships. In today's digital dynamic world, with quite a bit of technology available readily, IT Outsourcing Services gives you the personalized touch by helping you ensure that communication remains more personal through handwritten cards and letters.

In a business it is your obligation to ensure that your clients don’t have the chance to forget you. Having achieved significant domain experience by successfully completing projects for retailers, manufacturers and service providers across diverse industries, IT Outsourcing Services guarantees you are foremost in the client’s mind.

We have a talented team of calligraphers and handwriting experts to personalize your cards with your name, choice of verse or your own custom verse or ink color, and return address.

Calligraphy
Cursive style writing
Handwriting Birthday cards, Invitations etc with personalized notes
Handwritten contents and addresses for mails

http://www.itoutsourcingservices.com/handwriting_services.htm

http://www.pendance.us/handwritinghelp.html

Don't folks cheat?

Handwriting Services: Get Cursive Writing, Calligraphy, Personalized Mailing
IT Outsourcing Services: An Ideal outsourcing partner for Handwriting Services
One should have the right attitude, the right introduction and the right message to develop valuable relationships. In today's digital dynamic world, with quite a bit of technology available readily, IT Outsourcing Services gives you the personalized touch by helping you ensure that communication remains more personal through handwritten cards and letters.

In a business it is your obligation to ensure that your clients don’t have the chance to forget you. Having achieved significant domain experience by successfully completing projects for retailers, manufacturers and service providers across diverse industries, IT Outsourcing Services guarantees you are foremost in the client’s mind.

We have a talented team of calligraphers and handwriting experts to personalize your cards with your name, choice of verse or your own custom verse or ink color, and return address.

Calligraphy
Cursive style writing
Handwriting Birthday cards, Invitations etc with personalized notes
Handwritten contents and addresses for mails

http://www.itoutsourcingservices.com/handwriting_services.htm

http://www.pendance.us/handwritinghelp.html

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 22, 2008 9:53 PM

Kathy, I think they likely have Alex fill out the apps in an office location so that he must write his own. This is something I can directly relate to Alex. (even though I never got snacks in grade school) Yes, I had and have crummy handwriting because I come from many generations of illiterates who used their hands for important things like farming or factory work.

And yes it is time consuming, and your fingers will ache and your wrists may cramp up, but there is value in it. Something that separates you from much of the rest of the world is your signature and it is hard to imagine how we could develop one without having "the parker method" of penmanship behind us first.

And yes it is unfair that it comes so very easily to some, but so difficult to me and you. And I remember writing my early essays and getting a lower grade for "penmanship" and that too can effect the length of what you are willing to write. When my third grade teacher, Mrs. Ferrier, caught me writing when she thought I was not being observed she rightly corrected me. I was holding the pen so tight, out of frustration,that my fingers could not move freely to form loops.

I always start out with reasonably good cursive handwriting, but it quickly gets bad and by Jr High I was allowed to block print. I have a prejudice against those who can write beautifully. They have nothing important to say. Just read your doctor's prescription *if you want to see BAD handwriting* and get his advice!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 22, 2008 9:58 PM

PS and you are in France where I doubt they are phasing out cursive writing. Vive le difference!

"Something that separates you from much of the rest of the world is your signature and it is hard to imagine how we could develop one without having "the parker method" of penmanship behind us first."

Robert, actually you are referring to the "Palmer method".

I'd be in big trouble in France, My handwriting is an illegible blend of block printing and some cursive, with random blobs of ink left behind, best printed by inking the claws of parrots.I have even been known to cross I's and dot T's I've been typing and word processing since high school, and avoid inflicting my penmanship on other humans whenever possible. I actually got D's in penmanship in grade school, while my other grades were B's, normally, and never missed a spelling word. And read my signature? Fuggeddabouddit! In fact, I can write more legibly with an airbrush than I can with a pen.

Most people think I have beautiful handwriting. Most say I "write like a girl." It drives Jerame nuts that I use cursive on letters or packages instead of printing. ("The post office must hate you!" he'll say.)

I think cursive IS important. It teaches patience, mastery of a not-so-hard skill, engages the brain to think just a bit differently when learning to read it, and is, generally, a more fun topic than, say, math or history. And it simply looks more professional when doing anything more than filling out a form.

Gregory Burley Brown | July 23, 2008 11:02 AM

I agree with Bil: cursive is important for the reasons he notes. My own handwriting is a bit of an Elizabethan scrawl, more challenging to decipher when I use one of my broad-nibbed fountain pens. I never learned Palmer method and proper keyboarding is not part of my toolkit.

For me, actually WRITING a note or letter involves selecting a distinctive and appealing paper or card, taking the time to decide what I want to say, and executing the output with all the wrong hand positions and body postures, and the peculiarities of elision and abbreviation that have grown over the years. The results might require some effort at the receiving end but face to face talk with me does, too. It's part of my charm to be cryptic.

A recently retired friend who taught 3rd graders told me he argued for years about his school's intention to drop cursive AND block printing entirely, in favor of from-the-cradle keyboarding. We agree that hand-to-paper writing is often inefficient but an important part of self expression.

I do hope, Bil, that your "like a girl" penmanship doesn't include little hearts and smileys when you dot your I's....

You know, Bil, I think you need to eat a Snickers and join the Man Race.