Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oh cursive

Do you know what I just learned? That some states will no longer be requiring students to learn cursive. My life insurance guy told me this.

I know that the keyboard is not going to go away and even I type more than I write by hand, but it still oddly makes my heart hurt a little. It's not just that there could be an apocalypse and all electricity might disappear and that people's hands will cramp from the time-consuming activity of writing only in block letters, there is the fact that no matter what people will write less by hand if they do not know a fast way to write by hand. And then there is the removal of beauty.

It's also so odd to me considering that cursive, script fonts, calligraphy, have had an increasing popularity. And not just that uber-smooth perfect calligraphy, I mean fonts that imitate plain ol' cursive handwriting—the roughness, the personality, the swoopiness. Real-life calligraphers (and not just font-designers) are making a comeback, as are all artisans.

I don't think that script/cursive/calligraphy is ever going to die. It will become an art form like jewelry-making and draftsmanship and embroidery, and who knows, perhaps it's okay for cursive to remain in the hands of the devoted. Steve Jobs took a calligraphy class and changed the world with accessibility to amazing fonts. Genius.

But... if cursive really does stop getting taught... I'll mourn a little. I just remembered that in 4th grade I won a little silver pen for best penmanship.

Top images by Betsy Dunlap
Next images by Laura Hooper

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