Penmanship is becoming a lost art.
In our age of keyboards and smartphones, fewer and fewer of us use that distinctive cursive script, and schools are even letting go of teaching running writing. Will cursive die out, and will computers pick up the slack?
Linguist Daniel Midgley sticks to the script on this episode of Talk the Talk.
Listen to this episode
Promo with James Hall
“LAST YEAR SALES of fountain pens in Britain rose by 70%, and sales of quality writing paper at the John Lewis department store in London rose by 79%.”
XKCD: The simple answers to the questions that get asked about every new technology
These are Americans’ favorite insults, by political affiliation
One of my favourite political quotes, by Adlai Stevenson
‘When asked if she could read a letter in court, witness Rachel Jeantel, her head bowed, murmured with embarrassment, “I don’t read cursive,” according to court testimony.’
Teachers lament faltering pens
“No longer swearing by cursive writing” in the USA
Some people hate that cursive is going out of style.
“Killing Cursive is Killing History”
Others say it’s not such a big deal.
Cursive, Print, or Type? The Point is To Keep Writing
And some say it’s an absurd way to teach.
“Curse of cursive handwriting”
A debate in the NYT: “Handwriting Matters; Cursive Doesn’t”
A study from 1930: The Comparative Legibility and Speed of Manuscript and Cursive Handwriting (paywall)
Is cursive faster or better? “The handwriting of students who used a mixed style was faster than the handwriting of the students who used either manuscript or cursive exclusively. In addition, papers written with mixed-mostly cursive letters generally received higher ratings for legibility than papers written with the other 3 styles did. There were no differences between manuscript and cursive in terms of legibility or speed.”
How many kinds of cursive are there? In Australia, quite a number.
Learning cursive in the first grade helps students, Quebec study finds
Tennessee is still at it
Here’s a look at lower-case letters throughout history
Our cursive is mostly based on Italic script
It was invented by Niccolò de’ Niccoli, the Italian humanist.
What we think of as old-fashioned cursive is sometimes called ‘copperplate script’.
How to tell when a robot has written you a letter
Remember the Apple Newton?
As lampooned by the Simpsons
Mashable: Here’s How Obama’s Autopen Works
Here’s the Autopen, but also the pantograph.
Prosecutors Hope New Study of Handwriting Analysis Will Silence Skeptics
“Professional document examiners from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were significantly better in performing writer identification than college-educated nonexperts”
There’s now handwriting OCR.
How does forensic handwriting identification work?
The Rise of the ‘Lumbersexual’
Retrosexual? And a whole bunch of other sexual words.
‘Bad Sects’ by Cursive
from the album Happy Hollow
‘Broken Household Appliance National Forest’ by Grandaddy
from the album The Sophtware Slump