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Bye-bye cursive writing?

  1. Jul 6, 2011 #1

    jtbell

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    http://tribstar.com/news/x1435410216/Archaic-Method-Cursive-writing-no-longer-has-to-be-taught [Broken] (Terre Haute Tribune-Star)

    I type faster and more neatly than I can write, so the only things I write now are my signature, shopping lists and other short lists, notes on freehand diagrams, and mathematical stuff (solving a physics or math problem, or just playing around with equations). And stuff on the whiteboard when lecturing. I almost never use PowerPoint for lectures.

    Almost all of my handwriting is "scribble-printing." I use cursive only for my signature, and the "for deposit only" notation when endorsing a check for deposit in my bank account. Sometimes I write a paragraph or two in cursive, just to keep in practice. I have to focus on it when I'm doing it.

    I've gotten good enough with MathType in MS Word that I even use it to write up math that I want to keep "for the record," such as solutions to test or homework problems that I assign. For me, MathType alone is slower than hand-writing the equations, but faster than writing them first and then transcribing to MathType. I suppose I really should be using LaTeX for that, but I've never gotten into LaTeX for entire documents.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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  3. Jul 6, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    Most people have dropped cursive except for signatures, I have. Do we really need two ways of writing, when most writing after you leave school is usually jotting notes?

    No one turns in hand written reports, it's all typed on a computer and printed out.
     
  4. Jul 6, 2011 #3

    dlgoff

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    I'm glad to hear this. I thought I was weird for not being able to write cursive (except my signature). I started printing when I started college back in the '60s and have completely forgotten how to write in cursive. :blushing:
     
  5. Jul 6, 2011 #4
    All through junior high and high school, once cursive was no longer a requirement, I used printing pretty much exclusively where hand written work was necessary. When I got to college, though, I found that I couldn't write fast enough to keep up with some of my profs, so I actually (painfully) switched back to cursive for the first semester. It sped me up a little bit, but once I got proficient in cursive, I found myself naturally switching to a sort of mix between printing and cursive. I've written like that ever since, and while it's not as neat as my printing was, it's improved my writing speed by at least 2 times.

    However, I agree that typing is a more important skill than cursive. Probably 90% of my handwritten text (not including math/calculations, which is a different story) comes from lecture notes, assignments where hand writing is a requirement (like lab reports), and written exams. The rest is just quickly jotting things down or writing an explanation here and there within my math. If I weren't taking classes, the ability to write in cursive would be of very little benefit to me. I'd definitely trade that for another 10-20 wpm of typing speed.

    As the article points out, though, being able to read cursive is still important. For that reason, they probably shouldn't cut out cursive completely, but I think it would be beneficial to cut out a lot of the time spent teaching kids to write in perfect cursive and instead teach them how to type efficiently.
     
  6. Jul 6, 2011 #5

    lisab

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    How much time does it take to teach a kid to write cursive? I really don't remember how hard it was to learn. If it takes a lot of time, it's probably not worth it.
     
  7. Jul 6, 2011 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I keep wondering if typing will soon be obsolete due to voice recognition software.

    I too have virtually lost my cursive skills - or any writing skills beyond the chicken scratching that only I can read. On the up side, if someone ever steals my notes it will do them no good.
     
  8. Jul 6, 2011 #7

    Evo

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    It's a lot of time, chidren have to learn cursive and printing. I could print clearly, but all of the silly little flourishes for cursiive were so time consuming, so I just went with semi-connected printing, which a lot of people went to. And only used cursive when it was a test on writing in cursive.

    Now in meetings, people usually bring their laptops or other devices and just type notes instead of writing and then typing them. Saves a lot of time, you can spell check, do editing, etc... all at once.
     
  9. Jul 6, 2011 #8

    Evo

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    LOL, exactly.
     
  10. Jul 6, 2011 #9
    I was taught cursive in grade 3-4, and was forced to use it until grade 6. As soon as I hit grade 6, I dropped it. I do remember how to write cursive but over the years my hand writing has developed into a form of printing where all the letters are attached, it's fast.
     
  11. Jul 6, 2011 #10

    jtbell

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    Very few students do this in my classes. It's probably because of the math-intensive content. Even if a student can touch-type text rapidly, s/he probably doesn't have software to write equations, or isn't fluent enough in it.
     
  12. Jul 6, 2011 #11

    Evo

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    I'm talking about business meetings where nothing of importance is said.
     
  13. Jul 6, 2011 #12

    dlgoff

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    Interesting idea. Physicsforums.com/Talk/voice_your_post. :cool:
     
  14. Jul 6, 2011 #13

    jtbell

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    If nothing of importance is being said, then they're probably not taking notes. They're just updating their Facebook status or posting to PF or whatever. :biggrin:
     
  15. Jul 6, 2011 #14

    jtbell

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    If it can do LaTex, I'm in. "Second partial of psi with respect to x, plus..."
     
  16. Jul 7, 2011 #15

    dlgoff

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    If you have "Chrome 11 Beta", see if these work.

    http://ofneal.com/speechwolfram/" [Broken]
    http://ofneal.com/speechsearch/" [Broken]

    From http://ofneal.com/2011/04/speech-search-simple-free-speech-recognition-for-searching-google-wolframalpha-and-facebook/" [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  17. Jul 7, 2011 #16

    Drakkith

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    Oh thank god...now I can get back to practicing my print...I keep thinking a chicken had a seizure on my notepad at work...
     
  18. Jul 7, 2011 #17

    BobG

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    Not just voice recognition software, but the ability to search for spoken words/word combination and to cross reference to other spoken word sequences, etc and do it as fast, or faster, than computers handle numbers/words now. In other words, the ability to create an organized database of spoken words so no "written" records have to be kept at all.

    That would be an interesting development if technology made written language, itself, obsolete, seeing as how written language was the key to so much of our technological development.
     
  19. Jul 7, 2011 #18

    rhody

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    Don,

    This is one instance when I must respectfully disagree with you. An https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2960338&postcount=27" from a post in my Brain Plasticity thread:
    Abandoning cursive training may have more detrimental effects than simple convenience, it may affect your ability to read and comprehend material. Not to mention the ability to concentrate, comprehend and recall with accuracy lengthy complex material. I don't see the trend changing. I admit, unless I have no other choice, I will type at a computer versus write a letter with pen and paper in cursive, which would be good for my brain. My daughter had to write letters to her boyfriend who is in the military in print or cursive for awhile. Now that he is active duty they communicate by text message and e-mail.

    Rhody...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  20. Jul 7, 2011 #19

    Chi Meson

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    In any given school year, I will have one or two students write in cursive, while most have turned to printing, "semi-joined," or chicken scratch. Next to chicken scratch, cursive is THE MOST DIFFICULT TO READ!

    Cursive is dying. Let's kill it off!
     
  21. Jul 7, 2011 #20

    dlgoff

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    You have just described me. In my case, I went for several years with a undetected hearing problem from before the first grade to about the forth grade. By the time it was corrected, it was too late. Now my biggest problem is spelling since I heard things differently and phonics made no sense.
     
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