The Lost Art of Cursive Handwriting

19 January 2019

We could even title this post “The Lost Art of Cursive Handwriting On Me.”

Without any facts or data to guide me, I wonder if cursive handwriting is becoming a lost art. All I have to go by is my personal experience and asking friends who have children if schools still teach it. It is my understanding that schools do teach it.

However, for this post, I will draw from my own experience and refrain from painting the subject with broad strokes of bias and unsupported hyperbole.

When I was in grade school, we are taught how to print and how to write in cursive. Neither style of handwriting did I excel at, but one was always able to decipher what I was writing; it was legible enough.

But once I moved along grade after grade until I graduated none of my teachers, not a single one of them, required the use of cursive handwriting when doing assignments to turn in. So I opted for the path of least resistance, the more comfortable option for me was to print my work, and that’s what I did.

By the time high school came along for me, the personal computer was beginning to become ubiquitous in schools and this respect; mine was no different. Strangely enough, we were never taught to type on a typewriter, and I only had one day of instruction on how to type at all, and it was on a Tandy computer. Typewriters were still a useful item in the 1990s and only then as the PC took over did they begin to fade away. But as the PC took over the schools my handwriting waned even more once we could type up our work and turn it in on a computer printed sheet of paper.

Once I was on active duty in the US Marines writing anything at all was nearly non-existent. The most I can ever recall writing was just some notes now and then in a small notebook. Even then it was infrequent. Anything I needed could be done on the computer.

So here I am some 30 years after grade school, getting interested in the art of handwriting with fountain pens. To me, the art of cursive writing is a lost one. But it doesn’t have to be lost on me forever. I have been working on learning it again today and spent most of this morning writing in an old notebook to get the hang of it still.

I need lots of practice, but it’s coming back, and only a few letters, like “r” and “z,” are giving me the most trouble. With practice though I know, I’ll get it and that I’ll get better.

Writing cursive with a fountain pen is quite enjoyable for me so far. I’m not worrying about how terrible it looks right now, but concentrating on the experience of it and getting better at it.

How about you? Do you still engage in the art of cursive handwriting?

Download the pdf version with pictures here.