Cursive is cursed

Tyson Edwards, Opinion Editor

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Read the writing on the wall: cursive is a relic of the past. Its absence from most elementary schools today should be a clear representation of that fact. Never once have I needed cursive to get through school or function in daily life outside of the classroom. So why do some language purists insist on keeping it alive?

The original concept of cursive is perplexing to me. It was either used to write more efficiently or serve as a decoration. The idea of being able to write without picking up your pencil seems not only like an extreme case for laziness, but also makes no sense to be taught in conjunction with normal writing. Teach one or the other. On the other hand, cursive seems like an ornate way of spicing up written notes of the past. Just imagine our founding fathers sitting around a table, trying to decide who would pen our Declaration of Independence and asking themselves “who has the prettiest handwriting?” But did no one stop to think that what’s being written in cursive would benefit from being written in print? Most of my friends can’t even read cursive, and I have a hard time reading cursive myself, which would be a bigger issue if cursive was even used anymore.

In a world with word processing software and the ability to print off documents, cursive never seems to be involved. We’ve ghosted cursive and cut it off like the toxic friend it is. I can only think of two instances where cursive is needed in life: to write a check and to sign your name. However, I don’t think those two small aspects of adult life require chunks of time being taken out of your education to learn the entire cursive alphabet.

First off, the only people I can think of who write checks are adults. However, I don’t think we’re living in 1995 anymore. The rise in online banking and the ability to make transactions on your phone have made transferring money to another person a lot easier than having to sit down, get a pen and write out a check. Not to mention a check isn’t going to account for all the cryptocurrency I own. How do I write out how much bitcoin I have? Checks are only really used today for major purchases and loans, like a house or a car. You know, the purchases you make a couple of times within your lifespan. And as it turns out, cursive isn’t necessary for a check to be written, it’s only highly recommended.

Secondly, people don’t really use cursive to sign their name like they’re supposed to. If I had a bitcoin for every time I’ve seen a signature scribbled out, I would be rich. Not to mention a signature is meant to be hard to recreate. If everyone learned cursive the same way, suddenly faking signatures would theoretically become a lot easier.

This is all a symptom of a new digital age. Notice how older age groups are the ones more familiar with cursive while younger generations aren’t. We’re learning how to be proficient in other skills such as typing and digital communication. But once the older generations disappear, there will legitimately be more people who don’t know cursive than those who do.

I understand why some people would not want cursive to completely disappear. It’s a part of our written language and history, and it can be worrying to think we are moving away from cursive forever. However, it’s also important to keep in mind how times change and antiquated practices must be lost in order to make time to learn new practices more relevant in today’s world. Time that used to be spent learning cursive is now being used to teach kids how to type efficiently or use a computer. Cursive will never completely disappear though, after all, you can always use a cursive font next time you type.