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Author Topic: cursive writing and texting - is writing changing forever?  (Read 3724 times)
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« on: October 13, 2011, 03:19:16 PM »

Throughout many schools in New Jersey, Cursive writing is NOT TAUGHT any more. Typing skills are taught very young and texting abbreviations are chopping words and even entire sentences into 3 or 4 letter short-cuts. Are we losing the ability to communicate using English (and I'm sure every language) by the use of technological devices?

The Cursive part, I have a friend who's 13 year old son had no idea how to read a letter in cursive, it literally could have been Latin to him - he just looked at it and tried to pull the letters apart and see what the mystery message might have been - ugh.

Texting has destroyed the ability for many kids to actually spell the correct words if needed. Some may argue "That is what spell checks are for" I don't buy that.

Do you think we are losing basic skills, evolving through technology, neither or both??
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 03:44:11 PM »

i thnk its th futr

 grin
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 03:51:38 PM »

I'm not sure...although there's a lot for kids now to learn that we didn't have to learn.

My kids don't learn cursive so much (a little) but spend way more time in keyboarding.  They don't learn roman numerals, but do have to do a lot more internet information searching.

I think some basic skills are being lost, but then again, we didn't have such a vast ocean of information available at our fingertips, either.

My kids don't know how to read roman numerals.  Not a big loss, but we did have a conversation the other night at dinner time, and they were lost as to what 50 or 100 was in roman.  In all fairness, I couldn't remember either.  But they can google it.  I couldn't back then.
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 05:00:21 PM »

I just taught my 17 year old grandson how to sign his name. I think it's a crying shame. He still can't tell time if the clock has hands.
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 06:01:34 PM »

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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 06:24:30 PM »

will they be able to sign a legal document or maybe they will have no choice in that either?Huh?
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 07:16:27 PM »

I am 37 years old and the only two words I ever write in cursive is my signature. I was taught cursive nearly 30 years ago, but always preferred to print.
Spelling and correct usage, however, is one of my pet peeves. My wife is a teacher, so occasionally I end up in one classroom or another at her school. Last week I was helping her move some things and walked into another classroom to get something. Written on the dry erase board ..."Their is a reason why your here"...I corrected both mistakes.
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 07:20:08 PM »

We don't use it any more.   Cursive is going the way of shaped notes.  Something for historians.   
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2011, 08:20:09 PM »

I use it.
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2011, 08:43:40 PM »

Good post John. I have spent so much time on a pc that I can no longer read my own handwriting when it gets cold much less anyone else. I once had a nice writing and I am a drafter by trade and I COULD letter very neatly. Now I just scratch. Lets talk about spelling. I am now addicted to spell check. Can't do squat without it.


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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2011, 09:36:24 PM »

About cursive, I wonder too if it is still necessary, I rarely use it when writing notes at work which is where I write most of the time. I do agree that I wish I had better typing skills, something elective back in my high school days - but still in the 70's that was there with home-EC in a teen boys mind.

A few years ago while on webcam with Buzzbeejr (14 at the time), I asked him to look something up and he was going a mile a minute at the keyboard while his head was facing away. SADLY, I can type fast, but I'm lost if I don't look at the keyboard. So keyboard skills are a must today.

My wife mentions the Dewey Decimal System is ancient to kids, they may pass it in the library at the end of each row of material and have no clue what it is. Also she questions the need for the "New Math" and why it is necessary, especially when parents can't understand or assist their kids without learning it themselves. I imagine we are in a time of change, much for the better, some we won't know until it is gone.

I wonder... what other changes will occur with technology driving civilization? In a recent post I questioned going back to our youth and starting over with a clean memory, many said they would not go back without their life learned experiences, I guess it would be a groundhog day of sorts. But equally, I wonder, what it is like going ahead.

The exact quote I won't pretend to make (sure someone knows it) but "Technology so advanced that it is incomprehensible to us will appear as magic." I believe that is true, and off subject wonder if all today's technology (or at least some of it) is Reverse Engineered from other worlds - I never turn down a good UFO twist, but look at all that has happened since Roswell.
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2011, 10:24:15 PM »

Technology, heck. I still give hand signals when turning. Ain't mastered that ding-ding thing yet.
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2011, 10:38:14 PM »

Arthur C. Clarke once said "Any technology sufficiently more advanced...will appear to be magic".

Had to find it... I was pretty close Smiley

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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2011, 12:57:47 AM »

Basically you are not ALLOWED to write cursive in real life.  You're not allowed to use it on any document or form.  Mine is so bad no one can read it anyway.  I have not done cursive writing since 4th grade when they stopped grading me on it.  All my school work was typed or it was printed.  They could have saved me a lot of frustration if they hadn't tried to make a uncoordinated young boy try to do something beyond his capabilities.  But if we don't learn to READ it... now that would make thousands of old documents beyond our grasp...

I notice kids today can't read roman numerals either... some can't read an analog clock...
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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2011, 02:38:09 AM »

In my opinion, teaching kids how to write cursive today would be as useful as teaching them how to design circuits with vacuum tubes.  A complete waste of time.  There are way more important things for kids to be learning IMO.

And who gives a crap about roman numerals?Huh?  They should be learning binary and hex math at an early age.

If you need to sign anything, just give them a thumbprint.
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2011, 06:00:58 AM »

>And who gives a crap about roman numerals?

There are an awful lot of documents and books and copyright notices that require that skill, including virtually every outline written, chapter numbers in books, page numbers for the front matter of books, etc etc etc. 

>They should be learning binary and hex math at an early age.

They taught me binary, base four and octal in fourth grade... and that was 1964... and yes they should learn it.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world.  Those who understand binary and those who do not...
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2011, 08:30:05 AM »

Good post John. It must be a difference in school district/state mandates or guidelines because both of my sons have/are learning cursive writing. My oldest is in the 4th grade and all of his work is done in cursive writing. Roman numerals however is a different thing. So, far I have seen anything related to them learning it like I had to-maybe later.

But as far as technology is concerned, my 10 year old is leaps and bounds ahead of me and I dont really consider myself to be computer illiterate. He can do things with a laptop, Ipod, Xbox, etc that just boggles me. Recently, he got himself temporarily banned from Xbox live due to him hooking his laptop up to the Xbox and modding the code in some games he plays. After a come to Jesus meeting with him, he doesnt do that anymore, but secretly I was impressed with what he had done.
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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2011, 08:41:16 AM »

What we're losing isn't just an archaic form or alphabet or roman numerals.

We're losing the ability to actually read paper from the past that may have bearing on what we are or are doing today.

Do we NEED it to survive in todays world?  No.  Do we need the ability so people are educated and can make wise decisions? 

Who cares, American Idol is on.
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« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2011, 09:19:13 AM »

Cursive is a faster method of recording information by hand than is printing.  In the event of no digital/tape recorder, video camera, or whatever...someone using cursive writing will get information on paper while those printing will lag behind.  Note taking in school, for example.  Good cursive writing does require practice. 

Personally, I have printed for years though I was taught cursive writing in school.  I never did have really good penmanship (I probably didn't practice enough!), but it was readable.  The older my hands get, though, the more I start writing like my father did. Smiley

A thought on "texting"...  The original "texters" were CW (morse code) operators. Wink

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« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2011, 09:49:11 AM »

the did some study on search engines making us stupider ( Wink for the language wonks)  i'll see if i can find it.  guess the upshot was that we don't even need to think a question all the way through, we only need to think in key words.  then, we never need to research anything because the computer just spits out the answer.

hey...if you can't read cursive, you can't read founding documents.  never mind the language already being difficult, the writing will make it like Latin to them.

it is probably true that when you are adding so many new thing to study you do have to let some old things go.  i do wonder about some of the new things they are adding.  i took Latin and Greek in HS, but no sensitivity studies.  i don't think that hurt me one bit!!   evil
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« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2011, 11:13:26 AM »

Quote
Some may argue "That is what spell checks are for"


it is unfortunate, but this is the attitude of most of the people i encounter these days also. some may argue that some of these things aren't needed or are outdated, but what will these helpless simpletons do if there is a power outage and can't google the answers ? and why stop there, why continue teaching math ? isn't that what calculators are for ? why study history when they can just look it up online ? heck, why not do without teachers altogether ? since there are already three and four year olds who can use a computer, they didn't learn that at school.
just my little $0.02 rant.

i have to laugh at some of this though. i know a girl who had to take anger management classes ( some kind of post-columbine thing i guess)  for cursing at a teacher. by todays standards they would have kept me locked up like hannibal lector for some of the things i said and did in high school.
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« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2011, 12:40:28 PM »

IMHO, there will never be a better anger management tool than the old 1X6 with the end cut down for a handle. Too bad it was done away with.

MATH?? Kids aren't even taught to count money these days. They just as well do away with the teachers, rather than send them into the classroom with both hands tied behind their backs.
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« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2011, 01:09:51 PM »

OMG you mean people will actually be able to read future doctors signatures?   jaw drop
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« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2011, 01:10:13 PM »

>>They just as well do away with the teachers, rather than send them into the classroom with both hands tied behind their backs.<<

They are doing both, my wife has been a teacher in NC for the last 10 years or so, I never thought I'd have to worry about her losing her job.

http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2011/09/15/recession-era-budget-cuts-eliminated-thousands-of-nc-public-school-jobs/

Sorry if this is hijacking.
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« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2011, 01:41:16 PM »

was getting hay from the feed store.  not my usual source, but that's another story.  i wanted 6 tons and we were doing it by pickup.  since the kids weren't sure there were a whole 6 tons in the barn, we kept a running total of our trips. 

we did:  two  1 1/2 ton  and three  1 ton loads.  + 4 extra bales that were used on top of a couple of loads to tie.  the girl running the cash register was so flustered with the addition, i had to have her write it down and help her add it up.  math is not my thing, but i can add!  the extra 4 bales almost gave her heart failure.
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« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2011, 03:31:32 PM »

Cursive is a faster method of recording information by hand than is printing.  In the event of no digital/tape recorder, video camera, or whatever...someone using cursive writing will get information on paper while those printing will lag behind. 

I wonder if anyone still uses shorthand or if it is still taught?

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« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2011, 03:43:24 PM »

I know plenty of old timers that know Gregg shorthand. 

Don’t think it’s taught anymore.  Probably more useful than cursive at this point.
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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2011, 04:51:48 PM »

From time to time i have to go to a courthouse somewhere and do a deed search.  If I couldn't read cursive i wouldn't be able to do my job.  Most of these deeds go back to when the original courthouse burned down (they've all done that).  Some go even farther than that (1700's).  Most anything older than WW2 is handwritten in cursive.

I was surprised when my oldest kid wasn't taught it in public school.  Though my youngest is learning it in Home School.

Cultures trading up technology isn't new.  As new ideas are adopted older practices are abandon.  There is an occasional hitch to the process though.  Usually when the progress is fast passed.  This computer age is a good example of the quick adaption of newer technologies.
The Dark ages are a good example of what happens when the old technologies are completely forgotten.

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« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2011, 05:26:37 PM »

The best and most expensive Amps are made using vacuum tube, so maybe we should not abandom all the knowledge of vacuum tube circuits as we have the english language.
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« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2011, 10:23:17 PM »

About Gregg Shorthand - I learned it with my wife about 5 years ago when she got a job advancement at work. She manages several staff members, but also has to take notes in meetings and confidentiality does not allow recorded meetings.

I did much better at it than she, which worked out good, came to be she really didn't need it. But I tend to think I did well being versed in Morse Code, it all it either audible to me, doing Gregg flows, it is very audible in your head as you compose it to paper. Like sheet music I suppose although that I never was exposed too.

Shorthand is fun, I worked on learning well beyond my wife, gave me something new to do on the long slow work nights. I use it too - if not I know I'll lose it. Morse code you lose your edge if you don't do it for long periods, I know Gregg would be the same.

I do think Court Steno machines are cool - watched a few Youtube  videos on that - again, you are turning sound into print (or directly to PC in most cases where it is instantly changed to full court records.

I do know where kids see cursive writing though - video games where they solve massive puzzle adventures, like find the match and the lantern, to see the key to open the chest to get the note - almost all those types of games use cursive in their graphics of letter written for the gamer to read. So, some may have to struggle a bit to read what is said, but hey that's how life works.
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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2011, 05:31:35 PM »

My kids are learning cursive writing in schools... The study I remember reading was that our memory isn't as used any more since we can always look things up online rather than needing to hold the information in our heads.
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« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2011, 01:47:25 PM »

They teach cursive writing in my granddaughter's 3rd grade class.
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« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2011, 08:38:43 AM »

Teaching typing and the shortcuts for texting is just another means to the same ends. Cursive was just a way to write faster as you need not raise your pencil from the paper. With today's tech most writing is done on a screen instead of paper so it is natural to once again invent/teach a way to accomplish it in a faster more efficient manner.
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« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2011, 09:13:49 AM »

and now we use Dragon  smiley  we might need to learn how to speak properly again??
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« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2011, 09:20:09 AM »

I'm from the South....didn't speak properly (talk right) to begin with grin

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« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2011, 05:31:03 PM »

I'm from the South....didn't speak properly (talk right) to begin with grin

Scott

Huh?  You sound ok to me...   Wink
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« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2011, 08:12:57 PM »

Sounds fine to me also.   grin
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« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2011, 06:19:53 PM »

and now we use Dragon  smiley  we might need to learn how to speak properly again??

Speaking of which... did you get it and are you pleased???
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« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2011, 10:20:42 PM »

i did get it.  haven't had time to play with it much yet, but the training was kind of fun!  i need to sit down and really learn it and i guess the only way to do it is to do it.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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