Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Why I Still Use Cursive

By Dennis D. McDonald

Why do I  use cursive? The answer is simple: I like to write. Even though I spend much of my day in front of a screen and keyboard I still like the way the words flow from pen to paper. I’ve developed an eclectic collection of writing instruments including several fountain pens and have grown fond of certain Spanish brands of spiral notebooks whose paper is smooth and easy to write on.

Due to poor typing skills I’ve found I tend think better while writing and have become accustomed to writing things out longhand and then using the speech-to-text software on my smartphone to digitize the words. I’ve also developed “penpals” with whom I exchange handwritten letters.

I just like the way handwriting looks and feels. Hearing about the cutback in teaching cursive in schools saddens me. Yes, I understand how dependent we’ve all become on physical and virtual keyboards and understand that the research saying that people who write things out “do better” is probably sparse.

But I don’t really care. There are certain things I value because they are intrinsically valuable to me personally. I could probably justify my use of handwriting and speech to text software in cost-benefit terms; that’s not the point. I like writing. I often handwrite thank-you notes to business colleagues whom I’ve met for the first time. I am thrilled when I receive a handwritten letter from a friend. The message is simple: “Yes, I could have just sent you an e-mail to follow up but our relationship is important enough that I wanted to take the time to physically write out my acknowledgments in a unique and personal way.”

So, that’s why I use cursive. Does it mean I think we should all be handwriting letters of invitations and documents and thank you notes day in and day out? Of course not. But by discontinuing the teaching of cursive we’re cutting off future generations from the types of enjoyment and even joy that I experience through writing.

I hate to see that happen even if “cost-benefit” calculations show I’m wrong!

Copyright (c) 2013 by Dennis D. McDonald. To find more reviews like this scroll down. To find out more about my consulting services go here.

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