#43. The Great Cursive Myth

As a Kindergartener, you were taught how to write the ABC’s. Eventually, you were able to outgrow writing with jumbo pencils clenched in your fist and progress past the handwriting worksheets with the giant lines.

Then in just three short years, you were introduced to cursive: the longest running K-6 conspiracy to date (since mid 1900’s).

They said you’d have to use it the rest of your life.

They said that you wouldn’t be a functioning adult if you didn’t know how to write in cursive.

So, they would never accept homework not done in cursive. An essay done in pen and in print? Blasphemy!

The truth? (which you realized on your first day in junior high, when none of the teachers mentioned the word “cursive”):

Cursive is such a silly alternative handwriting style. The capital “O’s” looked like curly pig tails, and “Z’s”… well, they didn’t look anything like “Z’s” at all.

After giving it some thought I came up with the times when cursive might actually be necessary:

  • If you’re proposing to your girl friend by letter like my shy, nerdy uncle did in the ’70s.
  • Writing an Etch-A-Sketch message.

  • Similarly, peeing out your 52 second stream of consciousness into the sand after gulping a 40oz at James’ annual beach bonfire.

Does anyone even write anymore? I mean I guess you can say that I’m writing something right now, but I’m not actually writing. I think the only time that I actually physically write these days is when I’m either jotting down notes, creating a To-Do list, or when I write my rent check on first of the month. Consequently, my handwriting is still crap. Let’s just say that my landlord probably thinks he has the world’s richest 3rd grader as a tenant, by sending in checks every month in my chicken scratch.

 

During my first internship at a local financial services firm, one of my jobs was to hand write addresses on outgoing letters to clients. After about a day, the boss’s wife caught a glimpse of the final product and threw a hissy fit. Fast forward eight hours and I find myself  in the boss’s office, sitting directly across the boss and his enraged Mrs., taking an impromptu handwriting test to prove my worth. Despite the intense focus brought on by the pressures of her death stares, in all honesty, my handwriting still looked exactly the same. Lucky for me the boss was a cool guy and let it all slide. But I think she still hates me.

Thank God we type resumes rather than handwriting them using a blank sheet of paper and a ruler… or else I’d probably only get hired by Arby’s.

I miss typewriters.

Writing on them made you feel like you were bustin a cap on a piece of paper with a Tommy Gun like Dick Tracy, especially if you were on a roll or had a series of three-finger rapid-fire combo words like “w-e-r-e”, “t-h-a-t” or “t-h-e-r-e”.

We need to bring sound effects back to typing.

POW! KA-POW! BIFF!

(A list of all Batman fighting graphics indexed by episode!)

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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