Friday, October 13, 2006


A few days ago, the Washington Post had an interesting feature about the decline of cursive writing. And Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo asked people for their own experiences and whether they still use cursive.

Here was my reply:

I am 42 years old with my primary education from Singapore and my secondary and collegiate education from the United States.

I learned cursive writing in Singapore and because paper was scarce during the mid-70’s in Singapore, we learned to write very very small.

When I got to America, my first “shock” was learning that cursive wasn’t called cursive here, at least not colloquially. Everyone around me called it “handwriting” and how that distinguished cursive from block, I have no idea since both are written by hand. I gave up trying to understand Americans and just went with the flow.

In college, I still used cursive for nearly everything but as I entered the workforce and had people complain about the size of my “handwriting”, I developed an almost comic book type of printing, using all caps but making the first letter of every word slightly larger (just in case my printing was so small people couldn’t tell the spaces).

I do not use small letters in my printing because I see my printing as looking childish. I never spent much time practing printing as a child and it shows.

To sum up, I use cursive writing when I write in my journal, or when I’m writing notes for myself and know that no one else needs to “decipher” it. (Honestly, sometimes when writing fast, I have a hard time deciphering my own). When I write and there’s a chance others need to read it, I print all caps.



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