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Cursive writing and printing. A survival need?

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posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 01:58 PM
When the SHTF computers may become an EXTREMELY difficult commodity to come by. How to communicate when you are without a comp and spell check? My kids have NO cursive skills and their printing looks like it preschool scribblings. Everything done on the computer.

If you need to communicate to another via print, how will that be accomplished if the reader can't understand what is being written? Printing at the very least should be a tool one must possess.

Short topic but an important one imo. That said, I am an English major.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:09 PM
reply to post by intrepid

When my son was "over using" spell check, I got him a typewriter and a dictionary.

That said, I agree about penmenship.

A lost, if not dying, art.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:12 PM
An excellent topic.

There's good reason behind the idea that writing is what makes a civilization. Without the means to communicate at a distance, through written messages, we are left to the mercy of chance and nature is never as kind as we would like to believe it is.

Imagine a Sit-X where the power grid fails. No computers, no telephones, no television, no communications whatever based on the use of electricity.

What's left?

Runners carrying written messages to other groups for whatever crisis requires attention.

Losing the ability to distribute detailed information in script form means a dependency on memory, which is faulty at best.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:32 PM
It finally happened.

Somebody finally realized what I've been telling people for years.

There was a time years ago when a hand written letter was special.

Another skill is bookkeeping the old fashioned way without a computer or adding machine.

I take pride in my penmanship and am very good at bookkeeping with paper and pen.

Before computers we used our brains. We also knew how to make change without a machine telling us how much change to give back.

Don't get me wrong,I really enjoy my computer, Wii and other electronic toys but the new generation has been dumbed down because they do not have to use their brains as calculators.

Monkeys can be taught to push keys and buttons. It's no special gift.

But to use your brain is becoming a rarity.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:53 PM
reply to post by intrepid

Congratulations re: initiating this thread and discussion

It's very important subject, imo

It seems such a short time ago that I used to write longhand quite frequently and took considerable care with my penmanship

Then I began using a computer

The other day, I tried to write a simple note in a greeting card.

It's no exaggeration to say that I found it extremely difficult. I'd lost the ability, the rhythm. So much so that I had to tear up the card, my writing was so bad. I pulled out another card and the same thing. Finally, I had to 'practice' writing on a notepad before trying again

Rather than write the cheery note I'd intended to send, I was forced by the difficulty in writing, to say: 'Will write again soon .. as soon as I get a new cable for my printer '. And I made an excuse about my arthritis preventing me from writing more

While it's true that I've developed arthritis in my hand, I think it's more true to say that sheer lack of practice has rendered my hand-writing almost illegible. The only things I've written since May 2009 are a couple of scribbled shopping lists and a Mother's Day card

Your thread has motivated me to begin writing by hand again, in order to stay in practice. Thank you

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:55 PM
I don't use cursive or script, but I do print. It's legible, I tend to write quickly. I try to use it often. I always write thank you notes and birthday cards by hand instead of making them on the computer or sending e-cards.

But then again, I'm still in school. I write often. I just wish I had my mom's handwriting, it's beautiful. My script is awful.


posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:58 PM
Excellent topic. Starred and flagged.

I have always been a bit of a writing geek so to speak, i've just always enjoyed the art of writing. I even have a bit of a fascination with fountain pens, of which i have more than is probably needed.

This all stems from being taught to write well at school. I loved it, and of course it was all we had back then, no computers as such. I even learnt calligraphy which made a massive difference to my everyday handwriting.

All this i pass on to my kids.

Recently i attended a parents workshop at our local primary school, it was for parents who wanted to help their kids more with their school work. I was amazed at the lack of discussion on handwriting.

The headteacher said that it was becoming redundant as in a few years it would be all touch screens and keyboards, in fact you would be hard pushed to find a pen and paper in the future.

That horrified me, and Intrepid's point here is exactly what i brought up. I said, "Well what happens when the computers break, or theres a power cut and the kids can't write?"

I don't think i got a decent answer, just a few remarks about the kids maybe having to resort to other techy gadgets instead.

Anyway, i try to write as much as i can, whether thats a "real" letter to friends or just writing things down in books instead of typing them up all the time.

For any adults that either do not like writing, or think their handwriting is beyond repair, you could do a lot worse than to go back to basics and start again. Pick yourself up one of the books that kids learn by, or visit the many sites on the net that will help you.

In a different look at survival, for example the economy, handwriting could mean the difference between getting that job that feeds you and your family, and mabye not. A well typed CV is great, but when you start writing in front of clients or your boss in a 3 year olds writing, it may not look too good.

However back to the main point of Intrepid's thread, in a survival situation, writing skills could mean a lot if it meant taking or sending an important message than ensured your safety.

Also, i like to think that if worst came to the worst and we faced a rebuild of civilization after a complete world collapse, there would be at least someone who could document the history of the rise of the human race once again. Thats most likely going to be have to be a written record for a while.

I think it is very important, so thanks again for the thread.


posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:10 PM
I can communicate fine in print. If there's ever a crisis that makes it impossible to get to a computer, print will do the job fine. Cursive is just a waste of time.

And don't even start with these silly claims that typing on a computer is hurting writing. I write fine, I bet I can write in a way that's more "grammatical" than many of you -- on paper, or on a computer. But it hurts my hand and wastes my time to write anything of significant length on paper, not even to mention how much more difficult (impossible) significant editing is with pen and paper -- you have to write the whole damn thing over again! Spellcheck corrects my spelling, and sometimes even my grammar, but once it corrects my spelling once I remember how to spell it again. It's silly.

Bottom line is that my handwriting is awful and my cursive is nearly nonexistent, and I don't care. My print is legible, and gets the job done.

And mikerussellus, it might do you well to think about the real motivation for your adversity to using spellcheck or computer writing systems. You're probably hurting your son's writing by making editing so difficult and time consuming. I often break paragraphs up or reword them entirely partway through an essay, and if I had to write one draft after another rather than dynamically editing, it would take forever and the end quality would be far lower.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:13 PM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

Good point you've raised about your mother

My mother is in her 80s and still writes in the beautiful copper-plate style she's used all her life, to the point that others have remarked, 'Gee, your mother writes beautifully'.

She does. Don't know how she does it at her age. She's worked hard all her life and her hands are twice the size they used to be .. witness to all the work they've done.

There's a beautiful balance to her writing .. it's like reading music or looking at art. It's visually beautiful

When my father died last year, I received two or three long letters plus cards from his cousin, who is close to 90. Again, the writing was beautiful to see, yet she's in very poor health

Another thing I've noticed in the writing of the women above, is that they are able to reduce the size of their writing without it becoming at all distorted. For example, if the writers feel the need to squeeze in an extra paragraph in the final few inches of page remaining, the writing is much smaller, yet loses nothing .. same slant and flow, perfectly legible, soaring capitals, each letter a little work of art. Neither woman has ever used a computer

As to basic math .. when I was a small child, shop-keepers were behind the counter. There were very few supermarkets. All the 'reckoning' was done by the shop-assisant on a pad on the counter.

My mother could 'tally up' the total from her side of the counter .. which is to say, she was able to add-up the total amount owed by calculating upside down, based on the numbers written on the shop-keeper's notepad. And she could do it faster than the shop-keeper.

Naturally, she received compliments on her ability and no doubt this became a small pride on her part, which in turn motivated her to do better each time. Thus she kept her mind well exercised.

Unfortunately, I didn't keep my wits about me in the same way as my mother. I've become so numbed by the supermarket ritual that I accept the total they charge me and I've noticed (glad I finally noticed) that I've grown into the habit of simply accepting the change they drop in my hand without bothering to count it or check the receipt.

My daughter has stayed alert. Years ago, I used to tell her about Grandma's alertness and basic math ability and I encouraged my daughter to calculate the amount and to check her change and receipts.
She always does.

I should have remembered to give myself the same advice. After this thread, I hope I do begin doing so, because I realise now just how slack I've become.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:17 PM
The thing I like about writing is that it is easily recognizable.

If I knew the style the message was written with, I would know immediately that it came from a source I could trust simply because the word choices and the script itself would be familiar to me.

I wouldn't trust a sheet of printed text as quickly. Sure, there's always great forgeries, but also a million ways to trip up on it.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:18 PM
reply to post by CX

Great post !

You (and the OP) have touched on so many things I was thinking about only the other day as result of something I read in another thread here

It started me thinking about what a mess there'd be if the power simply winked out (as there's every possibility of it doing at any time in the future, for a number of reasons)

That's why I was so delighted to see this thread ... for many, it will raise undreamed of situations, and thus is something everyone needs to consider

Yours, as always, is a great post

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:23 PM
reply to post by masqua

Wow ! ANOTHER very relevant point

This thread is raising so many things that we know, yet have managed to forget

Of course ! Unique writing styles ! It's what makes us smile when we see a particular envelope within the stack of printed material in the letter-box.

Unique writing styles are as recognisable to us as faces, voices. Very valuable

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:31 PM
Very odd that you would start this thread.Just the other day I read that the school system I attended was eliminating cursive writing in favor of keyboarding at the school.

Educators scale down penning for keyboarding.

Eventually these children won't even be able to sign their own personal signature.


posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:43 PM
reply to post by St Vaast

Thank you.

Intrepid's thread brings up such an important, yet almost forgotten skill that i fear kids will lose altogether in the very near future.

This should go hand in hand with reading. There are kids now starting highschool who cannot read properly, and that is a shame.

If the SHTF you might need to read instructions for community rebuilding, navigation instructions, recipes, communication messages, intelligence reports, the list is endless.

If a builder gives you written instructions and plans to build a house, and you can't read them.....looks like you're back in that tarp shelter for a while longer eh?

If we cannot read, like writing, it could mean the difference between you thriving or surviving.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 04:04 PM

Originally posted by calcoastseeker
Very odd that you would start this thread.Just the other day I read that the school system I attended was eliminating cursive writing in favor of keyboarding at the school.

Educators scale down penning for keyboarding.

Eventually these children won't even be able to sign their own personal signature.

That is sad.

As this is ATS and all that, it does make you wonder whether it's being done as a natural progession in the modern world of technology, or something to do with the attempted dumbing down of society?

Kids get taught to use only elctronic gadgets and talk in "techy speak".....writing gets phased out from the beginning at school all the kids know is how to use a computer. What do computers run on?

Then ask yourself who controls the power to run the computers, the only way people will know how to communicate? It's like putting your entire ability to communicate in the hands of the PTB if you do not keep yourself skilled in reading and writing.

Power to the pen!


posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 04:07 PM
Electronic-media hit us so quick we havent had time to think about all the implications.

One of them is that something feels a bit off about spending too much time in a 2-dimensional-screen-world as opposed to te 3-D world of writing, reading, painting.

Should anyone ever pull the electricity plug, whats left is a bunch of inept people not knowing how to live without it.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 04:10 PM
It seems suitable to respond to this thread in the following fashion...

My husband can't read my cursive, and many people have told me I write too small. If I actually intend for someone else to read something I write, I can print neatly and much larger.

This thread reminds me though, as a kid I remember finding some handwritten documents from the early 1900's in an old, condemned house and it was so beautiful I almost thought it was another language, it was hardly legible to me. I tried to learn to write like that, but my hand just wasn't graceful enough I think.

Since I plan to homeschool my kids, I'll definitely make sure they master penmanship.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 04:14 PM

Originally posted by calcoastseeker
Very odd that you would start this thread.

I was going to say that. The other day, I had to write something in cursive (more than a grocery list) for the first time in a LONG time! I hadn't even realized how long it had been until my hand started cramping. LOL

I think it's very sad that writing skills and grammar have nearly gone by the wayside. I have always been told I have pretty handwriting. I love how the personality comes across in a written communication.

I won't have any trouble communicating when the SHTF.
Although I may have a hand cramp.

emachine, I thought about doing that, too!

[edit on 29-8-2009 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 04:32 PM
Its funny you talking about this......I seen this article earlier today and then I seen this thread.


BROWNSBURG, Ind., Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Officials in an Indiana school district said cursive writing lessons will be scaled down this year in favor of computer keyboarding.

The Brownsburg school district sent a letter to parents this week informing them third-graders will spend less time working on cursive writing than in previous years to make more time for teaching typing skills, the Indianapolis Star reported Friday.

"It is clear to us that cursive is becoming more obsolete," said Donna Petraits, the district's director of communications. "We are hearing equal amounts of praise and criticism on this decision, which we fully expected."

Officials said students will still be given instruction on reading and writing in cursive, but they will no longer practice the repetitive drills previously used by teachers in the district.

"Cursive is almost like an art form, so we encourage parents to work on it at home with their child if they feel they need more than we will offer at school," Petraits said.

[edit on 29-8-2009 by TrainDispatcher]

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 04:39 PM
I still handwrite most of my essays, letters, etc. Before I type them up. I find that when I try to type up an essay on a computer I get easily distracted but that's just me. :/

That being said I'm sad to hear that society is caring less about being able to handwrite things. All I know is that if I have kids and schools no longer teach handwriting I'll teach them myself.

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