Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cursive Writing--Welcome Back

by Fran McNabb

When some of us were in elementary school, we knew we were getting “big” when we went from printing our letters on hyphenated lined paper to learning to write and read cursive. Sadly today we have an entire generation of students who didn’t have the opportunity to learn cursive because school systems across the nation eliminated the subject. Now some states have reintroduced cursive into the curriculum. Fantastic!

When my generation was in elementary school, the classrooms had borders lining the tops of the
chalk boards showing perfectly written lower case and capital letters that students used as guides. Students studied these charts as they learned to the write the letters. If I happen to see one of these charts today, a wave of nostalgia hits me, and I swear I can smell the scent of chalk.

Cursive is such a beautiful way to communicate. Yes, it’s slower than using a computer or sending a text but faster than print when students are taking notes. Using cursive in communications is so much more personal than a typed message and much more beautiful than print.

From the early Medieval Period in Europe when monks were tasked with copying books, the discipline of cursive writing became almost an art form, and by the 1700’s elegant handwriting became a status symbol. In the early years of the United States, official documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were copied by professional penmen. How sad it is to think that we have educated young people in our United States who cannot read original copies of these documents.

Even though this is no longer January, I want to mention that the United States has a holiday to celebrate cursive writing, appropriately on January 23, the birthday of John Hancock. His signature on the Declaration of Independence is one of the most memorable of all signatures making his name synonymous with a person's signature.

By 2016 fourteen states had reintroduced cursive writing into their school curriculums. Let's hope other states will take their lead and do the same. By doing so my youngest grandson and all of those children in his generation might have the opportunity to learn such a lovely form of communicating.
FRAN MCNABB lives along the Gulf Coast on a quiet bayou harbor with her husband. She loves boating, fishing, reading and, of course, writing. She writes light romances and presently has eight books available with Montlake Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and indie publishing. Visit her at www.FranMcNabb.com or at mcnabbf@bellsouth.net



  1. Nice post, Fran. Cursive writing can be beautiful, but even when it doesn't look so great, it's a very satisfying way to communicate. I didn't know there was a special holiday to celebrate cursive. Thanks for the info.

    1. Thanks for stopping in, Sandy. I was surprised to find a holiday as well. Who knows what all is celebrated in our US! This one I approve!

  2. The only one of my children taught cursive writing was my eldest, who is left-handed. The younger siblings can only print and their printing is untidy (to put it as kindly as possible). Yes, welcome back cursive!

    I write most of my stories with a fountain pen in cursive. It's so much easier than printing and the hand-mind connection is stronger!

    Thanks, Fran, for the information.

  3. PS: I read a great article in a flight magazine about John Hancock and his beautiful signature. I kept the article but can't retrieve it at the moment. But, I remember that the cognitive connection between hand and eye was central to the author's premise the handwritten is the closest we can get to telepathic creative expression. Thank you for reminding me!

  4. Hi Fran--
    Oh, I agree about the beauty of cursive writing. I'm all for it coming back into the curriculum of schools. How did it ever leave?