national handwriting day

Karl Hagen karl at POLYSYLLABIC.COM
Fri Jan 12 18:51:11 UTC 2007

According to the College Board
(, 15% of
students taking the SAT write their essays in cursive. Definitely a
minority style, but cursive isn't quite dead yet.

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       FRITZ JUENGLING <juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US>
> Subject:      Re: national handwriting day
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I teach high school German (and sometimes English and Latin).  I am very
> skeptical of the 'standardised testing' (ST)explanation.  I just don't
> see it.  Even with the ST, there is still plenty of room to teach and
> require cursive or have kids learn to tell time.
> Although nothing surprises me anymore, please don't tell me what else
> people (notice I didn't say 'kids' or 'students') don't know--my world
> is falling apart and I can handle only so much on one day :)
> Seriously, Jan, where are you?  Some of us teachers had thought for a
> while that the cursive thing might be only a Salem-Keizer phenomenon,
> but it appears not to be.  It seems to be generational.
> Fritz
>>>> write at SCN.ORG 1/12/2007 9:34 AM >>>
> Fritz, do you teach in K-12?  I teach 8th grade, and I also have
> students
> who cannot read cursive and students who cannot tell time on a
> traditional
> clock.  I also have students who don't know the months of the year in
> order.  They would not know, for example, that March is the third
> month.
> A staff member suggested that the emphasis on standardized testing has
> pushed elementary schools to teach only what will be on the test.
> Maybe, but I learned how to tell time and the months before I started
> school.
> Jan
> On Fri, 12 Jan 2007, FRITZ JUENGLING wrote:
>>>>> spiderrmonkey at HOTMAIL.COM 1/12/2007 8:02 AM >>>
>> Although I understand your pain, I (someone who once learned
> cursive)
>> find
>> cursive to be unnecessary. Printing works just as well, it just
> isn't
>> as
>> "fancy" or "pretty." But that's just my controversial take on the
>> matter.
>> Scot
>> I guess I put this in the same category with teenagers not knowing
> how
>> to tie their shoes or tell time on a traditional clock.  These
> things
>> just seem like common knowledge to me, but they're not.  I had a
> girl
>> only a few weeks ago when we were learning time just sit and look at
> me
>> when I asked her the time.  She couldn't say anything.  She's bright
> and
>> I had done a good job of teaching the concept. Finally, she just
> blurted
>> out that she couldn't tell time on a traditional clock.  Since she
>> couldn't do it in English, she wasn't able to do it in German.  I
> really
>> wonder what these kids think about and how they deal with the world
>> around them.  I guess they just ignore a lot of things.
>> Fritz
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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