November 20, 2011

Cursive is the right way to write


It's like a slow faucet drip. Little-by-little, people think we don't need cursive anymore. They type and they tweet, and they try to approximate the printed letters when they're forced to use paper and pen for exams. The handwriting on the wall was a prediction. So is this. Ask your children and grandchildren. Think about your own penmanship.

For little Gordie Little, cursive started early. Granted, I didn't pay a lot of attention in the lower grades. At ages 7 and 8, our family moved. I remember using the Palmer Method to practice loops and curls. However, when it came time to start learning the cursive alphabet, I contracted what was then called yellow jaundice. To top that off, I fractured my right leg.

Missing a lot of school, I returned to find my peers proficient in cursive. To avoid further red remarks on my report cards, I began to stare up at that long cardboard banner stretching the breadth of the classroom just above the blackboard. It depicted each alphabet letter — uppercase and lower — in cursive and printing. I practiced ad nauseam. Soon, I was writing in perfect cursive as well as in the printed form. Thereafter, I enjoyed using that newfound talent for every occasion.

If I hurry, my cursive handwriting is terrible. When I took notes for new stories while on the radio, my scribbling shorthand was horrendous. If I didn't transcribe it on a typewriter or computer keyboard within 15 minutes, it was lost forever.

With cursive heading the way of the fountain pen, who will be left to read our great-grandmother's love letters and historic documents? Is cursive still relevant? My vote is a booming "Yes!" Is it obsolete? No! Will a handwritten thank-you note in the future be as undecipherable as the handwriting on the walI was for the king? Gosh, I hope not.

Thanks for letting me vent. Have a great day and please, drive carefully.

Gordie Little was for many years a well-known radio personality in the North Country and now hosts the "Our Little Corner" television program for Home Town Cable. Anyone with comments for him may send them to the newspaper or email him at

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