Teach cursive? I answer a resounding, facetious “NO.”


No…no….no. I will teach it to MY grandchildren and they will teach their children and my boys’ children will become expert translators and highly sought for transcribing historical documents that are written in cursive and have not yet been transcribed into archived typewritten words floating in the digital cloud.

I dabble in the dark forces of genealogy. (I say “dark” because it’s as addictive to my kind as that smoky old dragon heroin is to all those Baltimore folks I’ve seen on The Wire.)  I am shocked to learn that young genealogist dabblers are frustrated to death because they cannot read the handwritten historical documents that ooze with clues about their ancestors. They often post death certificates and other ancient snippets of handwritten history in various social media hangouts. They need someone to help them translate into printed words what was written one hundred or more years ago in the Good Lord’s official version of Texas-English cursive writing! It’s true! I have translated a good many for these young genealogy enthusiasts.

So, NO. Let’s don’t teach cursive. Let’s allow all that fine hand of perfectly formed cursive writing to become deeply mysterious and cryptic so that my progeny will have more ways to shine…Granny will teach them an ancient secret…how to read the curly, scrawly words.

Seriously, though, before I realized how much of our history was curled up in beautiful penmanship (and the scrawling scratch of doctors), I didn’t have a good argument for keeping cursive alive. I am a typist; I write as little as possible because the keyboard is my preferred method of expressing myself.

But, this year, I have seen that if we let it go, we turn the beautiful, meaningful words written in cursive by our forefathers and mothers into a new brand of hieroglyphics, for lack of a better word. Perhaps we do not teach it as penmanship; we teach it as a required ancient art or language.