Sometimes I think that Ramona Grigg of Ramona’s Voices exists just to annoy me. Don’t get me wrong. I love her work. Look over there on the right under “Friends”: she’s there. But there are so many versions of her that I find myself constantly getting confused. For some time, Google+ kept telling me that I ought to add someone named “Ramona Grigg” even though I had already added Romona Grigg. So I emailed her, and sure enough, she has two Google+ accounts. (In her defense, it isn’t clear how one gets rid of a Google+ account—just like everything Google.) Who knows, she may have have ten twitter feeds. I just couldn’t say.
Well, this morning, Ramona added something to her Google+ feed (or whatever you call it) from Constant Commoner, and on a very interesting subject, What Does The Death Of Cursive Mean? Now that was a subject on which I was sure to have something to say. So I read it and indeed, I do have a few comment. But first, I wanted to find out who this Constant Commoner was. And, of course, it was Ramona Grigg. It’s the blog she uses for her non-political writing. Fine. I just wish that she could send out a map of her various names and places! Now onto the issue of cursive.
Ramona says that she had a very hard time learning cursive. I was the opposite. It was the only part of my early grades that I seemed to be good at. And that is interesting because she quotes an educator who works with children who suffer from dyslexia. And I had dyslexia. Although, as is typical of such people, I rarely dotted my Is nor crossed my Ts. And may I just say that what is the point of having cursive if there are these two very big exceptions. I mean, the letter T is the most common consonant in the whole language. But I do remember when I was very young that people were very impressed with my cursive and even at the time I thought that was pathetic. I mean, really: it’s kind of an insult. “What you write is garbage, but the way it looks on the page is excellent!”
To this day, I have decent handwriting. This is a skill that has one and only one purpose: writing notes on greeting cards. And even still, I have to look up how to do a capital Q, which looks more like the number two than anything else. But contrary to what I learned is generally true, when writing in cursive, I am slow. But I suppose I would be faster if I ever used cursive to write something that wasn’t formal.
In the end, I disagree with Ramona. I do not mind seeing cursive go the way of Latin. And that is the way it is going. It will never disappear. It will simply be something that just a few people know how to do because occasionally you need someone to translate Horace or to make sure that our legible copies of the United States Constitution actually say what the silly looking original one says. And that’s a fine state of affairs as far as I’m concerned.
After all, Ramona admits that she does most of her writing on the keyboard. And to be honest, most of my spelling knowledge is now dependent upon my fingers just knowing the keys to press. My conscious mind is lost on anything longer than six characters. But there is, I think the ultimate reason why we should not mourn the passing of cursive and it comes from Ramona herself. She ended her article with the following image:
I had to look at the “About Me” page to know it was Ramona. I could tell the first word was “Sincerely.” But “Ramona”? Really?! Is that a capital R? Much of the beauty of cursive is that everyone’s is different. But that’s also much of its difficulty. It is hard to read. It is better than all capital letters printed, but that isn’t saying much. And printing is for the purpose of the reader, not the writer. And that’s why this site uses Times New Roman as its base font, and not some hellish script font.
Cursive is fine, but the only problem with 41 states not requiring that it be taught is that 9 states still do.
I just noticed: I still forget to dot my Is!