RIP cursive handwriting..

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LinguistCat
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by LinguistCat » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 12:23

I'm only going to say that I grew up in a household that seems to have used a lot of Briticisms despite both sides having been American at least since my great-grandparents on both sides, and further on most branches. I grew up with cursive being called handwriting and learned it in school. I honestly hated it since I was 7 and was first forced to write it, because I was simultaneously a perfectionist even that young and had minor issues with hand eye coordination. So writing cursive (which I thought was meant to look nice as a primary function) was much, much slower than print writing for me. I would have probably enjoyed it if someone had just told me the point was to write faster by joining everything up, which I learned embarrassingly late.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Salmoneus » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 13:48

clawgrip wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:I don't know anyone who doesn't use "cursive" (here we call it "writing") daily, or at least several times a week. Letters and reports may now be written on keyboards, sure, but shopping lists, birthday cards, addresses on envelopes, and assorted little useful notes, are all still mostly written down.
I have never heard "cursive" defined, nor can I find a dictionary that defines it, simply as handwriting, without any further elaboration. A key part of the definition of the word, which you have conspicuously left out, is that in order for writing to be cursive, letters must be partially or fully connected to each other.
Yes, that's what we call "handwriting". There is no other form of handwriting. [other than, I guess 'writing in capital letters'. But even then if something were written in all-caps, I'm not sure I'd be happy calling it an example of 'handwriting'].
Naturally, handwritten letters have a tendency to join to a greater or lesser extent, but not everyone does this. It may well be that you don't know anyone who does this, but frankly, you don't know most people.
And I can only assume you're not English so your opinion on the question of English culture is frankly irrelevent. If you are English, you're clearly not from around here, at least.
To be clear, the use of "cursive" to mean "joined-up letters" is not some sort of Americanism, as the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries define "cursive" as "Written with the characters joined," and, "Cursive writing is written with rounded letters that are joined together," respectively.
While it is a word in the dictionary, like "alveolar" and "apoptosis", I don't believe most people here would know what it meant in this context. I have never heard an English person say it. We call it "handwriting" or, as Sangi says, "joined up writing".
I'm not sure why you are being needlessly difficult on this point when surely you understand clearly the spirit of the OP.
I'm baffled as to why you think I'm being difficult. I responded in the spirit of the thread, with an additional snippet of cultural information, about which you're being needlessly difficult and claiming some weird and implausible omniscience. You've heard what I've said, and you've heard what Sangi said from his perspective of actually teaching here. Why are you still being weird about this?
And failing to use proper joined-up writing marks you as either mentally disabled, a child under the age of five, some sort of psychotic serial killer, or an American.
I've met numerous British people who do not join up their letters and yet are none of those things.[/quote]
Good for them; nonetheless, in England, they will be assumed to be one of those things. They'll have difficulty finding good employment, for instance, if they ever have to submit anything handwritten.

Indeed, the exaggeration in my statement is the 'American' bit - most people probably aren't aware that Americans don't do joined-up writing. I have, without exaggeration, on an occasion in the past had to explain quietly to someone about an American co-worker, "actually, he's probably not "simple"; I don't think there's anything wrong with him - that's just something Americans do". [the guy didn't actually think he was developmentally disabled, just that he must be an idiot]. But some of us who use the internet a lot or watch American TV have worked this out.

As Sangi points out, "cursive" is just how children are taught to write from the first time they learn to write, and from then through to the end of school, and probably the end of university unless their teachers are American, anything they handwrite in anything other than 'joined up writing' is likely to be handed back to them to be 'done properly this time'. Being capable of joined-up writing is pretty much the most basic thing we expect of schoolchildren in this country, on a par with 'being able to spell your own name' - when we talk about the essentials of "reading, writing and arithmetic", we mean joined-up writing. To the extent that even in the political sphere, government problems can be described as an absence of "joined-up government".
There is no concept of "script style" here, because that's just what letters look like when you write them by hand* (I'm baffled, for instance, by Thrice's idea of "a mix of printed and script styles", or Lao's "melange" - since joined-up writing just means that most letters are joined up, there's no 'style' involved!). I guess children may briefly be taught writing block capitals at a really young age, but in my experience (from observing the education of a young relative) we move on to 'real' handwriting almost immediately, so there isn't this sense of duality of 'print' and 'script', or of joined-up writing being anything more complicated than just, well, writing by hand.

*ok, technically on art projects or on labels or whatever, people might use their hands to write block capitals, . And on forms, sometimes they make you write in block capitals. But you wouldn't really call that their handwriting.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Davush » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 14:22

If by cursive you mean joining every letter in a word according to some pre-defined style (which is usually taught in primary school), then I don't see many people in the UK writing in 'cursive' other than primary school children and older people. The handwriting I see usually has some letters joined because it is faster and easier, but not in a totally consistent way, and some letters might not be joined.
Salmoneus wrote:
Good for them; nonetheless, in England, they will be assumed to be one of those things. They'll have difficulty finding good employment, for instance, if they ever have to submit anything handwritten.

...

As Sangi points out, "cursive" is just how children are taught to write from the first time they learn to write, and from then through to the end of school, and probably the end of university unless their teachers are American, anything they handwrite in anything other than 'joined up writing' is likely to be handed back to them to be 'done properly this time'. Being capable of joined-up writing is pretty much the most basic thing we expect of schoolchildren in this country, on a par with 'being able to spell your own name' - when we talk about the essentials of "reading, writing and arithmetic", we mean joined-up writing.
To be honest I've worked in quite a few secondary schools a good number of the older kids don't write in 100% cursive/joined up (that's not to say 100% print, but certainly not the style they are required to write in in primary school). I've seen many university lecturers also write comments in a semi-joined-up style, whether or not that counts as cursive I don't know. I wouldn't ask students to redo work and I don't think others would either, by that point the importance is on learning the content/passing exams. I imagine they would be asked to redo it if it was all capitals, though.
And failing to use proper joined-up writing marks you as either mentally disabled, a child under the age of five, some sort of psychotic serial killer, or an American.
LOL [xD] maybe where you're from.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Frislander » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 14:49

I will second Sal's comments, in that by the time I'd reached sixth-form as far as I can recall everyone was using cursive (I will also second Sal's observation that no-one calls it "cursive" here, I only learned that word coming into contact with American internet users). This may have changed for some people coming up to university simply due to the amount that is typed now but I'm certainly not changing how I write because of the speed you need to get good lecture notes (honestly I don't even know how I'd be able to write anything if I didn't join up the letters). That's not to say it wasn't diffiult to learn (I recall in primary school being in special classes to help improve my handwriting aility) but the pay off by now is that I am able to put down words on the page much faster.

I'm pretty sure we are taught to use block-letters first though.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Davush » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 15:00

I’m curious what other UK people’s experience is - by cursive/joined up do you mean joining every letter as taught in primary, or a kind of mix between that and one’s own style? Because the everyday handwriting I see isn’t always all completely joined or consistent in style (including in schools).
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by gach » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 15:43

I was taught both block letters and a cursive script in primary school. The cursive script never became a very attractive thing, let alone more efficient than the block letters, so at one point I simply stopped using it for most purposes. That turned out to be the right choice, since once I stopped worrying about the shape of the letters and concentrate on the content, the block letters very quickly started to merge together. The end result was an actually efficient script that has a certain organic feel that the formal school cursive always lacked.

The cursive script was in fact recently removed from the Finnish school curriculum. This is a bit of a pity since it'd still be very useful that everyone would have at least a basic knowledge of a formal cursive script. Even if you don't end up using it as the starting point of your own personal writing, it's an excellent basis for developing your signature. At the same time I can understand the rationale behind the decision. The cursive script always suffered from being something that you are forced to learn without anyone telling you what good it is for you. Such teaching practices frustrate even the young kids who then end up not learning properly what you are trying to teach them. In the end I can get behind the sentiment that schools should teach content over form.
Lao Kou wrote:I would have guessed that in the light of our (relatively) recent "I loves me my fountain pen" discussion, that fountain pen users were decent calligraphers or at least cared about these things (yes, I understand that the sun still rises in the East whatever one's penmanship may be like -- I don't lose sleep). Maybe it's just pen-feel?
"Decent calligrapher" is a stretch. Do a quick search online and you'll find a selection of fountain pen reviewers who'll complain about the quality of their writing or don't do cursive at all. The pen-feel is really a thing that matters, though. Most fountain pens have a smoother feel on the paper than a typical pencil or ballpoint, making it more pleasant to maintain a constant contact between the pen an the paper. Fountain pen ink is also very fluid, so unless you have a particularly dry pen, you maintain a contact between the ink and the paper also a while after lifting the pen up. This results in a natural tendency for the letters to join, even if you aren't doing it on purpose.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 16:12

Doomie wrote: I grew up with cursive being called handwriting
Me, too. I can remember my old Primary school practice books with titles like "Handwriting Workbook".
Spoiler: show
To be honest I've worked in quite a few secondary schools a good number of the older kids don't write in 100% cursive/joined up (that's not to say 100% print, but certainly not the style they are required to write in in primary school). I've seen many university lecturers also write comments in a semi-joined-up style, whether or not that counts as cursive I don't know. I wouldn't ask students to redo work and I don't think others would either, by that point the importance is on learning the content/passing exams. I imagine they would be asked to redo it if it was all capitals, though.
My mom had impeccable penmanship. One of my good friends from high school also had unbelievable penmanship. Really enviable. I, however, do not. I prefer to print, or when I can get my mitts on 'em, like the Kou suggested, I like calli-pens.

As a secondary teacher, I see few kids who actually write cursive. Usually, it's a medical scrimshawworthy trainwreck of overslanted chicken scratch.
A few students have really nice penmanship, though, and still continue with it. It's a rare pleasure to see it.
Most high school students print. And quite a few print horribly, also. On a positive note, it keeps one open to all sorts of ideas for alphabetic conscripts… :roll:

And, honestly, I even scribble notes in printed block letters, not cursive. I may join a couple of letters, like vowels + /n,m,r/, but Pretty much I only write my signature in cursive consistently.

But I [<3] Hieratic Egyptian, I like Grass Script Chinese/Japanese. Greek ligatures and incunabula are all kinds of fun, also. I enjoyed (and still like doing it) learning
I'm a little more careful with them than my English cursive letters.

Hmmm, makes me think what my most common ligatures might actually happen to be (?)
:wat:
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 16:21

Sal wrote:I'm baffled as to why you think I'm being difficult. I responded in the spirit of the thread, with an additional snippet of cultural information, about which you're being needlessly difficult and claiming some weird and implausible omniscience. You've heard what I've said, and you've heard what Sangi said from his perspective of actually teaching here. Why are you still being weird about this?
I'm not singling you out for nefarious purposes, Sal, nor to claim weird and implausible omniscience, b/c I for one am guilty of this same peccadillo all over the place as well. But it's interesting to note that absolutely no one on this forum heard anything about that in this thread: we all read it.

Language is just funny that way, innit?

:wat:
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 16:22

Grrr. Why r my quotes not quoting?
[:S]

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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by clawgrip » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 16:34

Salmoneus wrote:various things
Let's be clear here. The OP was talking about the decline of "cursive" writing in favour of some other, unnamed style of recording glyphs on a surface. I believe we all understand this to mean unjoined letters resembling what we are reading on our screens right now.

It seems like the definitions of certain words are taken as given when in fact they have more than one meaning. When you said that "cursive" means "writing", it's a bit confusing, because, depending on context, writing can mean either cursive/joined-up letters or simply any words recorded by hand, regardless of how connected they are. You now go on to call it "handwriting" instead of "writing", adding to the confusion.

I don't feel like arguing really...you are implying that "writing" and "handwriting" only mean cursive/joined-up letters, while I do not consider that to be the case. I acknowledge that they can mean that, but I also recognize that they also have broader meanings, i.e. "recording glyphs on a surface (by hand)" as I mentioned above. The reason I said you were being difficult is because you seemed not to acknowledge that broader meaning.
I'm baffled, for instance, by Thrice's idea of "a mix of printed and script styles", or Lao's "melange" - since joined-up writing just means that most letters are joined up, there's no 'style' involved!)
In North American education, there is a clear difference between printed letters (not-joined up, but not all-caps) and cursive writing (completely joined up). When they talk about mixed styles, they mean recording their glyphs on their surfaces, ostensibly using the printed, non-joined up, non-all-caps version of the alphabet that we see here on the screen, but writing at such a speed that some, but not all, letters end up getting joined. Aside from the fact that the joining occurs only sporadically instead of consistently between every single letter, the biggest difference, I think, is that this mixed style generally lacks the extraneous loops and so forth that you find on the cursive or joined-up letters. For example, a capital letter L joined to a following letter e, but lacking the two loops of the cursive/joined-up ℒ would be an example of a mixed style.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by elemtilas » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 18:03

lsd wrote:What do you think about the abandonment of cursive handwriting...
it was a progress in the speed of writing, which came with the use of paper from the Egyptian papyrus until the end of our day, when the paper recedes in front of the screen, and the difficulty of the fingers, become sticks to tap, to handle a pencil ...
Who among you still uses it ...
Who among the creators of consript have a cursive version ...
I still use running hand. Sometimes a terribly messy chancery hand, sometimes a slightly neater round hand. Usually just a largely illegible scrawl.

If I want to be able to read something later, I have to slow down and use a printed hand, generally all caps. Loads of semi-legible ligatures, though. I had a bit of a rough spot earlier where I had taken some notes and all of 15 minutes later (when transcribing) found a patch where I simply could not decipher the letters. Sigh. Happily, there was a Clew a few words later & I was able to reconstruct the splortched original.

Invented writing of mine often has running hand styles or semi-flowing styles.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Salmoneus » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 18:27

clawgrip wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:various things
Let's be clear here. The OP was talking about the decline of "cursive" writing in favour of some other, unnamed style of recording glyphs on a surface. I believe we all understand this to mean unjoined letters resembling what we are reading on our screens right now.

It seems like the definitions of certain words are taken as given when in fact they have more than one meaning. When you said that "cursive" means "writing",
I did not say that. That would be a stupid thing to say. I pointed out that what you call 'cursive', we call 'writing' (or 'handwriting', or 'joined-up writing', but not 'cursive'), because that's how people write here. The fact that "cursive" is the normal way that most people here write every day seemed to me to be relevent to the "decline" of cursive.

NB: saying that "writing" means "cursive" is not the same as saying that "cursive" means "writing". For most people here, "writing" (in the sense of the process of writing glyphs by hand, rather than, say, "the writings of Marx" and the like) at least prototypically means what you call "cursive", and block letters are rare. For most people here, "cursive" does not mean anything at all!
I don't feel like arguing really...you are implying that "writing" and "handwriting" only mean cursive/joined-up letters, while I do not consider that to be the case. I acknowledge that they can mean that, but I also recognize that they also have broader meanings, i.e. "recording glyphs on a surface (by hand)" as I mentioned above. The reason I said you were being difficult is because you seemed not to acknowledge that broader meaning.
Well sure, if you assume I'm an idiot, and if you assume that when I say that Americans don't use joined-up writing, I'm not capable of concluding that they might use non-joined-up writing. But if you DON'T assume I'm a moron, then I quite clearly implied the exact opposite of what you're saying.
In North American education, there is a clear difference between printed letters (not-joined up, but not all-caps) and cursive writing (completely joined up). When they talk about mixed styles, they mean recording their glyphs on their surfaces, ostensibly using the printed, non-joined up, non-all-caps version of the alphabet that we see here on the screen, but writing at such a speed that some, but not all, letters end up getting joined. Aside from the fact that the joining occurs only sporadically instead of consistently between every single letter, the biggest difference, I think, is that this mixed style generally lacks the extraneous loops and so forth that you find on the cursive or joined-up letters. For example, a capital letter L joined to a following letter e, but lacking the two loops of the cursive/joined-up ℒ would be an example of a mixed style.
And my point is that HERE, there is NOT a clear difference between different "styles". [I've no idea, for instance, what Davush means by the cursive taught in primary schools, because my primary-school-age relative just writes almost exactly normal writing]. The difference between non-joined up writing and joined-up writing is that in joined-up writing you don't, if possible, take your pen off the page between letters. Most people certainly don't write "loops" on an L - an 'L' just looks broadly like 'L'. (in fact I'm not even sure I join up capital Ls. Some capitals don't get joined up, I guess to emphasise their distinctness). Your looped L looks like what we would probably call 'copperplate', which ordinary people do not use (iirc my sister learnt it in art lessons, though).
Looking online, it looks like your looped L may come from something called "D'Nealian Script", an alternative alphabet used in the US since the 1970s. I've never seen anything like it here - several of the letters would be illegible to me. We don't have all of these competing "scripts" that you seem to have, we just write the letters. Likewise, we do not to my knowledge have the concept of "penmanship" - everyone just writes the letters. If someone's writing looks very messy, or is impossible for teachers to read, they may complain, but there's no specific positive model of 'penmanship' to emulate. [Except right at the beginning - I remember about a school year where we did lots of practicing of writing to get the general idea, but after that it was just 'make sure I can read it']

Similarly, there's no expectation that joined-up writing should join ALL the letters. My descenders don't usually join to the next letter, for instance, and neither does my 'r'.



[there are small exceptions to the 'no special script' rule. There is a commonly-used variant of 'k', with the upper diagonal replaced by a loop. There is also an old variant of 'r' that looks sort of like an 's', but that's dying out, I think, as is the variant 's' that looks sort of like an 'o'.]
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by gach » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 19:49

At this point the discussion urgently needs writing samples. Arguing about local variations of terminology is quite pointless if we are left guessing how it all relates to the real world.

Here's a standard scribble from my notebook. It's somewhat joined but in a strictly diachronic sense it's not cursive. What that means is that it's a natural development from the print letters and wherever the letter forms of the print script and the school cursive script from the 90's are in disagreement, my writing reflects the print letters. None of the joining or looping that they have is part of the underlying letter forms and is simply due to natural pen movements. To make it clear, cursive script (kaunokirjoitus) is a specific thing that's distinct from my everyday writing.
Last edited by gach on Fri 10 Nov 2017, 23:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by elemtilas » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 23:38

gach wrote:
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 19:49
At this point the discussion urgently needs writing samples. Arguing about local variations of terminology is quite pointless if we are left guessing how it all relates to the real world.

Here's a standard scribble from my notebook. It's somewhat joined but in a strictly diachronic sense it's not cursive. What that means is that it's a natural development from the print letters and wherever the letter forms of the print script and the school cursive script from the 90's are in disagreement, my writing reflects the print letters. None of the joining or looping that hey have is part of the underlying letter forms and is simply due to natural pen movements. To make clear, cursive script (kaunokirjoitus) is a specific thing that's distinct from my everyday writing.
Right. Here's some of my typical writing habits. Basically, writing (in American English) boils down to "printing" and "cursive" or "running hand".
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Davush » Sat 11 Nov 2017, 00:23

To clarify, I searched 'UK Primary handwriting' in google images, and when I was talking about joined-up or cursive writing, this is what I was referring to:

http://www.bradshawhall.stockport.sch.u ... riting.jpg
https://swansea-edunet.gov.uk/en/school ... 0guide.jpg

This was more or less how we were taught in primary and I think most (or at least a lot of) primary schools still try and get the students to write like this consistently. By secondary, it becomes less important. That is why I was surprised to hear people saying UK schools and universities insist on 'cursive' when I actually what I see is a personal style which is usually somewhere in between fully print and fully joined.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Frislander » Sat 11 Nov 2017, 00:38

https://i.imgur.com/01JVSHo.jpg

Here's a sample of my current handwriting style, which is slightly more cursive than is usual (particularly with the barring of the t's, and the sweeping curls on g and y)
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by elemtilas » Sat 11 Nov 2017, 00:59

Davush wrote:
Sat 11 Nov 2017, 00:23
To clarify, I searched 'UK Primary handwriting' in google images, and when I was talking about joined-up or cursive writing, this is what I was referring to:

http://www.bradshawhall.stockport.sch.u ... riting.jpg
https://swansea-edunet.gov.uk/en/school ... 0guide.jpg

This was more or less how we were taught in primary and I think most (or at least a lot of) primary schools still try and get the students to write like this consistently. By secondary, it becomes less important. That is why I was surprised to hear people saying UK schools and universities insist on 'cursive' when I actually what I see is a personal style which is usually somewhere in between fully print and fully joined.
Interesting!

Wow.

I, um, have never seen anything like that before! I remember kind of doing something like that when I was little, I guess as a proto-running-hand. We were taught a running hand straight on. Is this Bradshaw Hall style a transitional form, used only until the teachers deem their students ready for "proper" running hand? Or is this style continued throughout school life?
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by Davush » Sat 11 Nov 2017, 01:06

elemtilas wrote:
Sat 11 Nov 2017, 00:59


Interesting!

Wow.

I, um, have never seen anything like that before! I remember kind of doing something like that when I was little, I guess as a proto-running-hand. We were taught a running hand straight on. Is this Bradshaw Hall style a transitional form, used only until the teachers deem their students ready for "proper" running hand? Or is this style continued throughout school life?
I was taught a style very similar to that (just google image UK primary school handwriting for many examples) as part of 'handwriting' classes, it didn't transition into anything else. I don't know if other people in the UK have similar experiences, but from observations it seems pretty common.

(Bradshaw Hall school seems to have agreed on that particular style as the 'handwriting' to be taught, but from my own experience and others I've seen, they are more or less similar.)
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by elemtilas » Sat 11 Nov 2017, 01:18

Davush wrote:
Sat 11 Nov 2017, 01:06
elemtilas wrote:
Sat 11 Nov 2017, 00:59
I, um, have never seen anything like that before! I remember kind of doing something like that when I was little, I guess as a proto-running-hand. We were taught a running hand straight on. Is this Bradshaw Hall style a transitional form, used only until the teachers deem their students ready for "proper" running hand? Or is this style continued throughout school life?
I was taught a style very similar to that (just google image UK primary school handwriting for many examples) as part of 'handwriting' classes, it didn't transition into anything else. I don't know if other people in the UK have similar experiences, but from observations it seems pretty common.

(Bradshaw Hall school seems to have agreed on that particular style as the 'handwriting' to be taught, but from my own experience and others I've seen, they are more or less similar.)
This is more what I think of as regards running hand in America. Or some slightly modernised variant.
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Re: RIP cursive handwriting..

Post by qwed117 » Sat 11 Nov 2017, 01:31

As elem said, most Americans wouldn't view Frislander's writing as cursive or "script". We are pretty much taught that the only right way is the one in the image that elem posted.
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