The Real Reason They Want To Ban Cursive

(Thomas Dishaw)  Cursive writing was once considered an anchor in the elementary school curriculum,  as flowing strokes of letters joined together to make words resemble handwriting.

Over the years, we have seen an alarming trend as schools systems abandon this writing technique, leaving the burden on the parents to continue teaching this writing style if they choose to.

You may be asking what’s the big deal? Cursive writing is outdated and irrelevant, right? It’s 2013,  and in todays world you don’t need to learn cursive because we spend most of our time on a computer typing emails, sending tweets,  messaging friends on Facebook and using our phones to send text messages. As simple and innocent as these actions may be, it should alarm you to witness the regression our language has made in such a short time.

George Orwell said it best ““It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.” 

Everyday vocabulary as we know it is continually being assaulted by LOL, OMG, JK, and a whole bunch of other acronyms  I refuse to learn or become familiar with. It’s truly amazing to see the language jump from your smart phone straight  to the dictionary as gibberish like “SRSLY”, “TL;DR” “FIL” become cousins with real words in the Oxford English Dictionary.

As we have incrementally come to accept the deliberate dumbing down of the language through acronyms, let me address the importance of cursive and why the Government and public school prison system would love for your children to never learn this art form.

Wouldn’t it be great if you or your child could never read historic documents such as  the Declaration of Independence or the The Bill Of Rights? The global controllers are banking on that.  Imagine a future where you don’t even know your basic rights? Not because you don’t care, but because you can’t understand the basic form they are written in.  Most may laugh, but a  scenario like this is very possible. In 25 years cursive will be extinct by my estimation, and only small pockets of the population will know how to read or write in this form of communication.

Here is a list of a few important documents written in cursive:

  • Declaration of Independence
  •  Bill Of Rights
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery
  • Constitution of the United States
  • Vlad TheSkewerer

    But it’s all digitized, that way someday the librarian can say “yeah dude we got those but they are in a format we don’t access, you got some way to open em up have at it”.

  • Lyin Ryin More

    Another skill set our children are left with out. They cant spell,read, do math or have any critical thinking….yay we have loads of carnival workers!!

  • Mark Urban

    I got news for you. I was taught cursive when I was a kid, and it is still very hard to read the cursive writing from two to three hundred years ago. The use of ff for ss and words that are spelled differently such as shewed for showed etc. etc.. And then there is the different vocabulary and idiom. If you understand all the words, you may still not understand the usage. Read any Shakespeare play and you will find large sections whose meaning can only be grasped by reading the foot notes.

  • KateGladstone

    For a media exposé of the situation: http:// and look at the two-part YouTube video there. Meanwhile …

    Handwriting matters — but does cursive matter? The research is surprising. For instance, it has been documented that legible cursive writing averages no faster than printed handwriting of equal or greater legibility. (Sources for all research are listed below.)

    More recently, it has also been documented that cursive does NOT objectively improve the reading, spelling, or language of students who have dyslexia/dysgraphia.
    This is what I’d expect from my own experience, by the way. As a handwriting teacher and remediator, I see numerous children, teens, and adults — dyslexic and otherwise — for whom cursive poses even more difficulties than print-writing. (Contrary to myth, reversals in cursive are common — a frequent cursive reversal in my caseload, among dyslexics and others, is “J/f.”)
    — According to comparative studies of handwriting speed and legibility in different forms of writing, the fastest, clearest handwriters avoid cursive — although they are not absolute print-writers either. The highest speed and highest legibility in handwriting are attained by those who join only some letters, not all: joining only the most easily joined letter-combinations, leaving the rest unjoined, and using print-like shapes for letters whose printed and cursive shapes disagree.

    Reading cursive still matters — but reading cursive is much easier and quicker to master than writing the same way too. Reading cursive, simply reading it, can be taught in just 30 to 60 minutes — even to five- or six-year-olds (including those with dyslexia) once they read ordinary print. (There’s even an iPad app teaching kids and others to read cursive, whether or not they write it or ever will write it. The app — “Read Cursive” — is a free download. Those who are rightly concerned with the vanishing skill of cursive reading may wish to visit for more information.)

    We don’t require our children to learn to make their own pencils (or build their own printing presses) before we teach them how to read and write. Why require them to write cursive before we teach them how to read it? Why not simply teach children to read cursive — along with teaching other vital skills, such as a form of handwriting that is actually typical of effective handwriters?
    Just as each and every child deserves to be able to read all kinds of everyday handwriting (including cursive), each and every one of our children — dyslexic or not — deserves to learn the most effective and powerful strategies for high-speed high-legibility handwriting performance.
    Teaching material for practical handwriting abounds — especially in the UK and Europe, where such handwriting is taught at least as often as the accident-prone cursive which is venerated by too many North American educators. Some examples, in several cases with student work also shown:,,,,, )

    Even in the USA and Canada, educated adults increasingly quit cursive. In 2012, handwriting teachers across North America were surveyed at a conference hosted by Zaner-Bloser, a publisher of cursive textbooks. Only 37% wrote in cursive; another 8% printed. The majority — 55% — wrote with some elements resembling print-writing, others resembling cursive.
    (If you would like to take part in another, ongoing poll of handwriting forms — not hosted by a publisher, and not restricted to teachers — visit for the One-Question Handwriting Survey, created by this author. As with the Zaner-Bloser teacher survey, so far the results show very few purely cursive handwriters — and even fewer purely printed writers. Most handwriting in the real world — 75% of the response totals, so far — consists of print-like letters with occasional joins.)
    When even most handwriting teachers do not themselves use cursive, why glorify it?

    Believe it or not, some of the adults who themselves write in an occasionally joined but otherwise print-like handwriting tell me that they are teachers who still insist that their students must write in cursive, and/or who still teach their students that all adults habitually and normally write in cursive and always will. (Given the facts on our handwriting today, this is a little like teaching kids that our current president is Richard Nixon.)

    What, I wonder, are the educational and psychological effects of teaching, or trying to teach, something that the students can probably see for themselves is no longer a fact?
    Cursive’s cheerleaders (with whom I’ve had some stormy debates) sometimes allege that cursive has benefits which justify absolutely anything said or done to promote that form of handwriting. The cheerleaders for cursive repeatedly state (sometimes in sworn testimony before school boards and state legislatures) that cursive cures dyslexia or prevents it, that it makes you pleasant and graceful and intelligent, that it adds brain cells, that it instills proper etiquette and patriotism, or that it confers numerous other blessings which are no more prevalent among cursive users than among the rest of the human race. Some claim research support — citing studies that invariably prove to have been misquoted or otherwise misrepresented by the claimant.

    So far, whenever a devotee of cursive claims the support of research, one or more of the following things has become evident as soon as others examined the claimed support:

    /1/ either the claim provides no source,


    /2/ if a source is cited, and anyone checks it out, the source turns out to have been misquoted or incorrectly paraphrased by the person citing it

    /3/ the claimant correctly quotes/cites a source which itself indulges in either /1/ or /2/.
    Cursive devotees’ eagerness to misrepresent research has substantial consequences, as the misrepresentations are commonly made — under oath — in testimony before school districts, state legislatures, and other bodies voting on educational measures. The proposals for cursive are, without exception so far, introduced by legislators or other spokespersons whose misrepresentations (in their own testimony) are later revealed — although investigative reporting of the questionable testimony does not always prevent the bill from passing into law, even when the discoveries include signs of undue influence on the legislators promoting the cursive bill? (Documentation on request: I am willing to be interviewed by anyone who is interested in bringing this serious issue inescapably before the public’s eyes and ears.)
    By now, you’re probably wondering: “What about cursive and signatures? Will we still have legally valid signatures if we stop signing our names in cursive?” Brace yourself: in state and federal law, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over any other kind. (Hard to believe? Ask any attorney!)
     Questioned document examiners (these are specialists in the identification of signatures, the verification of documents, etc.) inform me that the least forgeable signatures are the plainest. Most cursive signatures are loose scrawls: the rest, if they follow the rules of cursive at all, are fairly complicated: these make a forger’s life easy.

    All handwriting, not just cursive, is individual — just as all handwriting involves fine motor skills. That is why any first-grade teacher can immediately identify (from the print-writing on unsigned work) which of 25 or 30 students produced it.

    Mandating cursive to preserve handwriting resembles mandating stovepipe hats and crinolines to preserve the art of tailoring.


    Handwriting research on speed and legibility:

    /1/ Arthur Dale Jackson. “A Comparison of Speed and Legibility of Manuscript and Cursive Handwriting of Intermediate Grade Pupils.”
    Ed. D. Dissertation, University of Arizona, 1970: on-line at

    /2/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, and Naomi Weintraub. “The Relation between Handwriting Style and Speed and Legibility.” JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, Vol. 91, No. 5 (May – June, 1998), pp. 290-296: on-line at

    /3/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, Naomi Weintraub, and William Schafer. “Development of Handwriting Speed and Legibility in Grades 1-9.”
    JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, Vol. 92, No. 1 (September – October, 1998), pp. 42-52: on-line at

    Zaner-Bloser handwriting survey: Results on-line at

    Ongoing handwriting poll:

    The research most often misrepresented by devotees of cursive (“Neural Correlates of Handwriting” by Dr. Karin Harman-James at Indiana University):

    Background on our handwriting, past and present:
    3 videos, by a colleague, show why cursive is NOT a sacrament:



    (shows how to develop fine motor skills WITHOUT cursive) —

    Yours for better letters,

    Kate Gladstone
    DIRECTOR, the World Handwriting Contest
    CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works

    • Mark Urban

      Absolutely, hands down, the most concise, authoritative, and thorough comment I have ever had the pleasure to read.

  • Tom

    We don’t always have a keyboard (of any type) available when we need to write something. An electromagnetic pulse event, whether natural or by man-made attack, could wipe out all keyboards in an instant, save the few remaining antique mechanical typewriters. So it will always be important for anyone who might ever want to communicate in writing with another person to know how to write by hand, regardless of the method used.

    I once had an exceptionally intelligent young man for an employee who had the worst handwriting I had ever seen, near-useless scrawl, which was a serious handicap in a business where written notes from phone conversations and order-taking was necessary. One day, on a hunch, I asked him how old he was when given his first keyboard. Five years old was the answer, before even starting kindergarten. He had never learned good handwriting because he never needed to.

    • Mark Urban

      I am 59 years old. The worst handwriting on the planet used to belong to doctors. It was a trite maxim that the sloppier the handwriting, the more intelligent the person. The best handwriting always belonged to the girls in grade school. I had a captain when I was in the service whose penmanship was almost out of the textbook in terms of upper and lower case cursive. He was not what one would call the brightest bulb in the chandelier, and, in the parlance of the time, we used to say that he would consult a field manual before taking a sh*t.

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  • ArgleBjargle

    If nothing else, it’s a marvelous tool for developing hand-eye coordination.

  • Steven Berry

    Ha! Ha! Like the DI, BR or CON-stitution matter at all…it’s all Grade A BS, my friends. Total statist hokum.


    If cursive goes the way of the blacksmith, no great loss. It’s easier to keyboard. Old technology.

  • Publeus

    — The difference between print and cursive is the difference between things, and life. (I print; too much drafting) Print is lifeless. Cursive lives.