The antiquated art of cursive writing, according to a campus-wide survey sent out by Dining Services last week, is “a load of unintelligible crap.”87 percent of the students in the study reported that they “haven’t ever been able to read a single professor’s comments on an essay.”
A representative from the Provost’s Office said, “We actually aren’t sure where Dining Services found the time or resources to send this thing out, but it still reveals some troubling figures.” On the behalf of the College, he acknowledged “most students on campus have made the shift to typing and print writing, but we never considered the fact that this student inability to read professor scribbling might be problematic.”
The survey also revealed that though 98 percent of campus professors use cursive to grade and comment on student work, and only 41 percent actually know the full cursive alphabet. As one anonymous professor admitted, “Mostly I just scribble and nobody ever questions me—sometimes, when I am getting tired, I just draw a bunch of loops and leave it at that.”
This report comes as no surprise to handwriting experts and to the elderly, who have noticed and pointed out cursive’s decline at family reunions for many years. Budget cuts, state testing, and an utter lack of interest have allowed cursive handwriting (which used to be a required subject for public elementary students in most states) to fade from most curricula.
Studies have shown that 95 percent of students under the age of 18 who do know cursive were forced by their grandmothers to learn it so that they could write acceptable thank you notes.
While most young adults have said good riddance to old-fashioned handwriting, some K students have not yet made the switch to print. “I think that cursive is super important,” Allie Nicholson ’16 said as a part of the survey. “It is way prettier than regular writing, and, I mean, it’s not even that hard. Kids these days are just spoiled with all of the technology. Oh, please excuse while I pull out my iPad.”
But when asked for a writing sample, Nicholson simply writes with her letters connected and doesn’t actually know how to properly form a cursive letter “G” or “B.”