Who doesn’t remember their first days of class, learning the first letters? Those that were written amalgamated with each other to form a word. They were in cursive and it is the writing style that is in danger of extinction today. In the past, it was the quintessential writing method taught in classrooms, but today it is used very little.
In some countries it is no longer included in apprenticeship programs
An example of this is Finland. Since 2016, schools do not teach cursive. Thus, the hours that teachers used to teach students to write in cursive, they use to teach typing.
In the beginning of education, writing was only available to the upper social classes. Knowing how to write was a privilege for very few, since paper was a luxury item. The forms of writing were ornate, as they had to give style and seriousness to official documents and other manuscripts.
Although, from the 18th and 19th centuries, writing began to be more accessible to other social classes. It was then that faster ways of writing emerged. That was the beginning of cursive writing, whose name comes from the Latin verb “currere”, which is to run. It consisted of joining the letters together to form words.
Different types of cursive font
The first known style of cursive handwriting was the so-called “secretary hand.” It was popular in England between the 15th and 17th centuries. It consisted of joining only some letters. Then the “round hand” style appeared, which was a very elaborate calligraphy that was used mainly in official documents in France and England. In turn, andUpon immigration to the British colonies in the 18th century, newcomers used the Copperplate, which was derived from the “round hand.”
The Copperplate became the favorite of teachers and professors who taught in elite establishments. When the fountain pen appeared, the Copperplate style was incorporated into mass education at the beginning of the 19th century.
However, cursive, as we know it today, emerged in the United States with the Palmer method. Austin Norman Palmer, observing the pace at which work was done in the offices, which was very fast, thought of a method that would allow secretaries, office workers and employees to follow that pace.
Thus was born the Palmer method, which created a way to automate writing, using postural modes, internal reflexes and hand position for fluid writing. They welcomed it into schools and universities and dominated writing until more than half of the 20th century throughout the world.
Cursive writing is increasingly used less and less around the world.
When we ask ourselves the reason for its disappearance, without a doubt, it is the typewriter and computer keyboards that replaced it. Documentation in companies and businesses is no longer done in cursive, but rather through a device with a keyboard and then printed or used digitally.
Although, for cursive all is not lost. Social networks keep it alive in bullet journals and hashtags that are trending lately. Also, starting in 2023, 21 states in the United States will require the teaching of cursive in their public schools. Writing and reading cursive is also a form of culture.