Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.


Loopy cursive impossible to master?

All I have to say is, it's about time!

Rewriting handwriting
Some say italic is the answer to America's illegibility

By Lisa Ryckman,
Rocky Mountain News March 13, 2006

Every young kid suffers through the loop-de-loop of cursive handwriting, a bumpy and sometimes traumatizing ride.

By adulthood, though, most people have abandoned the torturous exercise for a slapdash mishmash of printing and script that ranges from barely legible to completely incomprehensible.

"We have a national affliction, and it's called cacography - that means 'illegible handwriting,' " says Barbara Getty, handwriting expert, former elementary-school teacher and co-creator of a method she believes can solve the problem. "That's why we're a 'Please print' nation. Nobody says, 'Please write in your lovely cursive handwriting.' "

Having worked with the handwriting-challenged, I am delighted to see cursive writing come into question.

The one thing that is missing from the analysis is the psychological reasoning that influences poor handwriting. Since we associate illegible cursive with the most successful (doctors, lawyers, politicians), I wonder how many of us practiced making our signature look like a busy doctor's from an early age -- equating illegible cursive with the wealthy professional who simply cannot be bothered with lovely penmanship.

Thanks to Design Observer for the link.