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The Curse Of Cursive

, , , , | Working | July 19, 2021

I’m minding my own business one day when a coworker, out of the blue, asks me:

Coworker: “Do you know how to write cursive?”

I’m in my mid-twenties while my coworker is in her sixties. This coworker is also kind of annoying at times and has an “I am always right” personality.

Me: “I can if I have to. I’m a lot better with the lower case letters than the upper case letters and I usually just do my upper case letters in print. But I never need to write in cursive except to sign my name.”

Coworker: “So, no, you can’t.”

Me: “I can. I just never do because I don’t have to.”

Coworker: “Can you read cursive?”

Me: “Mostly. I sometimes struggle with certain letters but I can usually figure it out from context. My mom writes in cursive a lot, and at my last job, one of my coworkers wrote in a mix of cursive and chicken scratch. I was one of the few who could mostly read her handwriting.”

Coworker: “See, young people nowadays can’t read cursive at all. How are they supposed to know what the Constitution says? It’s written in cursive. If they plead the fifth amendment, they won’t be able to read it.”

Me: “All they have to do is pull out their phone and go, ‘Siri, what does the fifth amendment say?’”

Coworker: “I suppose they can, but that’s hearsay.”

I roll my eyes.

Coworker: “I suppose you never learned it in school.”

Me: “I did, in third grade, but I never had to use it. The last time I wrote in cursive was in high school when I took the SATs. They made us write two or three sentences in cursive before we could take the test, saying we weren’t going to cheat.”

Coworker: “See, when I was in school, they taught us cursive and then everything had to be in cursive.”

Me: “Well, now, everything is typed, so people don’t need to know how to read and write in cursive. Teachers are picky about fonts now. They usually require one of three ‘professional-looking’ fonts: Times New Roman, Calibri, and I forget the third one that I was allowed to pick from. I always chose Times New Roman because I think it looks the best.”

Coworker: “Times New Roman is the font they use in newspapers because everyone can read it. But still, you young people can’t read cursive, and I guess all of my written instructions are just going to be ignored because they can’t read cursive here.”

While she’s ranting, I grab a scrap piece of paper and write, “I can write in cursive when I want,” on it in cursive. It’s a bit sloppy because I haven’t written in cursive in such a long time, but it’s legible.

Coworker: “Hm. See, I would write it like this.”

She writes the same thing in neat cursive.

Me: “I haven’t used it since high school!”

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