Happy New Year everyone! It’s National Trivia Day – did you know there are more stars in the sky than there are specks of sand on earth? It’s also National Book Blitz Month – have fun, everybody! And it’s the first Wednesday of the (first!) month, when IWSG members convene through blogging, Facebook and Twitter to talk about whatever is on our writing minds and agendas. See what we’re all talking about here.
A couple of weeks ago, Arizona announced plans to reinstate Cursive Writing into school curriculums statewide. Since I had no idea it had ever been dropped in the first place, I was astonished and disconcerted by the idea of printed signatures – autographs? How could something as personal as a signature be deemed unimportant? Without knowledge of cursive writing, how would anyone be able to read the Constitution of the United States?
Not that I’m what you’d call a ‘practitioner’ of cursive writing myself. Frankly, my handwriting closely resembles the baffling shorthand gibberish found on prescription slips dispensed at medical offices everywhere. Instead, I rely on a works-for-me mix of both cursive and printing when composing my most prolific grocery lists. And isn’t there just something so satisfying about the act of handwriting itself?
According to relatively new (2014) evidence provided by a panel of neuroscientists and psychologists, there are links between handwriting and broader educational development that run much deeper than ever before thought. Stanislas Dehaene, a French psychologist, suggests that “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental stimulation in the brain.”
No wonder I’ve never written a poem without a pen. However, evidently this stimulation is remarkably reduced when typing. Ack! I can’t live without my keyboard! I cry. But then, I’m not in middle school any more. So, what or who changed the rules for the education (and mental stimulation) of children? It seems the creators of Common Core didn’t deem it necessary in the digital age! Thankfully, some rules are truly meant to be broken ;-)
Which brings me to the question of the month: “What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?” Since I should pick only one (grin) it would be that all proper names must be capitalized, as in author names on book covers. Could this explain why Prince changed his name to a symbol for a time? ;-) Actually, it relates to me never having mastered the art of capital cursive (there it is again!) letter Ds. You might say writing my name in lowercase letters is my trademark, since grade school. But I was advised in no uncertain and rather unkind terms (by a publisher!) that it was unprofessional. Horse Feathers! I say. What ever happened to creative freedom? Besides, I see the use of lowercase names and titles everywhere. Should that have been a deal-breaker?
How do you write your grocery lists? Could you live without cursive writing? How about typing?