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The death of handwriting


Eldorado
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"Those who work in early years education say the rise of smartphones and tablets has had an impact on children’s behaviour and abilities.

"Last year, David Wright, the owner of Paint Pots nursery group in Southampton, told i he had seen toddlers picking up paper books and trying to swipe the pages.

"While some primary-school pupils need support with their handwriting because of conditions such as dyspraxia, others struggle for reasons which are not immediately apparent."

Full article at iNews UK: https://inews.co.uk/news/education/handwriting-decline-rise-of-smartphones-impact-education-behaviour-fine-motor-skills-2004661

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Paragraphs appear to be a thing of the past because of texting.

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1 hour ago, Eldorado said:

"Those who work in early years education say the rise of smartphones and tablets has had an impact on children’s behaviour and abilities.

"Last year, David Wright, the owner of Paint Pots nursery group in Southampton, told i he had seen toddlers picking up paper books and trying to swipe the pages.

"While some primary-school pupils need support with their handwriting because of conditions such as dyspraxia, others struggle for reasons which are not immediately apparent."

Full article at iNews UK: https://inews.co.uk/news/education/handwriting-decline-rise-of-smartphones-impact-education-behaviour-fine-motor-skills-2004661

I did my whole degree using a pc or laptop.

I must admit when it came to the hand written exams I struggled. It felt weird like I couldn't write anymore. I dont think I have had to write anything else for the last 20 years. I`m totally electronic.

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I see the loss of cursive and handwriting as just part and parcel of the continuing effort to dumb down the population just enough, that like drones, they are still able to accomplish simple assigned tasks, but not smart enough to question and critique things like authority and the system in general. Writing and even more so cursive, have many positive effects on the brain and intelligence. As another poster pointed out along with cursive younger people are losing the ability to construct and read paragraphs and with that goes the ability to read books or as I like to call them good old walls of text. Another disturbing trend I have seen online is the many younger people that are completely unable to comprehend poetic license, such as similes and metaphors and must be communicated with in a straight forward and very simple literal manner. 

It seems at this time government and society are both engaged in bringing to life both Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and George Orwell's "1984" right here, right now all around us, for those with eyes to see.

Edited by WanderingFool0
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1 hour ago, WanderingFool0 said:

I see the loss of cursive and handwriting as just part and parcel of the continuing effort to dumb down the population just enough, that like drones, they are still able to accomplish simple assigned tasks, but not smart enough to question and critique things like authority and the system in general.

I disagree.  If you're so smart what does the purpose cursive writing really serve?

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15 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

I disagree.  If you're so smart what does the purpose cursive writing really serve?

Well, I have never claimed to be so smart, I would consider myself slightly above average in intelligence, but if you meant, "if one is already smart, than what does the purpose of cursive writing really serve?" then I would say, science is aware of many positive results on the brain and thinking from the act of writing vs typing.

Quote

Yet scientists are discovering that learning cursive is an important tool for cognitive development, particularly in training the brain to learn “functional specialization”[2]—that is, the capacity for optimal efficiency. In the case of learning cursive writing, the brain develops functional specialization that integrates both sensation, movement control, and thinking. Brain imaging studies reveal that multiple areas of the brain become co-activated during the learning of cursive writing of pseudo-letters, as opposed to typing or just visual practice.

There is a spill-over benefit for thinking skills used in reading and writing. To write legible cursive, fine motor control is needed over the fingers. You have to pay attention and think about what and how you are doing it. You have to practice. Brain imaging studies show that cursive activates areas of the brain that do not participate in keyboarding.

Much of the benefit of handwriting, in general, comes simply from the self-generated mechanics of drawing letters. In one Indiana University study,[3] researchers conducted brain scans on pre-literate 5-year-olds before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced self-generated printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and "adult-like" than in those who had simply looked at letters. The brain’s “reading circuit” of linked regions that are activated during reading was activated during handwriting, but not during typing. This lab has also demonstrated that writing letters in a meaningful context, as opposed to just writing them as drawing objects, produced much more robust activation of many areas in both hemispheres.

Also, in the same article.

Quote

Other research highlights the hand's unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger, a professor at the University of Washington, reported her study of children in grades two, four, and six that revealed they wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard.[4]

The benefits to brain development are similar to what you get with learning to play a musical instrument. Not everybody can afford music lessons, but everybody has access to a pencil and paper. Not everybody can afford a computer for their kids—but maybe such kids are not as deprived as we would think.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/memory-medic/201303/why-writing-hand-could-make-you-smarter

Science seems to agree that writing in general and cursive in particular because it is harder, have benefit to the brain and intelligence.

Edited by WanderingFool0
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4 hours ago, acute said:

Paragraphs appear to be a thing of the past because of texting.

As is punctuation.

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2 hours ago, WanderingFool0 said:

I see the loss of cursive and handwriting as just part and parcel of the continuing effort to dumb down the population just enough, that like drones, they are still able to accomplish simple assigned tasks, but not smart enough to question and critique things like authority and the system in general. Writing and even more so cursive, have many positive effects on the brain and intelligence. As another poster pointed out along with cursive younger people are losing the ability to construct and read paragraphs and with that goes the ability to read books or as I like to call them good old walls of text. Another disturbing trend I have seen online is the many younger people that are completely unable to comprehend poetic license, such as similes and metaphors and must be communicated with in a straight forward and very simple literal manner. 

It seems at this time government and society are both engaged in bringing to life both Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and George Orwell's "1984" right here, right now all around us, for those with eyes to see.

In 2013 when I was at a the Sci-fi Worldcon I remember sitting at a table in a break room with a group of people that consisted of several who were writing novels (not published authors yet).  Some were my age and some younger.  We started talking about our pet peeves in grammatical mistakes and I mentioned mine, which is misusing the word 'I' in a sentence that includes reference to multiple people (like "he and I went to the store" - correct, "expect her and I to arrive at 2" - incorrect).  Someone asked what I was talking about and I explained, it is the only English grammar rule that makes sense 100% of the time, has no exceptions but for some reason even in buisness letters I see it used incorrectly.  And most of you probably know this rule but people at the table were taking notes!  When you are mentioning another person in a sentence with yourself you always use the same word for yourself and the other person if it was only one person being referred to.   I went to the store, she went to the store, she and I went to the store.  Expect me to arrive at 2, expect her to arrive at 2, expect her and me to arrive at 2.

Lack of punctuation and the ability to write or read cursive is probably the least of our worries.  And we can't blame it all on technology.  There really is a dumbing down of the english speaking world and I agree we are supposed to be compliant, ignorant drones.

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45 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

In 2013 when I was at a the Sci-fi Worldcon I remember sitting at a table in a break room with a group of people that consisted of several who were writing novels (not published authors yet).  Some were my age and some younger.  We started talking about our pet peeves in grammatical mistakes and I mentioned mine, which is misusing the word 'I' in a sentence that includes reference to multiple people (like "he and I went to the store" - correct, "expect her and I to arrive at 2" - incorrect).  Someone asked what I was talking about and I explained, it is the only English grammar rule that makes sense 100% of the time, has no exceptions but for some reason even in buisness letters I see it used incorrectly.  And most of you probably know this rule but people at the table were taking notes!  When you are mentioning another person in a sentence with yourself you always use the same word for yourself and the other person if it was only one person being referred to.   I went to the store, she went to the store, she and I went to the store.  Expect me to arrive at 2, expect her to arrive at 2, expect her and me to arrive at 2.

Lack of punctuation and the ability to write or read cursive is probably the least of our worries.  And we can't blame it all on technology.  There really is a dumbing down of the english speaking world and I agree we are supposed to be compliant, ignorant drones.

I often make mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation myself, so I too suffer some of the dumbing down as well. :lol: I have noticed it as well though.

I also have seen Orwell's newspeak in effect, when comparing definitions of words from a 1964 version of the Webster's collegiate dictionary that I inherited, to the current definitions. I also have seen "the memory hole" already being implemented on the net, while searching certain controversial topics across different search engines and seeing the results of their algorithms.

A specific example was when i was searching for many of the articles and sources, I remember reading long ago on the Bayer pharmaceutical health factor 8 scandal. Google buried all of those links very deep in the pages, behind many links for sites and new stories that were basically just PR stories for how great that company is. I entered the exact same words into another search engine and received many of the links that i was looking for within the first two pages.

I would add to that, the proliferation and voluntary acceptance of much of the smart technology, like smart phones, the ring doorbell, the Alexa and similar devices and smart tv's is ushering in the big brother surveillance and control grid right now.

I would say Orwell's "1984" actually did begin around 1984 and the very inception of these technologies and though it may appear to be arriving late, I personally think it is actually right on time with the plans.

Edited by WanderingFool0
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4 hours ago, Tuco's Gas said:

Oh yeah, the art of cursive handwriting has been dying a gradual death since the 90s. Time was, back in my parents' era, that good handwriting was an indicator of intelligence and education. No more. It's too bad, but perfectly understandable with the advent of texting, emails, and Word apps. 

I love to put pen to paper. I still sometimes just practice cursive while watching TV or just chillaxing to music. There's some kind of catharsis going on there. Maybe having to do with creating something that can convey thoughts and even personality, rather than just manipulating electrons. A monkey can pound keys and learn to text. 

My boss still uses old school paper employment applications. He often shakes his head in dismay at the ilegibility of many, from younger applicants. He will even show us one sometimes for a laugh. He says the misspelling is the worst part.

I have to say that while we were partially taught cursive in primary school, by the time secondary school came around it wasn't used.
We were also taught that handwriting itself wasn't that important as long as the answers were correct.

I actually remember a time where I had to stay out of school through being ill and my dad wrote a letter to the teacher explaining my absence.
It was writen very nicely in cursive but my teacher couldn't make out what it said.
So I had to read out that "Gary could not come to school due to "explosive diarrhea".
Thanks, Dad.

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54 minutes ago, WanderingFool0 said:

often make mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation myself, so I too suffer some of the dumbing down as well. :lol: I have noticed it as well though.

All of us make mistakes in grammar, even those of us who remember more of the lessons.  My mother's aunt was a teacher for about 15 years, then married a rancher, etc.  She used to correct us on our grammar, but she was wrong and we knew it.  Since she was an elder we just kept quiet about it until she left.  :lol:

When my aunt had cancer and the hospice worker came to help out the woman would often tell her to "lay down and get some rest."  One day my aunt couldn't stand it any longer and said, "I will lie down but I will never lay down."   We knew what she meant but the hospice worker didn't get it.    It is something we remember fondly of our aunt nowadays. 

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Im still old school and use Pen and papper even infont of the computer:-) 

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I always enjoyed cursive writing and that was all there was for me all through school /college even.  But then, keyboards and printers took over.  For business and pleasure.

I was fairly recently shocked to discover my penmanship had severely deteriorated !   I've been working on it since, and it's getting better.  

 

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Brain sometimes turns to mush when I write.  Even when I write my own signature I stop midway because I need a second to remember how the rest of it goes.  lol.  I've become so accustomed to typing everything that I even forget sometimes how to hold a pen properly.  I was the only left-handed pupil in class, and I did not want to get into trouble for being different, so I tried to write with my right hand like everyone else when the teacher was looking, and switch back to my left when she looked away.  My thumbs are double jointed which makes holding a pen or pencil quite awkward.  Another problem is that being left-handed means that my hand is always covering the words I am writing, so I can't see how it looks until I physically lift my hand off the page after each word.  My hand also smudges the ink across the page when I write.  Funny thing is, when I read a book I instinctively open the last page first.  I find it much easier to read from right to left, and not left to right.  Perhaps other left handed people feel the same?  Reading and writing from left to right just feels really awkward and strange.  I can read documents much faster when I format the text backwards and read it right to left.  It just feels normal for me that way.

 

 

Edited by Aaron2016
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The median age on this site must be 50+. I see more and more topics like this and all i can think is 

 

Image result for old man yells at cloud

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13 hours ago, WanderingFool0 said:

Well, I have never claimed to be so smart, I would consider myself slightly above average in intelligence, but if you meant, "if one is already smart, than what does the purpose of cursive writing really serve?" then I would say, science is aware of many positive results on the brain and thinking from the act of writing vs typing.

That didn't answer the question.  The question wasn't about self benefits.  Cursive writing originated from the use of quills, what purpose does it serve to today?

Edited by Rlyeh
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The one thing we will lose from the dying art of handwriting is in the future there won’t be old letters and documents written by hand, as in the past.  Yes, documents, legal or otherwise, have been printed for a long time already, rather than drafted by scribes and clerks, but personal letters in the writers' own hands will be a thing of the past.  From a historical point of view I think that will be a loss.  I have copies of ancestors handwritten wills and even if not written by themselves, will have their signature.  By the same token, if you go back far enough, spelling was not formalised.  The same word could be spelt three or four different ways in the same document!  I wonder if we will go back to that?  Nothing is new, it seems.

As a lover of literature, the English language and correct grammar and punctuation, I sigh with disbelief sometimes when I see text so poorly constructed as to make the meaning ambiguous or just plain puzzling.  I see punctuation as like road signs, telling the reader when to pause or stop, when the author is moving on to a different subject/setting or phase (paras and chapters), and so on.

I see the demise of the traditional cursive handwriting, correct grammar and spelling as a loss to society, and to hand, eye and brain co-ordination: possibly the lack of which will impair the way we think, or reduce our ability to use our brains optimally.  If we ever had a serious EMP incident and lost all our electronics for a while, it will be the elderly having to be drafted in to make lists and agendas, use mental arithmetic for shopping, calculate whatever needs calculating.  A good proportion of the younger generations will be at a total loss.

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No one thinks of the poor paragraphs. 

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9 hours ago, Rlyeh said:

That didn't answer the question.  The question wasn't about self benefits.  Cursive writing originated from the use of quills, what purpose does it serve to today?

It did answer the question. Did you skip reading the quotes from that article showing the benefits? If so then read it, if it's not enough then research it yourself. The information is there, science agrees handwriting has value for brain development.

I would also say anything that has individual positive benefits, then collectively for society it would have benefit. Just like the ability to read and write at all has self benefits, having a society that can read and write has benefits to society and even the state.

Edited by WanderingFool0
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19 hours ago, 'Walt' E. Kurtz said:

Im still old school and use Pen and papper even infont of the computer:-) 

When I am working I have to enter my time in a timesheet and it is quicker for me to take notes about what I am doing on paper.  I keep more detailed notes on what I have done in Notepad on the computer.  My grocery lists are still handwritten.  :P

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19 hours ago, lightly said:

I always enjoyed cursive writing and that was all there was for me all through school /college even.  But then, keyboards and printers took over.  For business and pleasure.

I was fairly recently shocked to discover my penmanship had severely deteriorated !   I've been working on it since, and it's getting better.  

 

When I was in college in the computer science department we had a huge uinivac main frame and ALL the Masters and PHD students wrote their thesis on the univac because it was quicker typing (longer formatting, nightmare) and they could print for free.  One spring just before finals the computer science Masters students crashed the univac and lost all the data.  The screams could be heard for miles when the others found out all their work had been lost.  Some was recovered by backup but over a weeks worth of data was lost.  The only "PC" was the tiny Texas Instruments machine that was very expensive and had very little function.

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12 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

When I was in college in the computer science department we had a huge uinivac main frame and ALL the Masters and PHD students wrote their thesis on the univac because it was quicker typing (longer formatting, nightmare) and they could print for free.  One spring just before finals the computer science Masters students crashed the univac and lost all the data.  The screams could be heard for miles when the others found out all their work had been lost.  Some was recovered by backup but over a weeks worth of data was lost.  The only "PC" was the tiny Texas Instruments machine that was very expensive and had very little function.

I would say that is good example why hard copies and handwriting will always have value even in advanced society. If the day comes that all data is only stored in the ephemeral cloud, than what happens when that cloud bursts.

I also worry about the eventual loss of all books and hard copy records, once all history and data is stored on external servers not owned by the individual, is the day that the corporations or state controlling those servers can rewrite and delete anything, even history and their will be no hard proof of the unaltered history or data to refute the will of the state.

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1 hour ago, WanderingFool0 said:

It did answer the question. Did you skip reading the quotes from that article showing the benefits? If so then read it, if it's not enough then research it yourself. The information is there, science agrees handwriting has value for brain development.

Are you confusing purpose with benefit?  I didn't ask for the benefits, maybe you want to go back and read that?

Benefit =/= purpose

 

1 hour ago, WanderingFool0 said:

I would also say anything that has individual positive benefits, then collectively for society it would have benefit. Just like the ability to read and write at all has self benefits, having a society that can read and write has benefits to society and even the state.

Your reading could do with an improvement.

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3 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

Are you confusing purpose with benefit?  I didn't ask for the benefits, maybe you want to go back and read that?

Benefit =/= purpose

 

Your reading could do with an improvement.

No you are just being purposely obtuse for some reason. Instilling the benefits for the individual and society would be the purpose. For example, what is the purpose of exercise? To receive the physical health benefits from the exercise.

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