Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

General discussion about learning languages

Do you write using cursive?

No, I do not.
20
27%
No, I do not (but I secretly wish that I could).
5
7%
No, I do not (but I wish that my children could).
1
1%
Yes, I do.
29
39%
Yes, I do and would like my children to learn the script too.
19
26%
 
Total votes: 74

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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby Iversen » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:01 am

Oh that monsieur Satie... the inventor of the funniest work titles in the history of music, reputedly determined only to eat white food and to walk back and forth every day the 10 km to his day time job in Paris. But also a very meticulous and musical mind with a calligraphic handwriting.

It may be at the limit of what should be included in this thread, but I have read (or tried to read) a fair number of handwritten scores - sometimes by the composer ('holographs'), but probably more often by a copyist or apprentice - and those that got published in that form in the old days were usually fairly pretty, although rather sterile since it wouldn't make sense to publish anything that was illegible. On the other hand ... only the paper price can explain why this Elizabethan keyboard music was written like this, but not how it later was decoded (I hasten to say that the old notebooks were written for private use, not for mass consumption):

Something from Fitzwilliams virginal book - heaven knows what.jpg
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The following pieces by Telemann, Bach and Mozart should be genuine holographs, but were probably written for publication (or at least distibutions among collegues) so the copyist had to be able to read them - but not more than that. The sketches would probably look even worse. However when you publish something it has to be legible, otherwise people won't buy it, and the hand-engraved editions I have seen on for instance the site IMSLP (where I also have deposited my own humble production) are generally quite neat - though not always easy to read, for a number of reasons which mostly has little to do with the quality of the writing. Even during the 20. century some scores were published as reproductions of somebody's handwriting, but today it's so easy to produce scores with computers that the art of writing legible scores by hand is likely to die out with my generation.

TeleBachMoz.jpg
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PS to Tractor: I can make anything connect- like the dots over the letter i in the following example from this forum:

5_Tunes.jpg
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby 白田龍 » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:10 am

I had learned cursive at school, but switched to print as I grew older. Then I started doing the print strokes without lifting the the pen from the paper for speed, and it became cursive again. But as this was not very readable I've returned to school-cursive when writing for other ppl to read.
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby Le Baron » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:38 am

I find it risky saying this because I already have a reputation by now, but I find print writing looks childish. Like children's writing. Perhaps other's here are also appalled when receiving hand-written stuff from someone 'professional', yet their handwriting looks like that of a primary school child? Or not even that good.
Here in the Netherlands quite a lot of people write in semi-joined up with print or just print. There is also a tendency to put lower case 'i' in the middle of capitals and upper case 'R' in-between lower case writing. I always frown when I see it. It might as well have little smiley faces over the i's in place of dots. For sure it is passed on memetically.

I loved that cavalcade of holographs up there from Iversen. Those pre-16thC are either super readable calligraphy or horrible unreadable things. Some manuscripts of the 'greats' are also very unreadable. I often wonder if the transcribers have actually made mistakes, they're very patient.
Re: Satie, the commission for the piece from the first collection I posted (Sports et Divertissements) was rejected by Stravinsky because the fee was too low. When they offered it to Satie he was insulted because the fee was too high! Strange fellow indeed.
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby tractor » Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:21 pm

Le Baron wrote:I find it risky saying this because I already have a reputation by now, but I find print writing looks childish. Like children's writing.

I somewhat agree. When I grew up, only children printed. Everybody was used to reading cursive. People wrote letters by hand. Many offices had secretaries whose main task was to type out what others had written by hand.

Today the situation is very different. At school they use PCs and tablets from an early age and write a lot less by hand. I guess many of them never get enough practice to develop a good handwriting. Adults also write a lot less by hand, both at work and at home. Most written communication is done typing. Today I spent eight hours at the office and the only handwriting I did was to put my signature on a piece of paper. There are days when I don't even touch a pen.

Penmanship needs practice. If you don't write much, your handwriting slowly deteriorates and finally becomes illegible. The easy solution then is print and block letters.
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby tungemål » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:18 pm

How do you write cursive lower case "r"?
I learned to write like this in school (i.e. løkkeskrift, same as Tractor).
Image

I have changed to this r which I think is more authentic cursive, but I'm not sure if it's more legible. I worked on my handwriting last year when I was writing out vocabulary longhand.
Image
Last edited by tungemål on Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby Le Baron » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:24 pm

Bottom one, and learned it at school.
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby Iversen » Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:41 pm

I have totally forgotten how I was taught to write the r in school (where the norm was called 'skønskrift', i.e. 'beautiful writing' hahaha). As I have mentioned before I now mix some elements of 'formskrift' (the other one) into my writing, and I make connections and separations which definitely aren't allowed by the calligraphic gurus, but I had never really studied why I choose one way of doing the r's - so when Tungemål aroused my curiosity I scribbled some random Danish words with r's and looked at them. It seems that if the r's aren't connected to anything to the left OR to something high up then the vertical line is double, else I try to do one simple line. And if the preceding letter is attached low and the following one high up then I reduce the r to a single curved line connecting the two. If the right one should connect low it seems that I move the connection to a middle position (as in "curling" or "urter" (herbs)).

I'm sure I didn't learn that in school..

PS: does anyone else here hate lifting your pen to write that silly dot over an i? And why is a big I the same as a small l in most fonts - the only place where the i dot could have been of any use?

r.jpg
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby tractor » Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:55 pm

Iversen wrote:I have totally forgotten how I was taught to write the r in school (where the norm was called 'skønskrift', i.e. 'beautiful writing' hahaha).

We also said skjønnskrift, but if i recall correctly, we used it specifically to refer to writing for the sake of developing a good handwriting; in other words, cursive lessons.

Iversen wrote:PS: does anyone else here hate lifting your pen to write that silly dot over an i?

Yes, it is a nuisance. I usually write the entire word in one go without lifting the pen, and then add the dots, accents, umlauts etc.

Iversen wrote:And why is a big I the same as a small l in most fonts - the only place where the i dot could have been of any use?

I think they are different in most serif fonts.

The dots serve a purpose in handwriting. They help distinguishing the letters and improves readability. For example, in many cursive handwriting styles it would be difficult to see the difference between the letter sequence -uiu- and -iui- or between -iwi- and -iivi- without the dots. And if the n's and the u's look more or less the same too, it gets even worse.
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby Serpent » Fri Oct 29, 2021 8:43 am

I found this page I handwrote to post on Unilang back in 2006 :lol:
DSC00062.JPG
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Back then I actually got some awful responses, like people openly calling my handwriting terrible and others speculating that my letters jump because you go from all the way up to all the way down the line when writing block letters :shock:
Did you notice that when I say "I can write in a better handwriting", I'm trying to do just that? :lol: Same in Russian.

As you've realized by now I was never taught to write the English/Latin alphabet in cursive. Weirdly my teachers have always used cursive when correcting, and expected us to understand it without ever explaining, even in elementary school. I've probably picked up some easier letters from them, like h, l, j. Throughout the many English classes I've had, most people wrote in print/somewhat joined up letters but there was always someone who had been taught to use cursive.
Many lowercase letters are basically the same as Cyrillic ones (not just a and o, but also n, m, g, u which are different in print), so I began to write them the same way as in Russian. I was really weirded out by cursive z being the same as Russian though and I literally can't bring myself to use it :shock: I generally use a print r but the cursive one is written the same way as ч (used twice in my Russian sample). I might use it when trying to write fast? Not sure haha.
My capital letters are basically print except for D, E and a couple others. I find them too decorative, also in Russian.
tractor wrote:I usually write the entire word in one go without lifting the pen, and then add the dots, accents, umlauts etc.
When I started Finnish I actually had to unlearn this, as seeing a word without the diacritics made me remember it and second-guess myself. But in Finnish they're just completely different letters, unlike German where the umlaut is added in a different word form.

@Cainntear tbh I don't see anything special about the Scottish joined-up writing. The neater part of my Russian text is basically an example of joined-up Cyrillic, and that takes ages to write. Yes, loops are ugly and (can be) illegible but they do help you write faster. That's how I would write when going out of my way to be understood (in practice I would find a way to deliver the message electronically).
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Re: Cursive: Going The Way Of The Dodo?

Postby Beli Tsar » Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:03 am

Serpent wrote:@Cainntear tbh I don't see anything special about the Scottish joined-up writing. The neater part of my Russian text is basically an example of joined-up Cyrillic, and that takes ages to write. Yes, loops are ugly and (can be) illegible but they do help you write faster. That's how I would write when going out of my way to be understood (in practice I would find a way to deliver the message electronically).

Agreed, and I see a quick google search of definitions suggests joined-up writing is what cursive is. I'm also a Scot here, but I feel slightly puzzled by the whole discussion, just from the other side. My older child is expected to write in joined-up writing/cursive now, at the age of 8, and will write in it for the rest of his life. All schoolwork will have to be written that way.

It's completely normal here - printing is reserved for official documents where you need block capitals for clarity, and people who have real trouble with writing. And I work with adults from a real range of educational backgrounds.

Personally I don't see how I could have got through my education without it - printing is so slow, you simply couldn't get through all our long written exams without it.

The idea of adults printing is quite odd, so the whole idea of it 'going the way of the dodo' feels very strange. Another example of very different educational systems, I suppose!
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