Niagara Gazette

Opinion

May 5, 2013

GLYNN: No need winding up to write

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — There are some strong arguments against such a drastic change. For instance, as one teacher pointed out, if students can’t write cursive, they won’t be able to read cursive. Handwriting, it can be said, is a reflection of our humanity.  

“Penmanship develops fine motor skills, and most students find that when they practice, they can radically improve their handwriting,” according to Eldra Avery, a high school English teacher. She raises a valid point: “With Internet plagiarism a concern, many teachers have increased in-class writing assignments, and they essays must be legible.”  

As for correct penmanship, Ring Lardner, the great humorist, baseball writer, newspaper columnist and masterful writer of short stories, offered a suggestion gleaned from his childhood days in Niles, Mich.

 Lardner explained: “The rules of penmanship at that time provided that you had to lean your head over to the left, wind up like they was nobody on second base, and when you finally touched pen to paper, your head followed through from left to right so that when you come to the end of the line, your right ear laid flat on the desk.”

•••

THE OTHER SIDE: Not everyone, of course, is upset that cursive has fallen out of favor. As one fourth grade teacher noted: “This is the age of iPads, cell phones and computers. When a kid can text 80 words per minute, does he really need to learn cursive?  

Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.

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