They Don’t Write Them Like That Anymore


These days many lament the fact that public schools have opted to no longer teach how to read and write in cursive script citing that “kids won’t be able to read historic documents!”. A claim I call B.S. on by the way as my home schooled son, who never specifically received instruction in reading and writing in cursive, was able to read documents written in cursive without a problem as he demonstrated recently.

Bridge of Tears - Roadside stone Gaelic monument -The Bridge of Tears is where emigrants departing to America and/or Canada parted with family members remaining in Ireland, perhaps never to see one another again, with the emigrants just beginning a long walk to get to the ships and family members remaining in Ireland walking back to their homes in the opposite direction. Please write home! © Copyright Joseph Mischyshyn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Bridge of Tears – Roadside stone Gaelic monument -The Bridge of Tears is where emigrants departing to America and/or Canada parted with family members remaining in Ireland, perhaps never to see one another again, with the emigrants just beginning a long walk to get to the ships and family members remaining in Ireland walking back to their homes in the opposite direction. Please write home! © Copyright Joseph Mischyshyn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for preserving knowledge in archaic scripts, even those which have only recently become obsolete. But, why stop at modern cursive? Why not teach Ogham, Runes, Old Gaelic Script and Egyptian Hieroglyphics in public school too? After all, some very important documents were written in those scripts too were they not? Ah, but those have been translated and reproduced in modern languages and writing styles. Ah-hah! Exactly! This is where the Declaration Of Independence and Constitution arguments start to lose water I say, playing Ye Olde Devils Advocate (an entity I have no belief in remember). True, things have been re-translated and reproduced in nearly every modern language spoken. But, do you trust the translators to get it right? Hmmmm, now we might be on to something here. I write something and I might mean it a certain way when I write it. A hundred years later someone else comes along and decides to translate what I wrote but that person might not know the context I was writing in when I wrote it. So they write the words that they think I might have meant because, presumably a hundred years later I’m no longer around to ask exactly what I meant. This is why, I believe it behooves us all, to learn old languages, old writing styles and try to understand things in their original context. But, don’t rely on the government school system to do it for you. The resources are out there and freely available. Take the initiative and learn these things on your own. It’s a very worthwhile endeavor.



2 Replies to “They Don’t Write Them Like That Anymore”

  1. I’m not sure about teaching kids Runic, Egyptian heiroglyphs and Ogham. We have to draw the line somewhere! What gets left out so we can put those things in?
    But I do take your point. I learned Latin at school. I was not good at it and hated it, but I’m now glad I learned it. Similarly, some schools also taught Greek (Ancient). It’s a pity those have gone.
    I’m from the UK and by cursive writing we mean ‘joined up’. I don’t know if it has a different meaning in the US. Children here used to print until they got to around 8 or 9 years old, then learned to join the letters up.
    Now, though, my grandchildren learn ‘joined up’ writing right from the beginning. It seems, in the UK at least, printing has gone.

    1. I was being facetious about the Ogham, Egyptian Hieroglyphics, etc. 😉 But yes, cursive writing means joined up letters and here in the U.S. a lot of people are upset that they aren’t teaching the kids to write that way in public schools anymore. But honestly, what form of writing is most predominantly used in books, newspapers, magazines, signs, etc.? Does anyone use a cursive font regularly on their computers, tablets or smart phones? I see their point really. It’s an obsolete style. But I encourage people who have an interest in linguistics and history to pursue learning such things.

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