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Chicken Scratch vs. No Scratch

I've noticed lately that my handwriting has taken a treacherous turn for the worse. Not to the point of illegible, but I wouldn't get an "A" in any handwriting class. As a youngster, I took pride in my script. I took my time. I added flair with curls. I dotted each "I" with a circle because I thought it looked cool. Now those decorations seem silly, but at least you could read it. Advancing to cursive in the third grade was a rite of passage. Print was for babies. Before I learned cursive, I would try to make it up, resulting in block letters with awkward tails attached. I could not wait to master the art of cursive writing.

I remember seeing a college friend named "Blair" sign her name with the prettiest "B" I'd ever witnessed. I incorporated that into the beginning of my first name, and still use it to this day. The problem is, the rest of my scribbling no longer compares to that "B". I've let aging or laziness deteriorate my cursive to chicken scratch. Shame on me.

Recently, a fellow former teacher and I had a conversation about handwriting. She informed me that most elementary schools don't even teach cursive writing anymore. Shut the front door! Are you kidding? I understand that computers have taken over most educational institutions, but shouldn't children know how to sign their name correctly? My script may be sloppy, but I do know how to take my time and write suitably if need be. Has cursive become a thing of the past?

At some point, aren't these little learners going to have to sign a legal document, mortgage or driver's license? Is printing now accepted? I was taught that a cursive signature was required for anything official. Call me old fashioned, but I think it's a skill all students should have, even if it turns to chicken scratch when they're older. I would never sign a contract in block script. Have the standards been lowered because the younger generation doesn't know how to sign their name properly?

Time to sound off on your soap box. What is your opinion? I'm open to hearing all points of view, so share yours below or at

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Here's the guide from the olden days.

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