TED Conversations

Robert Winner

TEDCRED 100+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Should cursive writing be required in schools?

Only three state have made cursive a part of the core curriculum requirements while 45 states require proficiency in computer keyboarding at the elementry level. Some states have made cursive optional.

Has our society advanced to the point of where handwriting has become unnecessary.

What impacts can you see on not being able to write in cursive. Could printing be just as acceptable?

+1
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Dec 1 2012: I think it is difficult for us "older" folks to accept the changes in communication. The value of good penmanship was something that was important in our education process so we are reluctant to let it go.
    Young people communicate faster and more efficiently than we ever did, shortened words, snap chat, instagram....We talked on the phone for hours, they text, email, facebook, surf the net and watch netflix all at the same time. There were many who thought the Radio, telephone, TV, and even the Typewriter were ridiculous inventions. All of those things changed the way we communicate and the "old" folks of that time were probably annoyed about it.
    The nice thing about being a parent is that you can choose to educate your child the way you want them educated.
    I think the physically written word will become a thing of the past in the not so distant future. I'll always keep a hand written journal, but my kids will do theirs with Dragon.
    • thumb
      Dec 1 2012: Are we really just 'old' and only me still in denial, or are we a transitional generation which came to see both sides of the coin?

      I was born in 1969 and at the right age when the digital revolution started to roll. I learned cursive writing AND to write my first program in BASIC. I played the video game Pong as enthusiastic as I played Diablo III just 37 years later. I operate notebooks in paper and digital, and I talk to my Dragon with the same patience as I do with my cat. Yet it takes hours of work to open a single file which I stored only 15 years ago, because I can not get the software to run on modern computers. Downward compatibility is a myth and digital storage devices are not lossless, they age over time as well. :o)

      I have a period in my life on which I have no paper record. In which I did not print out this beautiful e-mail of a friend, in which I did not write my thoughts onto paper and didn't print the pictures at a photo store. A single hard-drive failure wiped it all out. No backup, no data recovery possible at that time due to budget, drive dumped.

      Who prints out a tweet today? Sms? Facebook comments or pictures? What will young generations hold in their hands while walking down memory lane in their late 80s? Will Twitter still be there, or Facebook? How do they keep their digital memories alive? In 'The Cloud'? Run by companies who may burst in the next 'bubble' together with all their storage hardware? Will they be able to read their Dragon memos or listen to voice recordings at a time where pdf and mp3 have become as exotic as wax cylinder recordings are today?

      Personally I don't know anyone who keeps digital data up to date in formatting and compatibility. And the tricky part of 'good old times' is, that they appear later in life than we may think they will.

      Kids run in their personal 'memento vacuum' and not knowing it. The old term 'Horror vacui' may get a new meaning in the future. On this I truly hope to be just old and wrong.
    • Dec 3 2012: In prefer to keep penmanship good, Tiffany, any e it now needs to be kept *simple* as well.
      When 19th-century fashions in clothing fell out of favor, this did not means the abolition of good clothing.
  • thumb
    Nov 29 2012: "The way to write is well, and how is your own business." -- A. J. Liebling
  • Nov 27 2012: Handwriting matters ... But does cursive matter?
    Research shows: the fastest and most legible handwriters avoid cursive. They join only some letters, not all of them: making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and using print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree. (Citations appear below)

    When following the rules doesn't work as well as breaking them, it’s time to re-write and upgrade the rules. The discontinuance of cursive offers a great opportunity to teach some better-functioning form of handwriting that is actually closer to what the fastest, clearest handwriters do anyway. (There are indeed textbooks and curricula teaching handwriting this way. Cursive and printing are not the only choices.)

    Reading cursive still matters — this takes just 30 to 60 minutes to learn, and can be taught to a five- or six-year-old if the child knows how to read. The value of reading cursive is therefore no justification for writing it.

    (In other words, we could simply teach kids to _read_ old-fashioned handwriting and save the year-and-a-half that are expected to be enough for teaching them to _write_ that way too ... not to mention the actually longer time it takes to teach someone to perform such writing _well_.)

    Remember, too: whatever your elementary school teacher may have been told by her elementary school teacher, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over signatures written in any other way. (Don't take my word for this: talk to any attorney.)



    CITATIONS:

    /1/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, and Naomi Weintraub.
    THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HANDWRITING STYLE AND SPEED AND LEGIBILITY.
    1998: on-line at http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/27542168.pdf

    and

    /2/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, Naomi Weintraub, and William Schafer.
    DEVELOPMENT OF HANDWRITING SPEED AND LEGIBILITY IN GRADES 1-9.
    1998: on-line at http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/27542188.pdf
    • thumb
      Nov 28 2012: interesting. that's exactly how i write, only joining certain letters together where it is fastest. my writing becomes a strange print/cursive hybrid, all depending on the specific words i am writing. the speed at which i write in this hybrid greatly exceeds the speed at which i write plain print or plain cursive. for example... i'll write the -ing on words in cursive but i will never write the standard cursive r because i find it slow and bulky, and when writing "te" in a word, i write a connected "le" and cross the t. separating letters slows me down!

      i think teaching kids to write efficiently is very important regardless of the prevalence of keyboards. there is always going to be a need to write by hand. efficiency should be the main focus. perhaps along with learning how to write in print, kids could be taught how to write in cursive as well so they can develop a hybrid style that works for them. if a child completely rejects writing in cursive, they should at least be able to read it.

      i should also add legibility is included with the efficiency.
      • Nov 28 2012: If you look at the history of handwriting textbooks, a style of the "hybrid" type was already in place (and was the standard) in the earliest published handwriting textbooks (Renaissance Italy), pre-dating cursive-as-we-know-it by at least 100 years ... And pre-dating (by another 400 years or so) the comparatively recent custom of teaching two diametrically opposite styles (print before cursive).
        Rather than have two styles for the sake of later creating a hybrid, when I teach I start with the hybrid & optionally derive other forms from that if the student is interested in more. Starting with the hybrid also makes it easy to recap the historical (d)evolution to later, frillier forms: so that the students can read these, whether or not they ever choose to write them.
      • thumb
        Nov 30 2012: You are also not using capitals in your text here, probably due to efficiency reasons and even in a language which uses so little capitals in its writing in general. But the legibility is good... ;o)

        Your hybrid style is perfectly fine and it is the same with me. But I think this way of 'efficiency' is highly individual and nothing which could actually be taught. I would prefer to be less strict on the rules of cursive writing earlier and to encourage students to find their very own style instead.

        Yet in any case legibility goes for efficiency, because otherwise it would count as encryption methode and would fall under state security laws ... :o)
  • Dec 6 2012: How about a typing class that types in cursive the whole time!? You can read cursive that way and also learn how to type! Also picking up the ability to sign cursive wouldnt be hard to believe... Thank me later for the 2 dead birds.
  • Dec 5 2012: Cursive writing is absolutely necessary. I know with the changing technologies it seems arbitrary but it actually encourages analytic thinking. Not to mention that print is very easy to fabricate while cursive writing tends to have a more "Signature" look, after all, a signature has to be in cursive to be considered legitimate. SAT's still require students to write the on the back of the booklet saying they won't share information using cursive and sign it for that EXACT reason. Saying it's unnecessary will do society a grand disservice. Kids today don't even know how to write and professors at universities are trying to teach these fundamentals instead of coursework, thus impeding on course material. High school should focus on the proper format IN ADDITION to the correct sentence structures. Writing in cursive allow students' thought to flow more "freely" rather than be hindered by the specific directional changes of print writing. Also, "handwriting" actually means that it is in cursive not print, since "writing in print" means just that. It frustrates me so much to see people take an approach of cutting-out cursive because they didn't bother to learn it and find it difficult to use. If it was taught early in elementary school like it's supposed to be, people wouldn't have that problem.
    • Dec 5 2012: you know you said it so much more eloquently, than my.. "My God, its not taught in Kindergarten" (i'm not from the US, so i didn't know)

      In fact I was so shocked i searched to see if the origin post was true, that's how much I didn't believe this and how stunned I am.

      I am honestly NOT joking with you here, not at all.

      Tech or no, its about the flow of thought from ones mind through to the page, the act of actually feeling the pen transfer, the control, the refinement, the thought and the eloquence of language as you join the nuances together. The eloquence of sustaining thought in a flowing manner, just as speech.

      In fact cursive already reminds me of speech, of a conversation with you the reader, who is unseen, where non-cursive, is the antithesis of this, it's the barking of commands.

      Its now no surprise to me, that most email's I get now are "twitterized". I'd always read them as if somehow feeling the person didn't learn nor has the power to fully express their full meaning, and I think this must have an influence on it.

      Same too, it's clearly a sad state of affairs how people cant read more than one or two lines without being distracted or bored, as the blatantly obvious mean is not given, but rather the subtleties of the situations.

      Which is why I've taken to put lines breaks unlike Alexa, as if to somehow help people get through the difficulty of horror of looking at long paragraph.

      Lastly cursive, has taught me to think BEFORE I write, even if it's typed, as it makes me think about the flow the structure the steam of consciousness, the thoughts, the ideas, the possibilities. And only when that's been formulated to put with pen to paper, or hands on the keyboard.

      So in some ways we're making things harder for children now and when they get to university as this is where, and in later life, they'll need those very skills.

      Or would we rather condemn those children to a life where the only skill required is to ask..."Do you want fries with that?"
  • Dec 5 2012: I can understand how cursive writing can be considered a dying form of communication, but the connotations of its death are conceptually far reaching. Practicality aside, cursive writing is an ancient part of global culture, and not just within the English language but within others as well. To provide a more illustrative depiction of the point I would like to make, I would like to loosely describe our relationship with the hand-written word.

    From the time society began to have form, language has been integral to our understanding of the world around us. Initially our forms of communication might have been through action, that is to say, through hand gestures, the physical interaction with the things around us, body language. As we developed the linguistic qualities that have determined the world's languages today, we began to form words that have meaning within context. Grammar began to form and structure became inherent in how we spoke and articulated to others our identities and relationships. Soon we invented a system that we could use to document our history, and it is through that system that we have progressed in understanding the world.

    Cursive is a thing that notably left us with a legacy of hard copy accounts of world history. Even more important, the hard copy manufacturing of language itself (any language) has allowed us to gain an understanding of other societies and cultures, both ancient and current. While it is fine that communication is moving to an ever more present e-format, just the fact that our documents might become and forever be electronic is dangerous, as it is possible to lose electronic data. If even to preserve the legacy of civilization, the hard-copy, hand-written form of documentation is important, or at the very least having printed versions of our collective global knowledge.
  • thumb
    Dec 5 2012: I think that there really isn't a point to cursive writing other than knowing how to sign your name. They put such an emphasis on teaching it in elementary school. I remember being told as a kid that they only allowed cursive writing once you got to high school. Obviously that isn't the case. All throughout high school and college I was told not to use cursive. To be perfectly honest, I haven't handwritten any assignment I've had since about elementary school.. so why not spend this time teaching kids about things that they will actually use or focus more on the subjects that form the base of everything they will learn in the future.
    • thumb
      Dec 5 2012: Leanna - you look fairly young. I think your ideas are those of the future. I agree that there are more important things that should fill the school day than an old fashioned method of communication. It's difficult for some of us to "let go" of what we've always known, but I fear the end of the handwritten note is near.
      • Dec 5 2012: Taking cursive out of academia and other curricula will stunt the already depreciating value of analytic thinking. Students today BS their way through assignments as they memorize facts without any concept of them .Cursive writing actually forces you to examine what you are saying rather than how it looks you are saying it. The free-flow form of cursive allows thoughts to gain a sense of cohesiveness in writing. George Orwell said that the politics in education have been ruining society's ability to write. Most students nowadays cannot concisely phrase what needs to be said in an articulate and sophisticated manner without being overly wordy. Besides granting careful attention to sentence structure, that ability to formulate coherent and cohesive thoughts originates from cursive writing. Getting rid of it is completely foolish despite your (Leanna) apparent "lack of use." I actually use cursive to take ALL my notes. When your notes are handwritten, you remember them better because you are "writing them into your brain" or so to speak, and that concept has been studied. You may not use cursive now but I guarantee when you have greater requirements and responsibilities, you will.
        • Dec 9 2012: What does cursive writing have to do with analytic thinking? I agree that excessive memorization and conversational writing are both problems in education, however, I fail to see their connection to cursive. I also fail to see how writing in cursive automatically curbs one's wordiness or improves grammar, these skills come from training and experience. I disapprove of the remark that coherent and cohesive thought can only be produced by wielding a pen. This statement suggests that people such as R. A. Fisher and Stephen Hawking were incapable of thinking analytically or communicating concisely, because they did not have the ability to write out their thoughts in cursive.

          I support cursive education and I have enjoyed reading appeals in this forum that argue for cursive's historical and cultural value. I myself enjoy calligraphy. What bothered me about the post above was the presumption that cursive writing is closely tied to analytical thinking.

          In the spirit of quoting dystopian authors I would like to end this post with a quote that I think is relevant to this discussion. From Juan Ramón Jiménez and in the epigraph of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" : "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way."
  • Dec 4 2012: Cursive, also known as script, joined-up writing. My God, I thought that was done in kindergarten, your telling me its NOT?
  • Dec 4 2012: Okay maybe I should learn a language. I am just advocating cursive writing. Also, teaching spelling is a good idea. Maybe this makes sense.

    OR to spell.
    NLP discusses strategies to learn to spell more quickly and easily.
  • Dec 2 2012: I was born in the 50's and my mother taught me to write in cursive before I went to kindergarten. When my teacher wanted me to print my letters, I refused because cursive was prettier. After a parent-teacher discussion I acquiesced. Good penmanship was emphasized both by school and my parents. My dad felt that people would judge you as stupid if your handwriting was poor.To this day, I find writing in cursive to be a pleasure. A pleasure that is missing from keyboard entry. I've worked using technology for many years and sometimes type notes on my iPad or laptop to cut down on paper that I must track. But I find that my memory of information is better if I wrote my notes in cursive. I would be surprised if I were alone in this. And there's something to be said about the self-sufficiency of being able to handwrite rapidly and legibly without relying on electricity, software and hardware. Yes, you need a pen or pencil... but those are so basic and readily at hand.
    • thumb
      Dec 5 2012: I agree with you about the act of writing as a way of better remembering/learning. I love the physical process of writing.
  • W T 100+

    • +1
    Nov 30 2012: A few years back when one of my children was in the 5th grade, I chose to teach them how to write in cursive.
    Every now and again I hear the expression: "Mom, I'm so glad you taught me how to write in cursive". This always brings a warm smile to my face.

    And another expression, "Mom, beside me, do you know any other young person who can write in cursive?" I always have to shake my head no.....

    I personally, find writing in cursive is very handy. I have therefore chosen to teach it to my children, as well as any other interested children.

    The nice thing about cursive, is that you can learn it yourself if you want to. You don't need the school to teach it to you.
    • thumb
      Dec 1 2012: Kudos to you Mary! So many parents complain about what is happening in public school, yet do nothing. You're a Rock Star mom. All parents should participate in educating their children even if that means adding in your own home curriculum. You're an inspiration.
      • W T 100+

        • +1
        Dec 1 2012: Thank you.

        I suppose that I really appreciate having in my possession an instrument that will not break upon dropping to the floor, that needs no charging, and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen, and, one which I can give away freely to anyone who needs it more than me......the pencil/pen.
  • thumb
    Nov 30 2012: Handwritten notes and letters convey a lot of information that printed notes do not. Graphology views handwriting as a trace of mini-gestures. Handwriting can have information about character and personality, as well as about the mood of the writer. Are the lines straight or wavy? Are lines horizontal or shift up or down? How hard did the hand push on the pen? Are the letters linked or separate? Round or sharp? Are letters wide and spaced out or narrow and close together? All these details are believed to bear information about personality. E.g. I've read that fancy letter decorations reveal rich imagination. Linked handwriting, where letters smoothly flow into each other indicate a person with strong reasoning abilities, able to connect things together. Narrow margins indicate a frugal person trying to use every inch of the paper. Long horizontal strikes at the end of lines, as if person tries to make sure that nothing is added, may indicate a suspecting person, etc.

    Also, a handwritten invitation or a thank you note indicate that the person took the time to think about each addressee individually instead of printing multiple copies of the same message without personal attention.

    Since handwriting is related to personality, it is clear that cursive may not suit everyone. Some people naturally choose to write with cursive, some naturally tend to write with block letters. This brings to mind another question: should all children be taught the same curriculum at school? Some are better at languages, some at math, some like to express ideas graphically or through music. It's a tough question. If one loves cursive, it does not mean that cursive would work for everyone or that everyone needs to be taught cursive.
  • Nov 28 2012: Cursive should be taught in school. Some kids are better at cursive than printing and if they aren't taught the skill, they'll always just believe they have terrible handwriting.

    Writing in a different manner encourages a different way of thought and that should be encouraged.
  • Nov 28 2012: You aren't alone, Sterling Brewer. Just this January, I was at a a conference of handwriting teachers (of all people!), among whom a survey revealed that 55% admit that their own handwriting is a hybrid: (This is question #2 on the survey — http://www.hw21summit.com/media/zb/hw21/files/H2937N_post_event_stats.pdf

    Another 8% said they "print" their writing —
    only 37% (fewer than two-fifths!) claimed to use cursive when they write.

    It was VERY interesting to see the expressions on the conference staffers' faces when the survey was tabulated, and the results displayed, at the end of the day. Even more interesting were the facial expressions, and the murmured comments, of numerous attendees: plainly, many of them were surprised (and often delighted) to find that they were not the only ones NOT practicing what they preach (or teach).

    For what it's worth, my experience and observation are that many folks in the handwriting business (who declare themselves for cursive) write a hybrid but aren't even aware that they do. It's quite common, for instance, for teacherly comments on grade-schoolers' papers to be in a clear, rapid, semi-connected hybrid — but to read something like: "Please always write in cursive. It is very important to write in cursive We are big boys and girls now, so we need to be using the cursive alphabet and connecting ALL our letters instead of partly printing": yet the teacher is "partly printing" throughout this comment.
    I actually know of cases where kids were sent to the principal, to the guidance counselor — or, in a couple of cases, to the school psychologist — for asking why the teacher claimed to be writing in cursive when she wasn't. The teachers in these cases were unaware of how they, themselves, were writing: when they were forced to look at how they actually wrote — versus how they imagined themselves to write — reactions were, again, interesting.
  • thumb
    Nov 27 2012: I was thinking about the slide rule recently after seeing one at a garage sale (50-cents). They were once an integral part of everyday routine for students and engineers. Now they are archaic and irrelevant. Is there a convincing argument to restore, or maintain, teaching the slide rule? I can't think of one. If technology, or conditions, render a tool or skill irrelevant and unnecessary it should be replaced in the curriculum. So, the question is: Has cursive handwriting become irrelevant and/or unnecessary? I say yes it has. So my argument in your debate is con. Thank you.
    • thumb
      Nov 27 2012: Let get this right ... slide rules are archaic and irrelevant ... when did that happen ..... I really have to get out more. I was a member of the slide rule club ... guess they will break up too. It's a sad day.

      You are right of course.

      I really hate going to sales and museums and have my grandkids ask ... what is that grandpa? It is always something that I have used and know well. It is because I read a lot ... not that I am old or anything.

      Always a pleasure to correspond with you. Bob.
    • thumb
      Nov 27 2012: They are so rare now, that they often carry a premium price!
      • thumb
        Nov 27 2012: Really? I might have to find mine...
      • thumb
        Nov 27 2012: As will anyone who can use a pen or pencil to perform the lost art of penmanship.
        • thumb
          Nov 27 2012: I think those of us who still write often by hand should make sure we write something that way for the next generations in our families, so they retain a sample of that soon-to-be-lost art.
  • Dec 13 2012: While I think that cursive longhand is beautiful when done well, I think it is not entirely necessary to learn it in school.

    "But it's faster!" I have seen people print just as fast as a cursive hand can be written. Also, if it is speed you're after, shorthand outpaces everything, including a professional typist with a keyboard. Schools might do well to teach this.

    "When I write this way, my thoughts are more cohesive because it enables me to analyse as I write." If this is true for you, that's fine. However, it's not true for me, or for the 1 billion Chinese people who write with pictographs, many of whom I'm sure have cohesive thoughts and ample analytical ability.

    "It's part of our history and culture." I agree that learning how to read cursive may be important culturally--for example, this skill would find use in examining primary source documents. Learning how to write cursive may also be important culturally and could have a place in art classes.

    "We need to use cursive to sign things." Perhaps, but people's signatures will always be unique, printed or not. Interestingly, in Asia signatures are not used. Instead, they use a stamp (in Japan, it's called a HANKO).

    "Why is handwriting on the wane?" I believe it is a symptom of a big shift in our culture that began with the immediacy that electronics brought to our communication. Handwriting is linear and progressive, but communication has become more oral and immediate. In other words, our literate culture is taking on features of an oral culture. What it will become, I don't know. However, I think that it is important to give respect to our new cultural norm, and if this means ditching an outmoded method of writing, there is nothing wrong with that. Or with experiencing a few growing pains:)

    Marshall McLuhan has lots to say about this cultural shift in "Understanding Media."
  • Dec 9 2012: I think it should still be taught in schools. I work in upper management and I find myself still using it from time to time. I deal with a property insurance company when my customers have a loss and they prefer things be done the "old fashion way" and be hand written and mailed. I find that cursive still does come in handy for me.
  • Dec 5 2012: I know I posted this in a comment below, but it deserves saying again. At the end I'll give you the best reason that I can that actually shows why what I say, I believe to be true.

    I'll also add, that i think age, as some have commented has nothing to do with this, eg Tiffany, nor am i disagreeing with Danger, but rather hopefully giving him the very reason he asks for.

    I quote myself...

    Tech or no, its about the flow of thought from ones mind through to the page, the act of actually feeling the pen transfer, the control, the refinement, the thought and the eloquence of language as you join the nuances together. The eloquence of sustaining thought in a flowing manner, just as speech.

    In fact cursive already reminds me of speech, of a conversation with you the reader, who is unseen, where non-cursive, is the antithesis of this, it's the barking of commands.


    And in reference to both of those paragraphs, you can see cursive in my first example, and capitalization in the second.

    Those being;

    1) The declaration of independence. ( click on the image to enlarge it )

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence


    2) The Ten commandments.

    http://christianrep.com/blog/the-good-stuff/the-ten-commandments/
  • thumb
    Dec 5 2012: Being that computers have a hard time reading cursive, maybe it w0uid be best lf we hu-mans malntaln a c0mmunlcatlon
    sy st em
    th-ey can t re~ad. ;)
  • thumb
    Dec 4 2012: Should the ability to read "The Declaration of Independence" be required?
    Too much of history is in cursive to let it be a forgotten art.

    Plus with the future advancements in voice to text and text to voice, do you think all typing, keyboarding and printing should optional some day?
    • thumb
      Dec 5 2012: As the mother of teenagers, I feel very confident that there are few in the public school system today that could read the Declaration in it's original form. SCARY!!
      Yes, I think that typing, writing, keyboarding, all of them will drop out of the daily routine in less years than I prefer to admit.
      Next year my older son will be a Senior. His school is switching to an all IPAD Curriculum. They will have all of their text books on the IPAD, They do their homework, write papers and take tests on line. For him, the only thing left to "write" are math problems. They take notes on their laptops. He uses verbal text.
  • Dec 3 2012: Re:
    > A few years ago all texts were changed from the generality of "he" or "him" to include both sexes and the term >s/he came into effect and was substuted [sic] for all "he" or "him" in texts.

    ALL texts, everywhere? The ones in my library haven't changed — neither has all of Google, which includes recent prose containing "him/her" along with whatever usages you suppose to have "all" been abolished.
    By whom, sir, were they abolished — and how?.
  • Dec 3 2012: Let me know what you think!
  • Dec 3 2012: Re:
    "Kate: s/he is the shortened she and/or he"

    I would have thought so, too, but of course I'd immediately realized that it wouldn't have made any sense because what you'd written was "let s/he" ... and expanding that to "let she and/or he" wouldn't have made any more sense than the original. If "let him or her" is the intent, wouldn't the abbreviated version be "let him/her"? I'm trying to figure out why, and where, a (presumably) native speaker of English would use "let s/he" instead of "let him/her." Have I been wrong, all these years, to have "him" and "her" in my vocabulary? I'd thought that I spoke this language pretty well ...

    Re:
    " .... whalla in general means there it is"

    I don't understand the phrase "means there it is." Of course I'm familiar, like most literate user of English, with the word "voilà" — pronounced "vwa-LA," borrowed from French, and meaning _precisely_ "there it is." Magicians, of course, often use that word. Could you have had "voilà" in mind, and not bothered much about how to spell it or pronounce it?
    • thumb
      Dec 3 2012: A few years ago all texts were changed from the generality of "he" or "him" to include both sexes and the term s/he came into effect and was substuted for all "he" or "him" in texts. Shooting the messenger will not help.

      Walla or voila ... a rose is a rose by any other name. Please contact the magicians union to issue a change.

      Does either of the corrections you suggest impact the question of cursive writing?

      Thanks for your reply. Bob.
  • Dec 3 2012: A lot of tasks in school are designed to stimulate the mind. The task itself is just a means of teaching the mind to process new information. However I don’t believe cursive writing is the most efficient way of helping in the learning process. Plus there is not much applicable use for cursive writing. Student’s time could be better spent. I’m sure we could all agree that there is “possibly” a more efficient replacement.
  • Dec 3 2012: Sure, along with clay tablet script. Soon we will have direct mind control for all our communication needs.
  • Dec 3 2012: My own comment referred to your earlier praise (in this thread) of an elaborately decorated cast-iron column.
  • Dec 3 2012: Sorry, I don't understand a question that has been stripped of full context. Please supply the missing context by indicating (e.g.) what noun underlies "ones" in your sentence, or by quoting the sentence to which your question was a repy.
  • Dec 3 2012: Keyboards are on the way out. Pens will be back in again before too long. Not the old type with ink in them but ones that write into devices. Not sure if you will need cursive but good handwriting will help you with the next bit of technology. Plus we need to reevaluate shorthand for writing on a tablet. Shorthand is still the fastest way of writing ever devised.
  • Dec 3 2012: To Robert Winner:
    I don't understand "let s/he"/"whalla"/"a k class" — are those abbreviations from texting? What do they stand for?
    • thumb
      Dec 3 2012: Kate: s/he is the shortened she and/or he .... whalla in general means there it is and was widely used by magicians .... k means kindergarten. Sorry for the confusion.

      Thank you for your participation in this conversation. Bob.