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Experts Say Cursive Is Becoming a Lost Art As Gen Zs Never Learned It

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A Facebook post about cursive writing recently went viral. The post shows a teacher grade school teacher finding it challenging to read the name of a student.

A sheer of paper with cursive writing
Source: Wallpaper Flare

Now, the teacher is not illiterate. The student just happens to know how to write in cursive. But why would anyone fancy learning cursive in the 21st century?

Thanks to that Facebook post, there was a brief resurrection of discussions about cursive writing. Several commenters on the post shared diverging opinions under the said post about the relevance of cursive writing.

This topic may seem strange to the average Gen Z because this is probably the first time some are coming across the topic. So, the dying popularity of cursive writing is making experts wonder if the skill will see the end of this century.

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It should not be entirely surprising if we encounter a Gen-Z member who cannot read or write in cursive. The US Common Core Standards for K-12 schools have left out cursive instruction since 2010. So, the 7-year-old from the Facebook post probably learned the skill informally. 

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Now, for those still wondering what cursive writing is all about. Cursive writing is a type of handwriting involving a flowing writing style. This method involves writing without lifting the pen from the paper. Invariably, all the letters are beautifully connected. The prime purpose of cursive writing is to encourage faster writing speeds.

While speaking about the founding of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs mentioned that he enjoyed the calligraphy class he took after dropping out of college. Calligraphy and cursive writing are indeed two different art forms. However, they are both artistic forms for beautiful writing.  

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Unfortunately, the advent of modern technologies is making the skill of cursive writing and reading obsolete. Yes, it takes a cursive writer to read a text written in cursive seamlessly. The question is: “How is this decline likely to affect us in the future?”

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Breakthroughs in the realm of machine learning and artificial intelligence seem to encourage the decline in cursive writing and reading. A well-trained AI will seamlessly read, transcribe, and digitize a medieval text. This technology is necessary because some ancient texts are written in cursive. The original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence was written in cursive.

Earlier this year, researchers verified the authorship of some old manuscripts from the 17th century. They simply compared the writing style in the anonymous manuscript to other surviving texts from that period.

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Technology seems to render it unnecessary for humans to expend time on learning cursive skills. However, advocates have identified some benefits of learning the skill, even in the 21st century. According to the National Education Association, “Learning cursive improves retention and comprehension, it engages the brain on a deep level as students learn to join letters in a continuous flow.”

Interestingly, AI models that help create art still have to be trained by human artists directly or through copies of their work. So, learning cursive may be an investment. Cursive writing practice sheets are available online, in case your curiosity has been peaked.

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