Our Younger Generation Can't Write Anymore!

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Yvonne Smith, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Penmanship used to be one of the first things we learned in school. Once we learned about the alphabet, and how to make letters, we were able to print out words.
    Eventually, we were taught how to write in cursive, and once we mastered that, most of our schoolwork was written out.
    The schools are no longer teaching kids how to write in cursive. They are probably doing good if they can still print, with all of the things that are done on a computer nowdays.
    Where we used to write notes and secretly pass them in class, the kids nowdays send texts.
    We were talking with a lady today, and she said that her teenage son has no idea how to write in cursive.
    Now , you might not think that this is the end of the world; but guess what-----he was supposed to sign something and has NO idea how to sign even his own name except to print it out ! !
    Think of all the things we have to sign. Even if most of the things we sign are printed out on paper, we still have to be able to produce a legal signature at the bottom of the page.
    What will these kids do when they grow up and have to start signing things ?
    I remember thinking that it was bad that kids nowdays can't tell time on a real clock, or make change from a dollar; but not being able to even sign their names is getting even more serious.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Yes, we've come a long way from the time when there were several different types of cursive. We had to learn two. Before my time, people wrote letters in what was nearly calligraphy. My wife sells a lot of stuff on eBay, much of what she gets from our neighbor, who is an auctioneer. She is selling a couple of boxes of old letters, mostly from the early to mid-1800s, including the time of the Civil War and, although I have trouble reading some of the words that are used in these letters, nearly all of them are elegant.
     
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  3. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
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    The worst thing about young people writing is if they are unable to construct sentences correctly and cannot express what they mean without using slang or abbreviations. I think the lack of good grammar, ability to spell correctly and effective use of the written language is more serious than losing the ability to write by hand.

    I never was much good at handwriting. It was always untidy. I do keep a handwritten journal and I write myself notes, but otherwise I use a computer keyboard.

    A signature these days is usually no more than clicking on a link to say 'I agree', and for more important documentation you also need to show some form of official picture ID. I don't think it will be a problem if the present generation are less used to signing by and because this will not be needed when electronic thumbprints and eye recognition etc come in.
     
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  4. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    When I was child in grade school, I struggled with handwriting. I am left handed, and the rule was to make left handed children write with their right hand. Some people are ambidextrous, but I am not one of them. I am an extremely left handed person, and left sided. My writing has a far left slant, almost laying down.

    When I was in the second half of the first grade school year, my mother went to the school administrator and insisted that I be allowed to write with my left hand. The second half of that year, my grades went from C's to A's and B's.

    When I was in the third grade, my teachers all agreed that my cursive writing was adequate, so would I please print so that all could read my writing.

    When I became an accountant, I started making all my printed letters with one stroke for each letter. Now my writings are all printed, and I still make letters that almost lay down backwards. Only my signature is in cursive.

    My late husband had beautiful cursive writing, and he was always stuck with addressing envelopes and gift tags.:(:rolleyes:
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I also write left-handed; but my letters slant forwards rather than backwards. I can make them slant backwards; but that is difficult for me to do. No matter which way I slant them, my writing is never what you would consider pretty, although it is usually (and I do mean usually) legible.
    When I was in school and we had to write on the blackboard, I had a terrible time, and NO one (including me) could read anything that I wrote on the blackboard.
    Finally, I decided that it could not look much worse if I wrote with my right hand; so I tried that, and it actually came out much more legible than the left-hand writing did.
    I still can't write with pen and paper with my right hand.
    Since mostly I am ambidextrous; I can do a lot of things with my right hand, and some things with either hand.
    I always use either hand , as necessary, when painting , or when I am putting on my make-up.
     
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  6. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Yvonne, Envy, envy, envy.:D:p
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    One of my brothers is left-handed. It looked almost painful for him to write, as his arm would be bent at a sharp angle, almost obscuring the paper that he was writing on. I'm sure you've heard it before, but we'd refer to his writing as wrong-handed.
     
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  8. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes Ken, I think I've heard most of the tags that come with being left handed. My husband used to like telling me, "Your other letf Ina."

    In the '60, my M-in-L was was upset with her son for bring that dreadful trait into her family. She said that left handedness came from a lazy mind, and a traitor's mentallity. I fooled her. Michael and I were married almost 48 years, and I put myself through 19 years of college. By my fouth year, I became Phi Theta Kappa. So much for her myths.

    I don't contort my wrist to write. I actually keep my wrist straight, leaving my hand to fall back toward the left.
     
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  9. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    My mom is left handed and her hand writing is not leigble. I have two grandsons left handed, one is actually ambidextrous, some times he uses his right hand and some times he uses his left hand, it depends on what he is doing which hand will be used.
     
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  10. Jim Veradyne

    Jim Veradyne Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I'm afraid it's far more than handwriting. It's printing, spelling, and correct grammar that has fallen by the wayside with the past couple of generations.
     
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  11. Herbert Jennings

    Herbert Jennings New Member
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    I agree with you Yvonne, partially. I mean, is it really that important to teach our kids to write cursive. Apart from their own signature - something they should be able to master easily - there is really no need to teach cursive writing anymore. And yes, texts have replaced writing notes on paper but that's just how it goes with new technology. There is no reason to oppose progress in my opinion.
     
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  12. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Member
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    Hey all.

    At least those of us who went to school in the US probably went through more or less the following process....

    • Kindergarten-- you learn your letters, play with letter blocks, may even learn a bit how to print them.
    • 1st grade-- you get a big piece of paper which is the top half free for a drawing and the bottom half lined with a dotted line to help you print your letters, the lower ones touching that dotted line (a,c, e, g, i, j, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, u, v, w, x, y, z) and the tall letters extending above that dotted line (b, d, f, h, k, l, t). Spelling was not important yet (you asked the teacher and she would jot the word on a scrap of paper so you could put it into your story)
    • 2nd grade-- you probably began learning how to spell. That big piece of paper with the big fat pencil were changed to notebooks and normal sized pencils and even pens (we were not allowed pens until the 3rd grade, actually, too many errors, so pencil and eraser were much more common)
    • 3rd grade-- printing was suddenly not allowed. Had to learn to string the letters together. Had to learn to form the letters the way Mrs Cass told you to. If you were left-handed, you simply had to twist your arm until the letters came out with the correct round forms and slant. And don't even think about dotting your "i" with a circle or a heart (smiley faces still didn't exist when I was in third grade).

    Along the same pathways, we began to learn stuff like "a noun is a person place or thing" and what a verb or an adjective or adverb were and where they were meant to be in the construction of a sentence. I seem to remember the first lessons in this type of writing taking place around 4th and 5th grade, when we had to begin writing book reports. Nitty gritty grammar seemed to be later, around 6th grade, and composition (the five-paragraph essay, for example) was around 9th or 10th grade.

    When I attended university (in the 80s, I worked a few years between high school and uni), I was required to write at least one paper for every class I attended, and that included tap dance class! Writing was expected from university students.

    I wonder if it is like that now. Anyone with kids or grandkids that knows what they went through? Is it "standard" anymore or is it hodge podge? I, myself, see a lot of loss in writing quality because of new technologies, but I don't blame them as much as I might blame the acceptance, somewhere along the line, of scratchy writing just because it's a forum or a tweet or Facebook. I'm not one of those....

    peace,
    revel.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    At some point in elementary school, I don't remember when, we spent quite a long time diagramming sentences.
     
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  14. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Member
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    I think, in my case, the diagramming of sentences was in 7th grade (that would be Junior High), but I also remember the teacher telling us that it wasn't a required subject anymore and that we were simply doing the diagrams because she, personally, thought that the decision to not diagram sentences was a poor choice made by the school board (some thought the same of "new math" and the death of "sight reading" when I was in school-- my school years were the 60s and 70s).

    I happened to enjoy diagramming sentences and, even though we only did one quarter of study of that, I would entertain myself doing the exercises that we hadn't done in class, anyone remember that grammar book (going to find it on Google, hang on) (found it!), and later used diagramming to explain sentence structure to my English as a Second Language students.

    grammar.jpg
    peace,
    revel.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    We did it earlier than that but, for us, that would have been elementary school anyhow because we just had elementary and high school.
     
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