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Curse you, cursive

by James Logue

NEWS EDITOR

The Associated Press reported the other day that parents and educators are worried that kids are rejecting cursive handwriting in favor of using computer keyboards. Hurray!

"Computers are better," said 9-year-old Monique McGowan of San Mateo, Calif. "With typing, you don't have to erase when you make a mistake. You just hit delete, so it's a lot easier."

As a result, some kids don't write in cursive very well these days and many of them simply don't care.

I can relate to this story. I gave up writing in cursive years ago. I just wasn't very good at it. People were always coming up to me saying, "What does this say?"

After a while, if I were to actually commit something to paper by hand, I would print. I got to the point where I could print about as fast as I could write in cursive. People could actually read what I wrote, and I no longer got: "Is this a G or a Q?"

Today, if I'm compelled to communicate with my fellow humans, I use my keyboard. Memo? No problem. E-mail? It's in the mail. A nasty note to the guy who spilled Mountain Dew on my keyboard and now the T key won't work? I-'s in -he in-er-office memo sys-em.

When in high school, I spent summer school one year in typing class. I can remember sitting at a straight-backed chair for three hours every morning learning about q-w-e-r-t and stuff. It is a skill that has stayed with me and today I can type up to 60-70 words an hour.

Who needs cursive? Kids, you just go right on using your keyboards. Someday, one of you might become my doctor when I'm an old man. And when you type a prescription instead of writing it, my druggist won't get mixed up and give me Plebenol instead of Phobinak.

Are you writing all this down?

New Editor James Logue can be reached at 626-1031 or by e-mail at jlogue@exponent-telegram.com