Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:53 pm UTC

Some of the smartest people I know have illegible handwriting. It's a stupid metric for intelligence, considering it's a skill learned at a young age, I can think of few examples where your handwriting matters, and theres some sexism involved in determining what is 'acceptable' handwriting.

Typing on the other hand, is a skill you shouldn't leave college without. That said, my freshman seminar course at UVM included a 'Basics of Computing' class, with such rigorous content as 'How to open a Word document' and 'How to save a Word document'.

Mandatory classes though? I type over 100 words a minute, should I still be required? What about spelling?
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:57 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Mandatory classes though? I type over 100 words a minute, should I still be required? What about spelling?
I even asked why I had to take a cheese class called "Information Technology" next semester. Apparently "There's something to learn in every class".
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby The Reaper » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:19 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Mandatory classes though? I type over 100 words a minute, should I still be required? What about spelling?
I even asked why I had to take a cheese class called "Information Technology" next semester. Apparently "There's something to learn in every class".

And that lesson is that your teachers are just normal humans in the system, not magical information machines, and as such don't know/care about your specific needs. </cynicism>

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby TheAmazingRando » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:39 pm UTC

People tend to have trouble reading my block lettering, but can read my cursive just fine, so I write in it almost exclusively. It's faster, easier, and I find it more aesthetically pleasing, plus it just seems to have a lot more character to it than block lettering.

Thing is, learning it in school has almost nothing to do with it. I learned it in maybe 3rd grade out of a work book and didn't really ever use it again until college, when I decided on a whim that I might be a faster note-taker if I used it. It was pretty bad at first, but I practiced and in about three months' time it got a lot more legible and orderly. Handwriting doesn't seem to me to be something that really needs to be taught beyond "this is how you hold a pencil, this is what letters look like." As far as legibility, if it's necessary, kids will get the practice they need on their own.

Touch-typing, on the other hand, I wish I had been taught at an earlier age. I don't hunt and peck, I don't need to look, I know where all the keys are, but by the time I had mandatory typing classes (high school) I had already become so accustomed to it that I had trouble learning the traditional method. Every time I tried to switch to it, it cut my typing speed in half at least, so I just kept typing my way, since the muscle memory was already there and I could type up to ~120 WPM in it anyway. However, my way isn't particularly ergonomic and I could probably type a lot faster with a lot less hand movement if I had been able to learn the other method.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Cynical Idealist » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:45 pm UTC

Rinsaikeru wrote:Do you think that kids actually need to be taught how to touchtype? I think they learn on their own typing messages to friends.

My touchtype class in highschool was useless.


I was actually taught to touchtype in kindergarten. Type To Learn was a wonderful thing. That and having to do typed reports from first grade on have left me with good typing skills. I think that the earlier its taught, the more effective it will be.

Arete wrote:Handwriting essays *is* important: it shows you can formulate a coherent, logically sound, argument using knowledge. Essays aren't simply lists of "X did Y then Z did Q", they're there to show comprehension and thinking. If you can't structure your thoughts and show linkage between ideas, then you're essentially less useful than, say, a computer. We have computers to store large amounts of data, not provide insight / analysis / application of said data [barring correlation / statistics].

Out of curiosity, why is handwriting essential to that? In school, essays have always been something that was typed up, unless they were on a test.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:02 pm UTC

Have you ever had to grade a class worth of tests that include a handwritten essay?

Yes, legible handwriting should continue to be encouraged.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Arete » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:04 pm UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:Out of curiosity, why is handwriting essential to that? In school, essays have always been something that was typed up, unless they were on a test.


Until I hit University, I can honestly say that only a few (large) essays were typed: everything else was handwritten. From memory, about 3-6 essays / week. This stands you in good stead when you have to write three essays / 45 mins each / 4-5 A4 sheets each, for exams.

Perhaps its a culture thing - why I say it is important, because, for example: today I had four meetings, with clients, and had to take notes / condense their requirements into semi-formal plans of action on the fly with them. At the end of the meetings (ranging from twenty mins to hour half) I could turn my notebook around and run them through what we'd discussed. I 'closed' all four. I don't use calligraphy standard cursive, however my joined-up handwriting is (I've been told) rather beautiful / elegant / unique.

My handwriting says nothing at all apart from 'hey, this person can write well', but people (however incorrectly) infer a lot from it.



As an aside, if I'm making notes for myself, my writing is very hard to read - not messy, but vowels / major letters are very short-hand. Joined-up writing is a lot faster, I find.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby The EGE » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:59 am UTC

I have mostly unrecognizable chicken scratch for writing. It's barely legible for essays and such, even though doing essays I tend to slow down a bit. Math notation looks much better since I'm going slower and organizing it logically. When I'm doing work for a timed problem where all I turn in is answer, though, I cannot even deceipher it afterwards.

I can write semi-legibly in cursive, but it's very slow, and I am unable to read cursive at all, even if it's mine.

I was put through 4 years of mandatory touch typing in elementary school. I never got above 10 wpm at my best, 20 if I was allowed to peek. Years later, I hunt-and-peck at better than 45 wpm. Forcing my fingers to fit an illogical and uncomfortanle arrangement never suited me, especially as I have giant hands that don't fit well on a standard keyboard.

I much prefer to type essays, outlines, etc for school. It's much neater, organized, professional-looking, and easier to edit my work. My history teacher allows us to type most in-class essays except for the final exam :)

Random weirdness: I tend to reverse the order of letters (ie typing htan instead of than) when doing chat on google or omegle or whatnot, but never when typing essays or posts or whatever.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby minno » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:14 am UTC

I don't think that typing should be mandatory, but I think it's an important class. Until I took keyboarding in 9th grade, I could only type at 20-30 wpm, but afterwards I was up to 50-60.

For handwriting, I have fairly bad but legible handwriting. I've never heard of it being taught as a class since elementary school. As long as people can read it, I don't really think that there's a problem with bad handwriting. If I need to be completely sure there's not a mistake ("oh, it said 3 pills, not 7 *dies*"), I can just slow down.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Walter.Horvath » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:48 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
MikeBabaguh wrote:Despite popular belief, both skills are essential to the operation of a successful culture.

Cursive, no. Handwriting, yes. Take the time spent on cursive and split it: half into 'regular' handwriting (which is already taught first) and the other half into typing.

After my last day in 5th grade cursive, I was never again required to use it, nor have I. And regardless of the claims that it is faster, I've also *never* seen anyone take notes in cursive. All of those hours teachers have spent trying to instruct kids that an 's' doesn't look like an 's' it looks like this thing here have dubious merit in the modern world.

I must disagree with you.

First, I write solely in cursive. Like, my print is atrocious. My handwriting also looks too fancy for some, but it hurts to write otherwise. I was taught around 1-2 Grade, and since have never gone back. Less-than-zealous teachers who are superior to those that teach cursive make your mindset come into play; 2nd grade teachers teach that it's "All that will be accepted" in later grades. When you get to those grades, lazy teachers deny that, and play down it's importance.

Abandoning an entire writing style for the sake of simplicity at the cost of beauty can do no good for society. It's just like if the Greeks abandoned Greek lettering in favor of Latin type. Well, I mean, it's not like the two coexisted in the same environment for long, but the basis of the argument stands, it is never good to abandon a unique part of our culture/heritage/crazy funny/fast-handwriting-ness.

Questions?

Edit: Cursive handwriting is not always illegible, more the result of a lack of teaching. If it was taught more currently, the average sample would improve in legibility. Take that education away, and everyone that tries to write like that will soon write worse than a doctor.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby cathrl » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:54 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
After my last day in 5th grade cursive, I was never again required to use it, nor have I. And regardless of the claims that it is faster, I've also *never* seen anyone take notes in cursive. All of those hours teachers have spent trying to instruct kids that an 's' doesn't look like an 's' it looks like this thing here have dubious merit in the modern world.


Cursive as in "joined up handwriting"? I've never seen anyone not take notes in it, expect for a couple of frieds who knew proper shorthand. What on earth do you use - print? You're kidding, right? I haven't printed anything except flash cards for my toddlers since I was, I dunno, five?

My kids' homework would be returned to be done over if they didn't use cursive, in every subject, together with some pointed comments about them not being six years old. It's unacceptable not to write in it by a very early age in the UK. If I saw an adult handwrite by printing, I'd assume they were borderline illiterate. It's that essential. It's a basic marker of literacy. Really. I thought everyone used it.

That said, I think everyone should learn to type at school. I didn't - because typing was what you did if you were a girl who planned to leave school at 16 and be a secretary. Nobody worked in IT then. I ended up as a computer programmer.

Funny thing is, I can touchtype pretty fast provided I don't think about it. I couldn't tell you where the keys are, though.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Azrael » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

cathrl wrote:It's unacceptable not to write in it by a very early age in the UK. If I saw an adult handwrite by printing, I'd assume they were borderline illiterate.
Much like it is often pointed out here that the US standard is not universally true, I will remind you that neither is the UK standard.

So, by your measure, *virtually every single* college graduate I've ever met is borderline illiterate. Your metric is ... broken.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Jesse » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:43 pm UTC

"In the culture I live in, writing in cursive is such an ingrained part of education that if I saw anyone not using it, I would assume they had lacked a huge part of their education." clearly became "Anyone who can't write cursive in the world is stupid."

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Cynical Idealist » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:44 pm UTC

cathrl wrote:My kids' homework would be returned to be done over if they didn't use cursive, in every subject, together with some pointed comments about them not being six years old. It's unacceptable not to write in it by a very early age in the UK. If I saw an adult handwrite by printing, I'd assume they were borderline illiterate. It's that essential. It's a basic marker of literacy. Really. I thought everyone used it.


Perhaps other countries have different views? Where I went to school from K-8, cursive was mandatory after it was taught (which wasn't until the beginning of 4th grade), but once I reached high school, nobody cared. As far as note-taking goes, if I must write by hand its a strange mixture of cursive and print letters. If I'm handwriting an essay or some such, I'll write in cursive since it looks better and is more legible.

Funny thing is, I can touchtype pretty fast provided I don't think about it. I couldn't tell you where the keys are, though.

Muscle memory is wonderful. There are some passwords that I honestly couldn't tell you if you tried to force me, but I can type them out without thinking.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Azrael » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:46 pm UTC

Since I forgot to address the first re-quote:
Walter.Horvath wrote:Abandoning an entire writing style for the sake of simplicity at the cost of beauty can do no good for society.

I'm sure people expressed the same attitude --and for the same reasons -- when latin was removed from mandatory curricula.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Enuja » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:53 pm UTC

I heard on the radio about Italic Handwriting: it's block letters that can easily be joined together, where you don't have to teach students how to print, then re-teach them to form letters in order to get cursive (or joined writing), but instead teach them the letters and then simply how to link them together. Here is a how-to for Italic: look at the first image (chart), the cursive image, and the last two images (practice). I have just re-taught myself to write italic, and I like it much better than my old cursive.

And, yes, I think that touch-typing should be a mandatory skill taught in school, although I don't think it should be a mandatory course: I think you should be able to test out of it.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby NoodleIncident » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:24 am UTC

I like print better than cursive because my hand is too heavy to keep everything connected. However, my print almost is joined up. It's not illegible by any means, all of the letters are recognizable, but first impressions of what looks like chickenscratch and something about the positioning of them makes people complain. The only essays that I handwrite is stuff in class, everything else is typed. I am glad that I was forced to take typing, I'm able to type my essays really fast. The only problem is that we learned about the MS stuff for half of the semester, and now I am being forced to learn it again in the prereq for computer programming. I swear, it's the same exact exercises from the same exact book. :roll:
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Xeio » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:08 am UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:First, I write solely in cursive. Like, my print is atrocious. My handwriting also looks too fancy for some, but it hurts to write otherwise. I was taught around 1-2 Grade, and since have never gone back. Less-than-zealous teachers who are superior to those that teach cursive make your mindset come into play; 2nd grade teachers teach that it's "All that will be accepted" in later grades. When you get to those grades, lazy teachers deny that, and play down it's importance.

Abandoning an entire writing style for the sake of simplicity at the cost of beauty can do no good for society. It's just like if the Greeks abandoned Greek lettering in favor of Latin type. Well, I mean, it's not like the two coexisted in the same environment for long, but the basis of the argument stands, it is never good to abandon a unique part of our culture/heritage/crazy funny/fast-handwriting-ness.

Edit: Cursive handwriting is not always illegible, more the result of a lack of teaching. If it was taught more currently, the average sample would improve in legibility. Take that education away, and everyone that tries to write like that will soon write worse than a doctor.
I think it's more like knowing multiple keyboard layouts (in typing terms), you just can't really maintain two different styles at the same time (well, you can, but unless you use them both constantly, it's likely one of them will degrade), even you admit that while you can use cursive you print terribly. I used to have excellent cursive, but through lack of use, and teachers preferring print, I can't even write the alphabet anymore in it. Honestly it was nicer IMO (both on the hands, and how it looks), but if nobody wants it... :| Though I don't think prioritizing learning for print is a bad thing, and anecdotal as it may be, I think that generally bad print is easier to read than bad cursive (and inevitably, you will end up with people that have poor handwriting, no matter how well it is taught).

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Giant Speck » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:13 am UTC

Perhaps we should have a spinoff thread where everyone posts their handwriting. :D
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Jesse » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:30 am UTC

We did that before.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Giant Speck » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:56 am UTC

Jesse wrote:We did that before.


Oh. Well, then... nevermind. :?
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Internetmeme » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:34 pm UTC

Here, for those that think typing is more important than handwriting, go out on an average day and count the number of times you write something down, and the number of times you type something (and writing the log only counts once). Also, post if you are in public education, college, or a job.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Since I forgot to address the first re-quote:
Walter.Horvath wrote:Abandoning an entire writing style for the sake of simplicity at the cost of beauty can do no good for society.

I'm sure people expressed the same attitude --and for the same reasons -- when latin was removed from mandatory curricula.

And you're saying that we're all better off not 'wasting' time on it?

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Feddlefew » Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:46 pm UTC

My handwriting is (almost) completely illegible. I have dysgraphia so badly enough that I can't write for more then 5 minutes without stopping and taking a break, so I mostly depend on typing. That being said, I still jot stuff down periodically instead of typing everything out, and then there's all of those annoying form that I have to fill out periodically... And I guess fill in the blank and short answer questions are not worth leaving a classroom, finding a computer attached to a printer, typing up the questions, and then being late for the next class because it took me too long to do that... :?
My spelling is abysmal. Just saying.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:07 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Have you ever had to grade a class worth of tests that include a handwritten essay?

Yes, legible handwriting should continue to be encouraged.


Just include a clause about illegible essays being ungraded. If it becomes a problem, a student can seek help, or request additional time. Someone's going to be inconvenienced here one way or the other, and I'd rather a handful of students be forced to seek aid then everyone be forced to waste their time.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:54 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Have you ever had to grade a class worth of tests that include a handwritten essay?

Yes, legible handwriting should continue to be encouraged.


Just include a clause about illegible essays being ungraded. If it becomes a problem, a student can seek help, or request additional time. Someone's going to be inconvenienced here one way or the other, and I'd rather a handful of students be forced to seek aid then everyone be forced to waste their time.


Agreed; after all we should still be teaching printing writing and everyone should be able to print a readable essay if they only learn printing.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Spen » Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:41 pm UTC

My views on the subject:
Typing should be taught in place of cursive script, we had it drilled into our heads that we would crash and burn in middle school if we couldn't write in cursive script, teachers still can't recognise some of my capitals (my capital I looks like a 4 with the bit at the bottom tilting to the left etc). They also can't make sense out of anything running to more than about 6 lines in length as the quality of the writing deteriorates so rapidly, then again I'm dyspraxic so I'm allowed to use a computer in exams.
I was forced to learn touch typing with pretty harsh punishments if I didn't do it, hated it so much that I spent weeks trying to sabotage the CD so it wouldn't work, then destroying the install on my mother's PC, all carefully planned. Forcing kids simply isn't the way to go about it, typing games help. There should be some kind of compulsory typing taught though, perhaps timed essays with set conditions on them. It is bloomin' annoying talking to friends on MSN and them talking forever to type a one line message, oddly it's only the ones who've taken an IT GCSE who are slow at it, also their spelling and grammar's shot (well, for half of them anyway).

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Internetmeme » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:41 pm UTC

I absolutely hate the skins you put over keyboards when you are learning.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Hamorad » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:30 am UTC

Typing properly is always a very important skill. I really like it because I have a notoriously bad short term memory (when I greet people I haven't known very long I usually look through my phone not because I'm rude but because I remember that their name started with like a Q or a J or an 8 or something and am frantically trying to remember what the rest of the name is) and I can type a hell of a lot faster than I can write and, by typing like that I can get a lot of my ideas out before, you know, I forget them.

For example in writing this post you may have noticed that I don't really stop to punctuate and tend to type just like I speak because I'm pretty much saying it in my head and then recording it on the computer and every time I stop and put a period I pretty much lose my train of thought. Although, the good news is that I have a phenomenal long term memory and can remember boring details about stuff nobody cares about in a time period nobody cares about, which, when you think about it, probably isn't all that useful a superpower.

I really like typing the minute I started doing it and I focused a lot of effort on it because I knew it would help me become a better writer which is something I really enjoy doing and practicing (see my blog 70% of which is made up on the spot, despite how often I claim it is all true). I used to try to do creative writing the old fashioned pen and paper method but it was laborious and horrible - not to mention illegible. To cap it all off, I would completely forget the end of my sentence before I finished writing it, leaving me with a whole lot of sentence fragments just sitting in the middle of what I was writing (I promised myself I would come back to them).

But should it be mandatory? Absofuckinglutely it should be mandatory in the same way learning writing and reading is mandatory to be a functioning and literate member of society. In our modern world technology is so ingrained in everything we do and I know that trend is going to continue; not being a skilled typist sets you back in many important ways.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:07 pm UTC

Cursive handwriting is ultimately most efficient if you are using a dip pen or fountain pen--that is with a pen with free flowing ink. Lifting the pen could cause dribbles you'd have to blot so you wanted to keep contact as much as possible. And if you've ever tried to print with a fountain or dip pen, you know it's pretty impractical.

With ball point pens you can do either easily and because printing is ultimately more legible given various handwriting styles--it's become the one most in demand. My personal handwriting is half and half--I connect some letters with cursive and leave others unconnected, I've seen other people do similar things--mostly around my age. My younger sister prints exclusively--by the time she was in school cursive was on the way out.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Internetmeme » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

But cursive is the best way to develope "your" style of handwriting. Notice how nearly every signature is in cursive. It's a little harder to change it up on block style.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:50 pm UTC

Well signatures were most important when they were used to identify you. They're phasing out the use of signatures for credit cards because they aren't that reliable (and because most clerks weren't checking signatures anyway).

Although I have a handwritten signature, I won't be surprised if handwritten signatures are on the out.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:41 pm UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Walter.Horvath wrote:Abandoning an entire writing style for the sake of simplicity at the cost of beauty can do no good for society.

I'm sure people expressed the same attitude --and for the same reasons -- when latin was removed from mandatory curricula.

And you're saying that we're all better off not 'wasting' time on it?

Yes?

You can spend only a finite amount of time in school, and today that time can be much better spent than by learning obsolete communication systems like Latin or cursive.

So yeah, it *can* do good for society. Or do you think we should go that extra step towards beauty at the expense of simplicity and make formal calligraphy mandatory as well?
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Internetmeme » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:14 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:So yeah, it *can* do good for society. Or do you think we should go that extra step towards beauty at the expense of simplicity and make formal calligraphy mandatory as well?

I think that we should. There are plenty of times throughout the day that you will not have access to a computer, and you should be able to write down stuff. Also, signatures are anything but on the way out. They are still used in legal documents and other things.

So would we be better off teaching kids macaroni art in 2nd-3rd grade?

Also, it isn't calligraphy or latin. That is not at all what I am suggesting, I am suggesting that we teach block letters and cursive in the early years of school when they are not learning that many other things.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Angua » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:17 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:So yeah, it *can* do good for society. Or do you think we should go that extra step towards beauty at the expense of simplicity and make formal calligraphy mandatory as well?

I think that we should. There are plenty of times throughout the day that you will not have access to a computer, and you should be able to write down stuff. Also, signatures are anything but on the way out. They are still used in legal documents and other things.

So would we be better off teaching kids macaroni art in 2nd-3rd grade?

Also, it isn't calligraphy or latin. That is not at all what I am suggesting, I am suggesting that we teach block letters and cursive in the early years of school when they are not learning that many other things.
When else do you learn cursive and block letters? (I think we started cursive at grade 2 once we had the hang of block letters).
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Giant Speck » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:21 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Internetmeme wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:So yeah, it *can* do good for society. Or do you think we should go that extra step towards beauty at the expense of simplicity and make formal calligraphy mandatory as well?

I think that we should. There are plenty of times throughout the day that you will not have access to a computer, and you should be able to write down stuff. Also, signatures are anything but on the way out. They are still used in legal documents and other things.

So would we be better off teaching kids macaroni art in 2nd-3rd grade?

Also, it isn't calligraphy or latin. That is not at all what I am suggesting, I am suggesting that we teach block letters and cursive in the early years of school when they are not learning that many other things.
When else do you learn cursive and block letters? (I think we started cursive at grade 2 once we had the hang of block letters).


I learned cursive in the third grade and then again in the fifth grade. I self-taught myself cursive in second grade. Each time, it was a different system of writing cursive. Craziness.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:Also, it isn't calligraphy or latin. That is not at all what I am suggesting, I am suggesting that we teach block letters and cursive in the early years of school when they are not learning that many other things.

Did you read what I quoted?

The point is that cursive writing, like Latin and calligraphy, doesn't serve any real purpose. The time devoted to obsolete communication methods could be devoted to other things. If you like cursive and calligraphy for aesthetic reasons, teach them in an art class.
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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:58 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Walter.Horvath wrote:And you're saying that we're all better off not 'wasting' time on it?

Yes?

You can spend only a finite amount of time in school, and today that time can be much better spent than by learning obsolete communication systems like Latin or cursive.

So yeah, it *can* do good for society. Or do you think we should go that extra step towards beauty at the expense of simplicity and make formal calligraphy mandatory as well?

Wait, why?
If it wasn't mandatory for as long as it was, latin wouldn't be decipherable today, and neither would Egyptian hieroglyphs (see the Rosetta Stone). Now, it probably wouldn't have spawned the other Romance languages if it was continually taught through the fall of Rome, but it thankfully survived in some form to this day.

Though I suppose my whole argument can be eclipsed by technology, and that formal works today are no longer written out but rather typed.

Either way, the loss of any system of communication always starts with people sharing that mentality: "We have better stuff now, so let's not waste time learning about historical methods of doing the same thing."

Whether or not that will continue to make as big of an impact on today's global society as it would have hundreds of years ago is unclear at best.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Hamorad » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:39 pm UTC

There's a major difference between being able to read the archaic languages in a historical context and keeping them mandatory in schools. By your logic we should still be forcing kids to draw on walls because, hey, our ancestors did it!

Yes, those types of things should still be taught, but in a more specialized manner and to students who want to learn it. We would still be able to understand Latin, as a society, even if it was never a required language to learn. I guarantee it, with my word as a time traveling magical seer of all.

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Re: Should Typing be a mandatory Course in School?

Postby Endless Mike » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:57 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:But cursive is the best way to develope "your" style of handwriting. Notice how nearly every signature is in cursive. It's a little harder to change it up on block style.

Yeah, except that people's signatures are hardly indicative of their actual handwriting. Mine is a couple swirls and squiggles that you can barely make out more than my initials from.


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