Welcome to I Write Cursive, an environment which hopes to provide information about this rapidly dying art form.
As a full-time, professional web developer totally immersed in technology (PHP, Yii, Perl, MySQL, PostgreSql, Linux, git, JQuery, etc.) with iPad, iPhone, and various hardware running Ubuntu, OS X, and Windows (in order of preference), I am not hostile towards technology when it can be shown to have a true cost-effective benefit.
Using the other side of my brain, I managed to get a graded CELTA (Cambridge certificate for teaching English as a second “other” language) and learned how to speak German almost as fluently as I speak English when I was already in my twenties. While studying at university in Germany I came to enjoy calligraphy and the use of fountain pens for casual writing.
Being old enough to have witnessed Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon live on TV, I naturally was taught cursive handwriting in school in a non-hostile environment, unlike in some American elementary schools today. It remains very legible to this day, and is my preferred method for taking notes and writing the occasional snail-mail letter or thank you note. I shun the accursed ballpoint pens of my youth, preferring any of my Lamys or Pelikans for any serious writing. For calligraphy I often enjoy using reed pens or a set of calligraphic steel nibs I purchased while living in Germany.
As a father of four, I am doing my best to encourage my children to embrace cursive writing. My oldest son, Abdullah, was fortunate enough to have attended a Montessori school where he learned cursive in Pre-K, then block letters in Kindergarten, but was still encouraged to use cursive as his dominant form of handwriting.
It is my hope to raise the awareness of the curious and uninitiated to cursive writing about its benefits and the therapeutic pleasure one can achieve from writing for the sake of writing using modestly priced fountain pens, ink, and paper. It was the volume of responses to Is Cursive Obsolete?, some of them quite passionate, that inspired me to start a blog dedicated to this topic.
About the Handwriting featured in the Banner
These are a few lines of a letter written over 120 years ago in Kurrentschrift by a family member and native resident of Indianapolis. The language is German, though the spelling, grammar, and especially the punctuation, are not too good. The letter starts out with Donnerstag den 26 Feb 1891 (Thursday, 26 Feb 1891) and the topic is about an 80 acre land deal, property taxes, etc.
The beautiful copperplate style cursive was easily achieved by the extremely flexible nibs of that era. It is impossible to find an modern fountain pen with a stock nib as flexible as the one used to write this letter. Even the Namiki Falcon I once owned was not capable of this out of the box.