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Saturday, August 23, 2014

On cursive: stick to your own country, Pedro, you just got pwned


I was flicking through the internetoblogoverse to avoid doing anything remotely constructive on a Saturday, when I came across IKN wharrgarbling about a story on Tennessee "reintroducing" cursive in school:

IKN - on cursive. Quote:

Normally you can class me in the place from where the progressives speak (such a butt-ugly moniker, but it'll do for today) so it's kind of weird to find myself sticking up for the lawmaking beaks of Tennessee of all places (for one thing, that lesson my girl wrote up on the origins and ages of the planet may cause a few raised eyebrows among the more strident there, but let's leave that one for another day) but that's what's happening here and today. I have my conservative head on, I'm telling you things ain't what they used to be, I'm getting all fist-wavy about the news (to me) that you idiots up there are handing your abject idiocy to the next generation by not teaching them how to fucking write correctly. Assholes.

Guess what, dude! You fell for it! Suckered by the right wing yet again.

Wikipedia says:

In a 2007 survey of 200 teachers of first through third grades in all 50 American states, 90 percent of respondents said their schools required the teaching of cursive.

The real story here is that the right-wing paleolithics in Tennessee are using cursive writing in their grandstanding against the evils that Satanic muslim gay-marrying atheist Balrog HUSSEIN Taxbongo is visiting upon poor Christian Tennessee with his new Satanic Muslim gay-marrying atheist "common core curriculum", which doesn't explicitly demand teaching cursive writing (but doesn't ban it either).

They figure if they get the oldsters all whooped-up with lies about their grandchildren no longer learning cursive, and then defiantly pass a law at state level that bravely defends this shining light of their heritage from the rapacious evil of the Black Muslim, then maybe that's a few Republican voters back in the fold.

Seriously, dude, this is the same state that had a show-trial on Islam, which determined that Islam is not a religion, not one of whose "expert witnesses" knew anything about Islam. Read that link, seriously. The politicians in Tennessee are the world's greatest grandstanders.

And what's the use of cursive, anyway? Let's ask Wikipedia again:

The origin of the cursive method is associated with practical advantages of writing speed and infrequent pen lifting to accommodate the limitations of the quill. Quills are fragile, easily broken, and will spatter unless used properly. Steel dip pens followed quills; they were sturdier, but still had some limitations.

Quills! Remember those?

Oh, I sure do! Oh, the old days! Back in the old days there was nothing better than coming in from a hard day of ferriery, turning on the hurricane lamp, sitting down at the writing table and getting out a new quill so that I could write a letter to my cousin Ezekiel, who was working as a coureur du bois for the Hudson's Bay Company in Rupert's Land!

I work in engineering and I hardly ever write English with a pen. Sometimes I realize that I've forgotten even how to print.

And my printing is far easier to read than cursive.

By the way, your kids' teachers are doing it wrong. Here's what cursive really looks like:


And here's cursive:


Easy to read, isn't it? Yup, that's English.

And for a different flavour of headache, here's also cursive:


It's so damn useful to learn how to write like that, isn't it?

In fact, let's also include punishing children for poor penmanship by beating them over the knuckles with a yardstick until they bleed.

After all, how can you teach penmanship without beatings, anyway?

But hey, let's not stop with cursive. Let's also teach children how to write like this:


 It'll help teach your kids "wider-ranging and useful fine motor skills, as well as page organization, internal editing, oh man, the list goes on and on, not to mention the comprehension skills of being able to read other people's [illuminated manuscripts]."

Or even better, let's also teach this:


It'll help teach your kids "wider-ranging and useful fine motor skills, as well as [clay tablet] organization, internal editing, oh man, the list goes on and on, not to mention the comprehension skills of being able to read other people's [cuneiform]."

Or hey, maybe we should teach this:


It'll also help teach your kids "wider-ranging and useful fine motor skills, as well as [rock wall] organization, internal editing, oh man, the list goes on and on, not to mention the comprehension skills of being able to read other people's [cave paintings]."

Dude, you got suckered by one of the oldest right-wing populist tricks in the book.

Anyway, that wasted some time, good. Off to see what's on TV tonight.


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