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Letters: Crazy about cursive

April 03, 2013

Re "A different slant on cursive," April 1

The article notes that a study on cursive found that essays written in this form of handwriting received slightly higher scores. Suzanne Asherson of the group Handwriting Without Tears attributes this difference partly to cursive being easier to read and thus easier to score. USC education professor Morgan Polikoff says the kind of students who write in cursive on the SATs may just be smarter.

It would seem that there is a third possibility. Did anyone look at how many of the scorers are cursive writers? The difference may well be explained by an unconscious bias in favor of cursive.

Ed Schoch

Westchester

Yes, knowing cursive can be important. It is faster to use and more personal than printing. Of course, e-mails and texting have largely replaced much handwriting today, but it is a traditional and valuable cultural skill.

Great writers such as Shakespeare and Charles Dickens wrote and signed their works in their own distinctive hands. Handwriting proficiency can enhance writing and reading skills, such as being able to legibly sign checks, to read classic works like President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in their handwritten forms, and to read memoirs or letters handwritten long ago by parents and grandparents.

Sam McCarver

San Juan Capistrano

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