Friday, October 7, 2011

Some thoughts on Google Searches and cursive

I got a comment recently that stated, "A google blogsearch on: genealogy cursive schools yields 54,000 results." The reason is that the default search on Google if you simply list the words with no Boolean connectors is that it will search for a page with all of the three terms anywhere on the page. There are a lot of articles out there that have all three words, but are not about cursive in schools or in conjunction with the subject of genealogy even though all three words are found on the page. If you do a Google advanced search for the term genealogy and the exact phrase "teach cursive" you will get a lot fewer responses. The answer is I used exaggerated hyperbole to emphasize the uniqueness of my concern, there are actually quite a few people out there who realize the consequences to genealogy of losing the ability to write or read cursive script. But it is a real problem not just one of the run-of-the-mill end of the world type conspiracy problems.

Are we to believe that one of tomorrow's students who went clear through our educational system if left stranded out in the desert or in the mountain's snows, would not be able to write out a distress signal on the sand or snow without his or her iPad?

Some of use have been reduced to printing block letters rather than writing in cursive because our cursive is so badly formed that even we can't read it when we go back to our notes. But if they stop teaching handwriting altogether, will the students be able to form letters at all?

Does that mean that the doctors will actually have to type out their prescriptions so they can be read by humans? But how will the doctor sign the prescription if he or she can't write? Some kind of electronic nonsense instead of a signature? Think of all the doctor jokes we will lose.

How will children forge their parents' signatures if they want to get out of school? If they can't write what will they do, continue to suffer in the classroom?

How will all the husbands and wives of the world write each other tender little notes to tuck in their lunch bags. Will they have to print them out on the printer? How romantic is that?

I wonder if the graffiti artists will go out of business if no one knows how to write and no one can read handwriting, what is the point of plastering your name all over buildings, freeway overpasses and train cars?

Who will write "Wash me" on the back windows of cars and vans?

How will students cheat if they can't write really small cheat sheets?

This isn't just a genealogical problem, it has major sociological consequences. 



1 comment:

  1. Kids are still being taught to print, so there should be no worries that they'll be able to communicate without electronic assistance. My doctor already does computerized prescriptions - sometimes they go directly to the pharmacy - by computer! - and I don't even get the little paper in my hands.

    And although I would not miss having someone NOT write "wash me" on my car, I can't say I've ever seen it done in cursive - always in print, usually all CAPS. Cursive would be a nice touch, though. And maybe add the word "please." :-)

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