What Killed Penmanship?

By Isabella Paoletto for the NY Times.

Emily Smith, 19, likes to keep Post-it notes scattered throughout her bedroom with important reminders. Generally, the notes are readable, but if she hurries, letters can morph together in a barely legible script.

She was recently going through her stack of important reminders when she found a note she had written at least a year ago. Ms. Smith said she remembered thinking at the time that she should rewrite the note so it would be discernible but never got around to it.

Struggling to decipher it, she posted a photo of the note in a Reddit community where thousands have sought help to decode messy handwriting.

“I was like, please, I don’t know what this says,” Ms. Smith said. “Still a week later, the only comment on it is, ‘Hey, do you speak any other languages? Could this possibly be not English?’” …

In 2010, cursive was dropped from Common Core standards, and children in kindergarten through 12th grade at public schools were no longer required to learn it in school. The change was controversial, and many legislators have since fought for its resurgence in schools.”

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