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Cursive and Your Fountain Pen

Unless you are using a fountain pen from a Japanese or Chinese manufacturer, chances are the pen(s) you use (and its/their predecessors) were intended for writing in cursive. Before the 1880s (when the first fountain pens came in use) through to the 1970s and 80s cursive handwriting was taught in schools and used in everyday life. The introduction of computers and the reworking of typing classes in high school to "keyboarding" lessons beginning in primary school pushed cursive lessons out of most schools in the United States. "Cursive is no longer useful in the computer age" it was said.

Or is it?

What no one had noticed is how cursive is useful for human beings, whether it is the industrial age, space age, or computer age. Cursive is not merely pretty marks on paper. Perfect penmanship isn't what matters. Sure, attractive cursive writing does have aesthetic value, but there are numerous benefits for those who practice cursive handwriting in all degrees of legibility mentally, physically, and practically speaking.

1. Cursive handwriting stimulates the brain. Studies show those who take notes in cursive retain a measurably greater amount of information than those who print or type their notes. This makes cursive a great study aid as a student and an important tool later in life.

2. Young children develop self-respect from learning disciplines like cursive. A child's ability to master early skills such as counting and writing improves their confidence levels, making learning more fun as they show off their newfound abilities. Cursive becomes one of the springboards to the enjoyment of learning.

3. Cursive writing is faster than printing, aiding in your note taking and attention paid to the concepts discussed at the time. While writing in cursive may be slower than the speed at which some type, the brain is basically performing little more than dictation when keyboarding, while writing in cursive allows the brain to process more of the content at hand.

4. Cursive aids those with dyslexia. Cursive helps dyslexics distinguish letters easily confused by them in print such as “b”, “d”, "f", "t", “p”, and “q”. Because their hands develop a physical memory of the letters while writing, dyslexics can more consistently and correctly reproduce the shapes, something that causes much anguish for them when printing.

5. Cursive improves motor skills. Developing this skill at an early age builds the neural foundation of sensory skills required for many everyday tasks and other interests requiring delicate precision such as model building, threading needles, etc.

So what are you waiting for? Break out one of your favorite fountain pens and practice that cursive! You may just be improving your memory, your motor skills, self-discipline, and self-respect - not to mention making your pen very happy to get some quality time with its owner, laying down some ink on paper!

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