Season 3 Episode 11: The Trio on the Art of Cursive Writing

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am joined by my mother, Frances, and my sister, Sarah, to discuss the art of cursive writing. Cursive handwriting style undoubtedly has an artistic flair. There is beauty in the curving lines and connecting letters. But there is much more about cursive writing to celebrate for it improves our neural connections and interplay of the left and right cerebral hemispheres. When we use cursive writing, we enhance our memory retention and improve our fine motor skills. Think of it as an exercise program for our minds.

So put the kettle on and add to the conversation.  We would love to hear your thoughts on TeaToastTrivia.com

I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

Thank you for joining Frances, Sarah, and me on Tea Toast & Trivia. Until next time we meet, dear friends, keep safe and be well!

“Sending a handwritten letter is becoming such an anomaly. It’s disappearing. My mom is the only one who still writes me letters. And there’s something visceral about opening a letter – I see her on the page. I see her in her handwriting.” Steve Carell

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  5. The Trio on the Art of Cursive Writing

43 Replies to “Season 3 Episode 11: The Trio on the Art of Cursive Writing”

      1. I think you may have been listening on SoundCloud. Check it out now. The length of the podcast is 15 minutes. Thank you for the feedback! Very much appreciated.

        Like

      2. I was not surprised, Liz. SoundCloud is brilliant venue, but if you get caught in one of their upgrades, then there is a problem uploading an audio file. It happened once before but I was able to catch it in time to stop the publishing. What I appreciate about WordPress, SoundCloud, Anchor etc is that they introduce new ideas and tools. I am learning to play catch-up, with your help. Again, thank you!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A delightful and enlightening conversation, Rebecca, Frances, and Sarah! Loved the 1930s school-day remembrances, hearing about how cursive writing is good for the brain, hearing about the different forms of cursive in different countries, etc. And I look forward to the conversation on letter-writing!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you, Dave. Have you noticed that I like to give Sarah very little notice about what we will be discussing. I love to put her on the spot because that is when she has her most brilliant insights. She has a unique perspective that challenges and keeps me on my mettle. Frances, has the breadth of experience that reminds me that universal themes come out in every generation. I’m looking forward to the “letter writing” conversation too. Have we lost the ability to communicate with pen and paper? I have held letters for years, and have deleted e-mails with reckless abandonment.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I haven’t written a letter since I was about 10 years old, Dave. I do use them for my writing [of books] though. Letters played an enormous part is preserving the history about life during the various wars and other difficult situations. I use letters and diaries hugely in my research and love Project Guttenberg. I often wonder how history will be preserved by the next generation [Gen Z]. Possibly as computer games? I don’t know what will happen if the world networks ever go down though. This worries me so much, I buy all the classic books I couldn’t bear to lose just in case ebooks and audio books ever disappear into that black hole were undelivered emails go.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I have so much fun smiling and laughing along with the Trio while learning something new. I’m old enough to remember “Penmanship” class and wondering what those holes (inkwells) were in our ancient wooden desks. I’m told that cursive writing is rarely taught in public schools anymore, unless it’s a Montessori public school. My children rarely brought home and practiced script writing. In high school it was cool to rebel and create our own brand/blend of cursive and printing, which of course ruined my handwriting forever. It was faster too for taking notes. But I wholeheartedly agree with what Sarah’s says towards the end of your podcast regarding the creative aspects of cursive. It really is a form of art which is good for our brains…and our souls. Hugs!!!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I love putting Sarah on the spot because she comes up with great insights, but this time I relented and gave her the topic beforehand. I was amazed that she could pronounce all those cursive writing names. Frances, Sarah and I have had great conversations throughout the years. Frances reminds me that life moves on, but humanity still holds fast to universal themes of belonging, hope, resilience. Sarah keeps me focused on how those universal themes influence our reality and daily interactions. By the way, I tried to find stand alone ink and a old-fashioned fountain pen, but alas, the quest continues.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Dear three great ladies, the three Graces,
    thank you so much for your conversation about cursive writing. First of all Dina and I really liked listening to you. Don produced a perfect sound 👍👍
    Dina and I do a lot of cursive handwriting. She has five books for different notes for her pictures, camera settings, editing and the different editing programmes. I keep two diaries, one general diary and one about my reading, and a book for ideas. I use my favourite Mont Blanc fountain pen to write in those books and do write with Mont Blanc Toffee Brown ink. This ink is not that easy I bought (a lot of) it in the Mont Blanc shop in Zürich, a shop that inspires you to write with a fountain pen. Every important text I write by hand first and I try to write nicely. I have the feeling if I write nicely then the ideas I express are kind of nice as well. Most of my published books I wrote by hand first. I used to write on half of the page only and the other half was for the correction. I learned later that John Irving is writing like this as well and quite some other authors also. I learned cursive handwriting at school and especially my grandfather corrected the aesthetics of my handwriting regularly – well, I hated it as a little boy. Indeed I have the feeling that I think more creatively writing by hand. But I think it’s basic to have a good fountain pen with a fine flow of ink and which is perfectly balanced and has a smooth pen nib. When I touch my fountain pen I am already in another mood. It’s a kind of magic gesture.
    Thanks again for this nice talk Hanne and I very much enjoyed.
    With love ❤ ❤ and hugs 🤗🤗
    Klausbernd 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Dear Klausbernd, thank you for your most excellent comments. I am imagining you as a young child, with a serious expression, devoted to perfecting your cursing writing skills. I agree – there is a different thought pattern that occurs when we use cursive writing. Over the past couple of months, I have gone back to cursive writing and found that I had to relearn the process. My brand of cursive writing has digressed from what I learned as a child. Perhaps that adds to our unique writing styles, but I think there is a time to return to basics. There are excellent cursive writing templates designed for children (like the ones Frances mentioned) that have given me guidance. After reading your comments, I have ordered a fountain pen, although it will be with cartridges rather than ink!!! I am excited about honing my creative thoughts through cursive writing. Perhaps cursive writing allows us slow down, breathe, and allow our mind to percolate ideas. I especially liked your words, “If I write nicely then the ideas I express are kind of nice as well.” I’m taking that thought with me, today. Sending much love to my dear friends the Fab Four of Cley.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Dear Rebecca,
        cartridges have one advantage that you can change the colour easily. I have one pen with cartridges as well and change the colours all the time. It’s especially interesting just after changing when the rest of the old colour is mixing with the new colour.
        Have fun
        Klausbernd 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I agree with Klausbernd, you three lovely ladies sound wonderful together and It’s a pleasure to learn so much more about cursive writing from your conversation. And what a heartwarming photo of the three of you! Who made it – Don?
      My handwriting has changed over the years; from nice to beautiful to almost unreadable when taking notes during lectures. I always take notes when I find something interesting, never want to miss a word! And then, last year in the Lake District, I had booked a day with a Fuji Ambassador to improve my landscape photography. I’m not sure about that, but it t certainly improved my handwriting; he brought an assistant with him and she kindly offered to take notes for me in my book so I could concentrate on what he was demonstrating in a pretalk. I was so smitten by her beautiful handwriting it immediately inspired me to improve my own writing. I carefully studied her writing like I would study a photo that like; why do I like it, what works well here, the symmetry, size and openness. Since then my handwriting has automatically improved and it makes me feel better.
      It’s like looking in the mirror and you’re pleased with what you see because you look a bit better than the last time you dared risk a look – write better and you feel better. 🙂

      Sending you all hugs and best wishes from the stormy sea,
      Dina-Hanne Xx

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Dina-Hanne for your heartwarming comments. Yes, the photos was taken by Don, who patiently listened to all my instructions.

        Frances, Sarah and I have had many conversations over the years stemming from our evening meals when we were “growing-up.” Looking back, it seems unreal that families met at a specific time to eat meals together, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. Now, many times we cannot set hours for meals, given work schedules, meeting etc. I have yet to look up the statistics on eating while we are working on the computer. YIKES! I believe that we must set time aside for discussion and exchange of ideas. It is a vital necessity. Debate and exploration are essential for personal growth and for looking a different perspectives. Your blog, “The World According to Dina” welcomes and encourages exploration and discovery. I look forward to every one of your posts.

        I understand what you felt when you studied the assistant’s handwriting. There is a personality to the way the letters flow across a paper. Klausbernd’s discussion on fountain pens had me on a search for my own. I am waiting for my pen to be delivered in a couple of days. The colour of the pen is red, my favourite. I have been considering improving my cursive writing skills ever since I went through my father’s notes and letters. His life was written in his penmanship, from the strength of youth to the frailty of age. A poignant reminder to seize the moment.

        Your last words, “write better and you feel better” will be my mantra in the coming days. Sending many hugs and lots of love to my dear friends, The Fab Four of Cley!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Unfortunately, cursive writing and I have never been friends. I changed schools in the middle of the second grade, and I ended up being half a year behind in Penmanship, and I never caught up. I received my first C grade ever for cursive writing in the fifth grade. After that, I actively rebelled. No slant, back slant, etc. When I went to college, my handwriting deteriorated from taking copious notes very rapidly. For all intents and purposes, my handwriting is now illegible. Even I can’t read it when it gets cold. Part of what’s happened is that I have been keyboarding for so long, my hand has lost its muscle memory for cursive writing (and printing, for that matter). I do admire cursive writing as an artistic mode of expression, as it’s often used now.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I felt the loss of memory muscle that you speak of, Liz. I have been connected to a keyboard for decades and feel the lightness of my fingering relaying the message from mind to digital words. I am expecting to receive my fountain pen in a few days. I will keep you posted on my progress. P.S. I rebelled too!!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It is the same for me, Liz. I never write but always type. I even make notes on my ipad or phone rather than a notepad. I must write slowly if it is to be legible and that doesn’t suit me at all. But, I do appreciate that cursive writing is pretty and an art form.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. “When I went to college, my handwriting deteriorated from taking copious notes very rapidly.” Well said, Liz, that’s what happened to my handwriting as well.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Hi Rebecca, I loved this podcast and really enjoyed this discussion and the perspectives from all three of your points of view. I learned to write in cursive too, but my writing is horrible and difficult to read so I changed to print in high school. I don’t like to write, I much prefer to type, it is ever so much quicker for me and that suits my nature better. My boys both learned to write in cursive too. Michael’s handwriting is horrible – like mine. Greg’s is [of course] beautiful and copperplate. I have noticed that Greg has started typing out his notes now. Haha, they gave me the right baby in the hospital after all [smile].

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know exactly what you mean about preferring to type. There is such ease in expressing ideas when I type. My handwriting is eligible. My mother, Frances, is the only one that can decipher the scratches. I am going to go back to cursive writing even if it is only for list making. I have gone through my father’s papers and see the progress of time in his cursive handwriting. As a young man, he wrote boldly, with strong stokes. As he moved on his his timeline, his handwriting transformed. He began printing in his 60’s. Even at the end, when he signed his name, he used cursive writing that captured the shakiness of his hand. Cursive writing is personal, a mark of the writer, of the journeys that have been made and the milestones achieved. I enjoy reading about your adventures with Michael and Greg. So much fun!!! Sending hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. That was a fun and interesting conversation. Unfortunately I have been cursed all my life when it comes to cursive writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tim – did you notice that it can be easy to misspell cursive and end up with cursing. Thank you so much for listening in – alway appreciate your company!!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I didn’t mention all the cursing that goes with writing in cursive. Actually, with my numb fingers, there’s a lot of cursing that goes with typing these days.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. As time has me in a bind, I can but echo Dave Astor in expressing my reaction to this The Trio post, having had my first school experience, in the late thirties, as in 39, a francophone, not yet English speaking (you do learn fast) in an English, Irish, Scottish etc. surround, run by Irish Lay brothers, who carried a leather strap (from a horse harness) hanging off their belt, hidden by their habit overhang. A good instrument for swollen wrists and instant reminder that we were there to learn not play, and learn we did! Ergo, here I am writing to you today and enough I might add to even scribble the odd poem. Terrific post, ladies!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jean-Jacques – what stories you have to tell! The exchange of information from one generation to another is fraught with many bumps in the “learning road.” There are many experts who will give you the specifics of how to teach – all great ideas. But then, how do we define the word “great.” And now, there is movement that says “play” is the best way to learn.” I agree with your thought: “you do learn fast.” Indeed, when there is a need, we find ways to learn and learn quickly. Even so, learning is not an easy task, but it is rewarding. I will let you know about the progress of my cursive writer initiative.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. That was a lovely listen, Rebecca. I learned cursive writing in school and still use it a lot, though probably without the beauty of your mom’s lettering. And I loved learning a bit from your sister about how handwriting has it’s traditional styles around the world. Fascinating (now I have to look it up and learn more). I handwrite (mostly cursive) when I’m brainstorming a new story. For some reason, the ideas flow better and feel more inspired. They’re easier to shake loose, if that makes sense. After that, I move to the laptop. Thanks so much to the three of you for the wonderful discussion. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How interesting that you use cursive writing for brainstorming. Sarah mentioned that cursing writing unlocks a creative flow from mind to hand. I am looking forward to receiving my fountain pen and trying out the idea of brainstorming using cursive writing. Whenever I was involved in a “brainstorming meeting” the group chose chose the person with the best handwriting to record our thoughts on a whiteboard. Seeing the words made the idea real, workable, possible. The power of visual!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My brainstorming writing, I must admit, is messy cursive with arrows and writing between the lines and up and down the margins, but that “flow” is present in the mind-hand connection. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  9. What an absolute delight to listen to the three of you together here, Rebecca! I enjoyed it so much.
    I think you’re correct that people of different age groups, people from different decades, write differently. I know that most of the people my age had wider letters in their handwriting than I used. We learn by example, and the peers who were held up as good examples made those broader more rounded shapes in their letters. But that was just my age and geographic region.
    Of course, I had to be a rebel. I was enamored of what the teacher called a “Greek e” and insisted on changing my handwriting to use it. When they took points off my paper for it, I pointed out that they were the ones who said it was a certain style, and not really incorrect.
    I actually have very strange handwriting, but that goes to some personal things that are too negative to share here. But, LOL, handwriting analysts are quite baffled by it. After a broken wrist 10 years ago, my rather nice writing went to pot. If I try hard enough, I can make it look like it used to, but I can’t keep it up for more than a paragraph.

    Since I don’t have children, I was gobsmacked when a coworker told me that children are no longer taught “cursive.” (Like Ms. Frances, it was just “writing” to me.)

    Happy spring. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the Greek ε – I use it all the time. That is, when I write. Using lettering from the past allows my imagination to go back to ancient times. I enjoy looking a different fonts. Did you know that there are handwriting analysis apps available? When I considered going back to cursive writing, I looked up “Graphology” which is the sophisticated word for handwriting analysis. Of course, there is no scientific proof that it works and is usually considered a pseudoscience. I have examples of my grandmother’s handwriting – her letters were wider, Frances’s writing is more structured, with elegant flourishes. Like you, I was a rebel. My handwriting was undisciplined, always done in haste to go on to the next thought. I have often wondered if our handwriting mimics our speech patterns because there are many times I don’t finish a sentence because I am in a hurry to go to the next. I am now waiting for my ink to be delivered any moment. I think I hear a knock at the door! Sending many hugs back your way with great speed. 🤗🤗🤗

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s a very intriguing thought — handwriting reflecting speech patterns… I’m so careful of words, that I often pause to choose just the right word. I think I’ve gotten worse that way in the past 20 years (or at least aware of someone who made fun of me for it). Since I broke my wrist, it’s nearly impossible for me to not have a “break” in a word (where the letters aren’t connected by the line of the pen), but maybe that was becoming more frequent even before the injury. Hmmm. That’s a very interesting thought, Rebecca. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Always a joy to hear Frances & the 2 sisters chat here on TT&T!
    Getting rid of teaching cursive was a stupid move, a curse, a pox on humanity!
    Rebecca, I didn’t write above the line, or on the line, but my penmanship is…. not great.
    If I really focus, I can pull off a short note, tidily.
    Thing is, due to family issues, I taught myself to write. It’s a bit of a story, so I’ll spare the world.
    Looking forward to letters! Will there be love letters? Maybe Frances has some hidden away, somewhere?
    Frances & Sarah thank you for your visits to my Art Gowns site. It means a lot when I get a compliment from Frances. I know so very few people who sew.We really are keeping a craft alive.
    Okay you guys, be good! Or, bad, (dope, sick, rad) in the slang sense. LOL!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am so glad you joined this conversation, Resa. I think that cursive writing is the way in which we first experience creative communication. Every curve and connection holds our experiences, our hopes, dreams, disappointments and loss. I have notes in my Father’s handwriting that remind me of his determination to keep on writing even after his hands were unsteady. I am looking forward to writing letters in 2021. Frances and Sarah are amazed by your Art Gowns. They know the time and effort that went into every stitch. They also agree about the materials from the past as opposed to what is produced now. And they agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts on fast fashion. Sending many hugs and love back your way.

      Liked by 2 people

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