Visitor Aya Katz — linguist, writer, primatologist, and handwriting rebel— posted a comment which leads to an interesting question. She writes:
July 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm
Kate, I agree that writing legibly is more important than writing in cursive. When I returned from Israel at the age of ten to the United States, after spending third and fourth grade writing only in Hebrew, I found that everyone in my class was writing in cursive, something I had never been taught and was not good at. My father suggested I write my letters separately without connecting them, but mimicking the cursive style, and in those classes where I could get away with doing that my writing was much more legible.
In my observation and experience, this isn’t the optimal technique: but a writer may have to resort to it nonetheless if he or she is being required to use cursive letter-shapes.
The question this technique raises:
If every letter-shape in a piece of writing is of the kind that’s usually called “cursive” in North American English — but absolutely none of the letters are joined together — is it still “cursive”? Why, or why not?
That may lead to a further question:
If 100% joined writing is cursive, and 100% unjoined writing is not cursive, what is the “magic” percentage of joins (or other tipping point) where a handwriting changes from non-cursive to cursive (or from cursive to non-cursive)?