Is it still cursive if …

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)?

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4 Responses to Is it still cursive if …

  1. Pingback: Cursive, Sculpture and Hummus? « An Inkophile’s Blog

  2. joanne silverman says:

    Block ptinting is easily identifiable as not being cursive. Using unjoined cursive letters would generally be identified as cursive by most people, except the cursive purists, but would definitely not be seen as non-cursive. While my daily writing output is a mix of pure cursive and unconnected cursive, a style that I find easy to work with, almost all who read my writing say I have a beautiful hand and no overt notice seems to be taken of the mixture used.
    We none are pure purists except the purists.

  3. Joanne — By some definitions, all of your writing is cursive; by other definitions, none of your writing is cursive. To see and ponder, the variety of definitionsof cursive, go to Goole and type in the following:

  4. Glennie says:

    This is certainly some thing I must do more research into, thank you for the blog post.

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