The Death of Cursive Writing?
The Indiana Department of Education has, in common with 39 other states, decided that the teaching of cursive writing should no longer be compulsory. This seems to have caused a certain amount of consternation among educators. This can be perhaps best summed up in the by now hackneyed question “How will people sign their names?”.
Aren’t we forgetting something here? What is so special about people being able to sign their names? We have become so habituated to signing our names with pen, paper and ink as a means of authenticating something, such as on a purchase document for a house, that we have come to assume that it is the only means of such authentication.
Biometrics have been around for years. So have identity microchips. Biometric passports are now de rigueur. Thumb prints are unique. So are people’s retinal images. So are credit and debit cards, and many of these also have microchips. We already have diverse means authentication other than using cursive signatures. (And a quick scan of the signatures at your local post office will probably show that most signatures are wholly illegible anyway.)
So why are we still so hung up with signatures? I can imagine that people will talk about forgery. Well, cursive signatures have been being forged for centuries. “And what about legal documents?” I hear you ask. Well, I submit my annual tax returns using a digital signature, which is unique for each such return. My point is this: there are already successful electronic systems in place for enacting legal transactions.
And you still think that we need to sign our names using (please excuse the vehemence here) “a quill pen”?