Talk:2912: Cursive Letters

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That Q is pretty easy to read, but a lot of people write it in a way that looks more like 2. That Q always throws me off. The 2 goes close to the bottom left, neither cool nor legible. EebstertheGreat (talk) 21:28, 27 March 2024 (UTC)

An episode of the Simpsons (I believe the one where Homer goes to work for basically a Bond villain, just otherwise a great guy) they go live in another town, Bart struggles in class because the teacher writes a cursive sentence "Quentin"-something on the blackboard, with that kind of Q, asking him to read it, which he reads as "2... uentin?", revealing that Springfield doesn't teach cursive (at least by Grade 4, anyway). As an example of what you said. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:40, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

Cursive has been in the news lately, almost half the US states have recently passed laws requiring that cursive writing be taught in elementary schools. Barmar (talk) 21:30, 27 March 2024 (UTC)

Recently? I think only California did it recently, most of those laws are older. -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:14, 27 March 2024 (UTC)
Well, California's move made the news last year, and sparked some nationwide discussion. Barmar (talk) 14:24, 28 March 2024 (UTC)
Really? I feel like I keep hearing about state after state abolishing cursive from the curriculum to leave room for other topics (them mentioning it on Abbott Elementary recently made me realize there's a certain point to this, that except for being able to read it from people who write with it there's not a lot of use for learning cursive... I never picked up the habit of using it so my block writing is faster than my cursive, and comparatively fast to someone using cursive). NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:40, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

Is this the default cursive taught in US American schools? I’ve often seen this capital I, G and Q on (older) Hollywood films, but the (standard) cursive writing in Germany or France looks completely different. -- 21:49, 27 March 2024 (UTC)

Yes for the most part, at least from when I was taught (early 2000s). Though, we were taught the Q that looks like a 2, like the poster above comments on. ZeWaka (talk) 06:43, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

Labelled: Bewa (talk) 22:09, 27 March 2024 (UTC)

This labelled should go in the explanation - without it I couldn't tell what half those were. In the UK cursive capitals haven't been taught in schools for at least 60 years, I don't know of anyone under 80 who could write these! (talk) 08:25, 28 March 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Interestingly, when I was at primary school (mostly in the '70s), we were absolutely not allowed to use biros and (cursively or not, but we certainly learnt how to 'connect' our letters) our writing was full of various serifs and nib-flourishes.
On moving to secondary school, we were absolutely required to use ball-points (so no more squeezing out those ink-capsules all over the place, or messing with blotting paper!), but I believe "joined up" writing was encouraged so long as it was legible. You definitely have to make more effort to add serifs with biros, though, where a nib positively encourages it. (BTW, the worst pens were the 'erasable biros', probably because their ink was made to be abraded off by their hard, gritty rubber, but this also made it so easily smearable by a hand when other inks would have more quickly dried in.)
My handwriting was never that good, in either case. I did (separately, at night-school) pick up actual caligraphy, but that just let me write very neatly (and yet often unreadable - imagine the word "minimum" in what I know as "black gothic", close to that ided as 'Textur' on this page's sidebar...) but extremely slowly... If I need to write readably (sometimes even by myself), it helps if I downplay that cursiveness that I certainly did learn.
But at least my cursive letters aren't as exotic as those alleged-Zs. The most 'unblock' character is the 'k' (which loops between 'arms' not too dissimilarly to the comic version). I tend to reserve "looping verticals" to 'l' used for the litre (to differentiate from my digit 1, e.g. looks a bit like "|ℓ" for "one litre", so as not to look like eleven). My "£" (GBP) and "&" do both flourish significantly, even without any opportunity or reason to go fully-connected by cursivity, but perhaps to make them distinguishabld from the more similar alphabetic glyphs.
I had a quick look for other people's experiences in the UK, and it seems to distil down into this sort of answer (look out for Quora's latest attempt to answer with 'AI bot' and get you to sign in, it's just the human answer that's relevent, etc...). 09:15, 28 March 2024 (UTC)
When I was in school in the 60's and 70's, we used pencils in early grades and ballpoints in later grades. Cheap BIC pens were the norm where I grew up (I had to google to find out what "biro" means). Fountain pens were often just fancy gifts. I got into a fountain pen phase in high school, I think because they were different and seemed "cool", but it took some practice to write legibly with them. Barmar (talk) 14:24, 28 March 2024 (UTC)
"Bic" is a brand name. "Biro" is an earlier derived form of brand name. Both can be as mystifying as "sharpie" for any given marker pen (for me, "felt-tip" for 'pen-sized' colouring pens, perhaps "board pen" for flipboard-/whiteboard-type stylii, remembering to choose permanent/dry-wipe as appropriate).
And commercial interests have put a load of other names, out there, especially in various geographically distinct marketplaces. 16:13, 1 April 2024 (UTC)

Meanwhile if this was Russian/Cyrillic cursive, almost every letter would be at y=0! 00:10, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

Is that a "u" in the lower left? SDSpivey (talk) 03:11, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

Hi, so this is my first ever comment; feel free to yell at me if I’m doing it wrong. But to answer your question, nope, that’s a lowercase v. That said, the two can be frustratingly similar in some handwritings. Also, while this isn’t the point of the comic (and I assume it uses Munroe’s own handwriting) some of those letters can be made more legible and/or much cooler looking if you just write them with an alternate style. — ThatSciNerd (talk) 03:31, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

Could someone add an image of the title text? My phone apparently can't display it - just those good ol' unicode boxes. The transcription let's me know what it says, but without seeing it in cursive it's not really the same effect. thanks to whoever added the transcription though! 08:07, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

RE: the purpose of cursive - wasn't it developed so you didn't have to lift your quill so much, reducing blobbing and spattering of ink? (talk) 09:20, 28 March 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I essentialy mentioned that in the justifying comment when I changed "faster" for being more efficient, but didn't want to add too much clunky reasoning to the main text. From my time when I was regularly using a nibbed pen (not quite old enough to have used quills!), there were a number of factors behind choice of writing style, with a number of them (other than the speed/laziness) not really translating to ball-point use. (Nib-angle disappears when it became a ball, not a (thin) straight-edge, the ink doesn't splash or surge, there's not as much of an issue redragging the pen-tip over freshly 'wetted' surface, etc.)
And, because 'modern' metal pen nibs tend to have their tip(s, either side of the 'wick-gap') feature a rounded contact surface, it probably doesn't have as much of an issue as a penknife-sharpened feather-quill with being 'pushed' up the paper/parchment, which likely influenced some forms of letters (like the 'Z's), where the angle of the implement (off the paper, and across the paper) not only dictated the widths of lines, according to whether it was a broad tip-width stroke or a narrow sideways slip, but also discouraged directly pushing strokes directly 'upwards' away from the angled hand. Some of the funny letters might have arisen from the better practice of only 'tacking' in that direction. Probably alongside the pressures that encouraged a right-leaning italic style, making awkward long risers move even more away from a direct push-angle of a typical right-handed angle of grip.
Some 'mechanical' reasons probably remain, even now. Even if upwards 'digging in' is now esentially eliminated, the 'extension' of the travelling wrist is still not as easy as the rotation (and steady sideways movement), so a discrete lean probably is still a pervasive trend, even to block-writing, like an A looking angled like /|.
...after having a quick look (couldn't see 'A' on the comic at first, until I narrowed it down), the comic's capital 'A' looks like a large version of the ɑ-like small one. I'm more used to capital and small being different (the former being the 'inverted ox-head' style). And though cursively, capitals 'need' lead-in cursivity less than characters more likely to be not at the start of words, surely this makes it harder to join up anything that does than a character with a handy foot to a riser on the left? I mean, this is probably what made a-style 'a's a more common font treatment than ɑ-style ones. (Limited by font, here, I cannot easily find an unambiguous "over-hook" codepoint for a that wouldn't become a hookless 'ɑ' in if viewed in something like Comic Sans. But you'll all know to what I refer, hopefully.) 13:33, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

The reason for cursive 'r' not being easy to read is probably more to do with the fact that it does not much resemble the printed version, and is almost more like a mirror image of it. (talk) o09:37, 28 March 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

That's the whole point of the Y axis -- "easy to tell what letter it is" directly corresponds to how similar the cursive version is to the printed version. Barmar (talk) 14:24, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

Is that seriously how people are taught to write Z and z?? I could only tell what it was by process of elimination! I've always written my Z's as essentially the block letter, just with a slightly wavy top and bottom (like the top of lowercase r). Definitely agree with how Randall placed them on the graph. EDIT: Kind of like 𝒵, actually! 12:14, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

Randall is 15 years younger than me, but I think his cursive looks very much like what I was taught. But this is from memory, I haven't written much cursive in decades. Barmar (talk) 14:24, 28 March 2024 (UTC)
Randall's cursive is almost identical to that taught by the Zaner-Bloser Method (which, coincidentally, is also how I learned). People often customize their cursive as they grow older (for example, I add a top loop to the letter "s" to make it more readable to those who don't know cursive), but Zaner-Bloser is generally considered standard. Well, except by people who use the D'Nealian method, but they're a bunch of heretics. --The Daleks (talk) 20:38, 28 March 2024 (UTC)
I can't remember learning cursive so I can't remember how we were taught to make Z, so, yeah, on the rare occasion I go cursive I just do the non-cursive with a leading and trailing tail. :) (I've gotten VERY fast and neat with block letters - I get compliments on my neat handwriting - so I rarely try cursive, I think my cursive is actually slower), :) And yes, I find my cursive Z ugly and awkward as hell, so I always hesitate over them and cringe after, and wish I could figure out a better way (I never even remotely remember the existence of these to try them, but recognize them when I see them). That's probably the reason for these, they look nice and have a visual flow, at least. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:17, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

I was 100% sure the graph included some Greek letters (commonly used in physics), such as nu, and that the lower right corner was zeta (or a weird reverse xi). Randall previously made fun of zeta ("a hair fell on the scanned page") so it made sense to me. Admittedly, English isn't my first language so I'm not used to reading cursive. 14:19, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

Definitely some of the forms, from the comic, are ones that I'd use more in algebra. An 'x' closer to a small touching ")("-shape, for example. But that's as taught to me by UK education system, i.e. that 'x' not to be confused with a '×', for example. Yet my zeros default as almost '∅'-like (for some reason available on my touchscreen keyboard, though isn't that actually a 'diameter' symbol...? ...and hopefully not confusable with a rushed theta or phi!), though that may be more under the influence of '70s/'80s system fonts on computers (to differentiate from any capital-O). 15:42, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

And then there is Sütterlin which basically looks like long zig zag lines with a few squiggles. My grandma wrote like that, I never managed to read her letters. 17:46, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

Still looks better than Russian cursive, :) Showed some to a friend who can speak and read Russian, she surprisingly could read a lot of the block I showed her. I don't know HOW that's legible. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:20, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

I have to disagree with "S" and "s" being so low on the Y-axis, or with them being next to each other. Both, especially "S", are just a non-cursive "S", just starting with a tail to the baseline. Lowercase "s" mostly skipping its top curve places it lower than "S", not parallel.

Since there are measurement tick marks, should we maybe do something with that? Like, comparing upper and lowercase ("u is (2.9, 5) while "U" is (2, 3)") or having a table of co-ordinates? Maybe with a lowercase and uppercase column to compact the table? NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:10, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

I reckon the fact that the title text is a near-pangram (only four letters short) is irrelevant. I'm sure that if Randall had wanted something like showing all the characters in the typeface, he would have composed a complete pangram. (talk) 01:47, 30 March 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It's definitely accidental, as you say Randall SO would construct an actual pangram, not an almost-one. I'm sure if he would have realized it was so close he would have adjusted it to MAKE it a pangram. But the fact that this comic is about the alphabet, and includes every letter (twice), it almost being a pangram is definitely noteworthy and relevant to mention. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 03:33, 31 March 2024 (UTC)

I think he's misplaced the capital A. I've been told it looks like a O so often I now the Cyrillic version. 14:23, 1 April 2024 (UTC)