Hard is the heart of a grade school penmanship teacher.

There’s a thread on Reddit full of bemused Brits who can’t figure out why Americans hate cursive.  This was the best explanation I could come up with.  I enjoy writing in cursive (on occasion—mostly to feel fancy when I’m writing letters to people), but I understand why folks don’t like it. 

Speaking as an adult American who actually enjoys (!) writing cursive, I still can’t fault anyone who went through our school system for disliking it.

It’s not taught as just another, faster way to write. It’s this daunting, mysterious thing that elementary school teachers are always threatening you with: “You had better learn this. Next year, your teachers will make you write in cursive.”

Which would probably have been alright, if the teachers next year ever did—but they didn’t. They just threatened. I think the only times in my life I’ve ever been required to use cursive were a.) the second half of the third grade, immediately after we finished learning it (~8 years old) and penmanship class (ages 8 through 14). (I suspect that if I had been born a few years earlier, I would have been required to use it more often—but by the time I reached the age when it would have been required for book reports and such, home computers were common enough that we turned things in typewritten, instead.)

And man alive, penmanship class was the worst. It wasn’t “learning how to write,” it was sadistic handwriting torture drills. I was an earnest, bookworming, creative-writing, school-loving, straight-A-getting, grade school perfectionist, and penmanship class made me cry. No matter how carefully I wrote, my homework always came back looking like this.

Hard is the heart of a grade school penmanship teacher.

It was devastating. I hated it.