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American Cursive vs. Cursive vs. Business Penmanship


Good day mateys,

Yes, I have consulted the search box and I have gone through all pages of this thread as well as Googled and read everything I can get my eyes upon.  I am still going round in circles with what I am learning and what it is really called.

Currently I am going through Consistent Cursive (enjoying it immensely).  When in grade school we simply called it "cursive" writing; not "American Cursive".  Initially I was going after learning "business penmanship" according to all the books I have accumulated mostly from IAMPETH (how cool are they?).

Now, is it me or does not regular ole cursive writing not look like "Business Penmanship" to you?

P. S. Main difference I see is when learning cursive as a child we did NOT do circles, ovals, timed drills in making circles and ovals, figure eights; i.e., the "drills" I see in the various "Business Penmanship; Business Writing" books that I have.

This is just one opinion -- I'm sure other people see it differently.

Cursive usually means letters that are joined.
Cursive can apply to both everyday penmanship as well as calligraphy.
Cursive can also be applied to crazy quirky lettering.

Cursive can be used as part of a definition of a style that has a name - like Spencerian.
Cursive can also be used as part of the name of a style - like American cursive.

As I recall, Mike Sull put the name American Cursive on his own style of cursive - intended for an everyday penmanship.
But - it is such a generic word - I don't think the name is going to have a lasting connection with his particular style - because his style is so similar to all the other basic penmanship styles.

Business penmanship is a term that evolved because there was a time, before typewriters, where business was booming and the only way to keep track of things was to have people hand writing documents and ledger books.
Technically, *business* penmanship goes all the way back to Charlemagne telling Alcuin of York to write faster, so Alcuin came up with the lowercase letters - to write faster (and I know some people prefer minuscules to lower case - but, that is a different topic)

So writing for business reasons goes way back. Early writing included tons of record keeping.
By the time of the industrial revolution, the need for tidy handwriters brought about many styles and methods.
At the same time, education was blossoming -
so the methods for learning to write blossomed.
My mom, who started first grade in a one room school house in Montana in 1933 - was taught cursive from the very beginning. When she had to write in *print* on a form - she said it felt very weird - as she had never done much.

So there was a time when there were all kinds of mail order lessons to learn how to write well enough to get a job.
And there were actual schools you could attend - to learn both business penmanship as well as engrossing -- which is a high art of *writing*

And then all the styles have been converted to fonts --
so -- it's pretty hard to fit all of this into tidy categories.
Calling a style of lettering a font will send some people into a complete fit.

My own pet peeve is the way Spencerian gets tacked on to variations that IMHO are way too far away from Spencerian.
But, I don't get too worked up about it.
It's a little bit like arguing over recipes -- I just read a fun article on Nanaimo bars. Wow. Very hot topic.

So - to answer your question --
you are learning penmanship. If you want to be more specific -- call it everyday penmanship.


--- Quote from: jeanwilson on March 14, 2021, 08:16:39 AM ---So - to answer your question --
you are learning penmanship. If you want to be more specific -- call it everyday penmanship.

--- End quote ---

Ahhhh, and so quite very satisfying.  Ms. Jean to the point and rescue.  I like this.

Thanks Jean.  ;D


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