Flourish Forum

General Categories => Spencerian Script => Topic started by: Ken Fraser on March 22, 2014, 05:38:09 PM

Title: Business Writing
Post by: Ken Fraser on March 22, 2014, 05:38:09 PM
(https://theflourishforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi226.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd289%2Fcaliken_2007%2Fbusinesswriting500-1.jpg&hash=41e63764cb5212c627c3d3268b3d596d)
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: AndyT on March 23, 2014, 07:05:48 AM
This style interests me, because almost all of my American correspondents learned something similar in school (usually Palmer Method).  Some of them actually apologise for their handwriting, but I see legibility and fluidity, and often a good deal of verve.  Not qualities frequently seen in the writing of their English contemporaries, and certainly not in mine.

I think perhaps this style is increasingly seen as rather old fashioned and fuddy-duddy in the States, and it seems that the teaching of "cursive" is on the wane now - which is a shame because it's such a good practical foundation.
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: FrenchBlue Joy on March 23, 2014, 07:49:33 AM
This is more or less the cursive writing that was being taught when I was a kid in the 80s, growing up in Michigan. 

Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Brad franklin on March 23, 2014, 03:18:49 PM
Agreed, was taught in the 80's as well. The Common Core education standards dictate that cursive will no longer be taught in elementary schools. Which to me is a sad thing.
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Ken Fraser on March 23, 2014, 06:17:47 PM
As a non-American, I was immediately attracted to Business Writing. I think that it's really beautiful and stands alongside Cursive Italic as perfect handwriting styles.

Ken
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Erica McPhee on March 23, 2014, 11:34:55 PM
You know I love this! And I love Andy's comment about "verve" - one of my favorite words!  :D

I pulled my two youngest children out of school this year and have been homeschooling them. It has been both challenging and rewarding. But I must say, the best reward has been seeing their cursive writing come to fruition. It has not been easy but they are making progress and can now both write in cursive!

My oldest was taught cursive before we moved from Maine to Florida. Some of her friends have commented, "I wish I could sign my name." How sad is that?!

I'm happy Florida has changed their Common Core laws for next year and will be adding cursive back into the curriculum.

In any event, I was lucky enough to have purchased Michael Sull's American Handwriting course way back when and the kids are on their way to learning it!
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: AndyT on March 24, 2014, 08:23:43 AM
Cursive teaching seems to be a hot topic in America at the moment.  Speaking as an outsider my feeling is that the US handwriting tradition going back to P R Spencer is such an important cultural asset that to lose it would be a tragedy.  That said, having read a few discussions on the subject just lately, it seems that there are plenty of people who really dislike the style and would like nothing better than to see it wither away.

So far as I can tell an analogous feeling arose in the UK around the 1930s amongst educators - this was the era of Art Deco, streamlining and high Modernism, and the kind of copperplate derived handwriting with which we'd been struggling since the 18th century seemed out of step with the times.  People like Edward Johnston and Eric Gill were influential in the fields of calligraphy and typography, whilst Alfred Fairbank and Marion Richardson looked to Italic models for a new, cleaner handwriting.  So whilst my father, at school in the 30s, learned to write something like an English version of business script (a simplified, monoline copperplate), by 1970 I was being taught the Marion Richardson Style of Handwriting.  Which can look very nice with patience, but which is by no means a fast hand (so I wound up copying my dad in the end).  Fast forward to today, and it seems that structured handwriting tuition has all but disappeared from the curriculum, with the result that if there is a distinctive English script nowadays it's an infantilised form of printing, usually very rounded and for some reason frequently with a backward slant.  Legible enough, but surely laborious and better suited to writing out greetings cards than anything of greater length or gravitas.

My point - and yes I've come to it at last - is that business writing, Palmer Method, cursive or whatever you want to call it is intensely practical, quite apart from aesthetic or historical considerations.  And it's by no means obvious that there's anything to replace it.  So three cheers for Michael Sull, home educators and Florida.
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Blotbot on March 24, 2014, 02:09:01 PM
I had no idea there are so many different modern handwriting styles.  What does Marion Richardson Style look like?
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: AndyT on March 24, 2014, 03:15:16 PM
I'm a bit bothered about copyright in this instance, otherwise I'd just attach photos.  Finding a decent link wasn't as easy as expected either, but this Amazon page ought to give a good idea of the Richardson style:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Writing-Patterns-Bk-4/dp/0340082992

Fairbank is much better represented on the web.  He was a big fan of Arrighi:

(https://theflourishforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstoneletters.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F11%2Ffairbank-more-stuff_00031.jpg&hash=0e87e2c6f528c370f2b427c879d15f2b)
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Erica McPhee on March 24, 2014, 04:45:13 PM
Thank you Andy! I found your account quite fascinating.

I concur with your conclusion whole heartedly. My biggest question for those who oppose it is always, how will children learn how to sign their names? Whether it is cursive or Palmer or whatever style strikes their fancy - a signature is our mark of individuality. And for those who say printing your name is fine - the state of printing in this country is atrocious. There are middle-schoolers whose handwriting looks like kindergartners. I attribute this to lack of writing practice, no concentration on penmanship at all, and an epidemic of low muscle tone in our children. Contrary to all that keyboarding, it has not developed fine muscle control.

While I know 4th graders who can type 80 wpm, they can't write their own names. Certainly not an equal trade. It will be interesting to see how it plays out now that they are reintroducing it. I wonder if they will just start afresh with third grade or try to reach the older kids who didn't get it. Time will tell!  :)
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Ken Fraser on March 24, 2014, 05:41:33 PM
Here's a fuller appreciation of Business Writing.

(https://theflourishforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi226.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd289%2Fcaliken_2007%2FBusinessWriting-anappreciation600-1.jpg&hash=f7229b46ae01954563922767bbd0d747)
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Lori M on May 20, 2014, 03:01:01 AM
I'm reviving an old thread, but I have to say:  they're taking cursive out of schools, but are they really replacing it with other skills, like proper typing? My kids have never learned the correct way to type (home keys and all that), and so aren't very fast. The only thing they seem to really be fast with is their thumbs while texting!

Regarding the Business Writing:  my mom's script still looks very much like this. I don't know what method I learned in the 70's, but it was rounder and more "mod" looking. When I was growing up the "business writing" style was considered a bit fuddy-duddy. But now my 15-year old thinks this script (and Spencerian) is old-fashioned looking, but professional and "cool". Styles always seem to cycle back around.

Unfortunately, although my 15-year old likes it, she can barely write cursive at all. One of her friends wants me to teach her calligraphy, so maybe I can teach them both this summer.
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Moya on May 20, 2014, 03:14:46 AM
That's a very good question, Lori.  I know that we get a lot of applications from new admin staff, fresh out of school, and we have to administer typing tests as part of the hiring process ... and most of them can't touch-type and can barely make 30wpm on a keyboard.  But they also have terrible handwriting.  It's like they have the worst of both worlds.

Not that my handwriting is so great, but I went to a high school that made us practice touch-typing in every computer class in all of year 8.  I honestly think that my typing speed was the most marketable skill that school gave me.

I don't know how people who can't use a computer so well can function in the modern world - although my perspective is skewed from working in a word-heavy office environment, of course.
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Lori M on May 20, 2014, 03:30:53 AM
Quote
I know that we get a lot of applications from new admin staff, fresh out of school, and we have to administer typing tests as part of the hiring process ... and most of them can't touch-type and can barely make 30wpm on a keyboard.  But they also have terrible handwriting.  It's like they have the worst of both worlds.

I agree! I learned cursive AND had at least a semester of typing. I think it was a requirement, too.

Being able to type fast has been important for me as an engineer, actually. Lots of programming and writing requirements specifications. I can't imagine doing it all with a two-finger peck.  ;)
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Blotbot on May 20, 2014, 10:23:05 AM
Note the terminal "t" in "Script".  In the 1960s, the version of script I learned always used the cross bar on the "t".  I can always tell an older person's handwriting because they use the flip on the terminal "t".
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: AmyNeub on May 20, 2014, 11:20:38 AM
I have taught public school for 11 years. Students cannot read my cursive writing and they can't write in cursive. They always ask me to "write fancy".

11th graders take the ACT test and have to use their signature. They ask me what that a signature is.

It's really sad.

For many years as a middle school art teacher, I taught flat-nib calligraphy. The students loved it. I teacher computers now (I know the travesty, but it pays the bills).

Here is a great article about a school in NJ that has a Cursive Club. http://www.npr.org/2013/04/08/176570621/cursive-club-tries-to-keep-handwriting-alive

I think we should have a few goals:
1. Teach: everyone should find there local elementary school and donate their time. Spend 1-2 hours a week creating a Cursive Calligraphy Club.
2. Family: teach your family, nieces, nephews and cousins how to write cursive and calligraphy too.

Bonus: it will strengthen your practice and keep the art of calligraphy alive!
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Lori M on May 20, 2014, 12:34:33 PM
Quote
I think we should have a few goals:
1. Teach: everyone should find there local elementary school and donate their time. Spend 1-2 hours a week creating a Cursive Calligraphy Club.
2. Family: teach your family, nieces, nephews and cousins how to write cursive and calligraphy too.

Great ideas! Take action and make a difference! Maybe after my daughter learns, she could help me with a Cursive Club.
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Linda Y. on May 20, 2014, 01:31:55 PM
Note the terminal "t" in "Script".  In the 1960s, the version of script I learned always used the cross bar on the "t".  I can always tell an older person's handwriting because they use the flip on the terminal "t".

Not necessarily - I was taught to use the crossbar t, but when I saw the more "classic" t, I thought "omg that is brilliant and saves time!" so I started doing it too :D
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Denise R on May 20, 2014, 01:55:06 PM
Typing was a required subject in my school when I was in 8th grade. That was in the 60s. We also had to learn to use a 10-key, address envelopes and write checks. We were expected to type 60wpm, and we did.

My boys can write cursive, and both do. But it looks terrible. They weren't taught in school to pay proper attention and write legibly. The thought (late 80s) was that handwriting would be obsolete within a few years and was no longer important to learn. I required them to write reports by hand before the final version on the computer when I started homeschooling them in middle school. At first they complained, but before long they realized that it forced them to slow down and put more thought into what they were writing. And because of that their work was more thorough and seemed more complete. However, now that they're adults they've gone back to the hurried scrawl they "practiced" when they were young. In fact I've heard some people say they're proud of their scratched writing. Like speed is impressive, I guess.

For a student to not know what a signature is makes my skin crawl and my heart sink. But I've heard it many times before. Yes, tragic.


Denise
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Moya on May 20, 2014, 08:26:25 PM
I was at uni in the early 2000s for my first degree, and then went back for another round in 2010 ... the first time, the lecture halls were full of pens and pencils and scratching sounds, but in 2010, I was quite literally the only person in the room with a pen and pencil.  Laptops everywhere.

Which would not be a problem, except that sitting at the back you can see just how many of those laptops were open to Facebook ...

I can't take notes by laptop, though.  Because I worked in court transcription for so long, if I sit down in a lecture theatre with a laptop in front of me, I'll produce a word-perfect transcript of the lecture, but I won't remember a single word of it and I may as well not have attended at all.  There's a disconnect between typing and listening.  Because handwriting is so much slower for me, I'm forced to listen, analyse, and decide what's important to write down - which means I learn.

I wish they'd teach that to Kids These Days.  (Am I allowed to say scornfully Kids These Days when I'm not quite 30? Because I do!)
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Lori M on May 21, 2014, 03:07:47 AM
Quote
in 2010, I was quite literally the only person in the room with a pen and pencil.  Laptops everywhere.

I was wondering about note taking in college these days. This confirms what I suspected.

For me, there's something about the process of writing something down that gets it in my brain in a way that typing doesn't. In fact, I could swear I heard about  studies that showed that's the case.
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: Moya on May 21, 2014, 03:16:12 AM
I was wondering about note taking in college these days. This confirms what I suspected.

For me, there's something about the process of writing something down that gets it in my brain in a way that typing doesn't. In fact, I could swear I heard about  studies that showed that's the case.

I don't even need to see the studies, Lori, I 100% believe you on that!  It just works. 
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: flourishmetoo on July 15, 2014, 10:28:48 PM
Thanks for this dialogue. Ken touched on something I have been wondering about. Are there any monoline exemplars for Spencerian or Copperplate? Where can they be found?

My children, now nearly adults, both learned Italic monoline, then cursive, using the Getty Dubay method. I feel like I gave them a gift for life by supporting them in their handwriting. They will bless others with their written words.

My daughter has picked up my parallel pens and plays with a new style each evening. She was quite eager to help me set up my Instagram and see the lovely penmanship. Seeds are planted!
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: ItzmeNeng on August 31, 2014, 10:05:56 AM
Ohhh im longing to learn spencerian and business writing but even i try harder, my writings doesnt seems look like spencerian.....and i makes me so frustraded, and sometimes i dont want to do it anymore, but after a while ill keep coming back to practice it.. Cuz i really like to learn it... :(
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: ernie_tan on August 31, 2014, 11:58:39 PM
My  mom's handwriting looks like this. Cursive and slanted. I always make jokes to her writing saying that it is so slant that  it is like a building that is going to collapse. Here I am, learning copperplate. Cursive with 55 degree slant. Ironic!
Title: Re: Business Writing
Post by: patweecia on September 01, 2014, 01:20:10 AM
those were the same letterforms we were taught at elementary school.  but they didn't like the slanted look :(  they wanted letters upright.  maybe that's why my letter forms now look confused  :P