Author Topic: Business Writing  (Read 13648 times)

Offline Ken Fraser

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Business Writing
« on: March 22, 2014, 05:38:09 PM »

Offline AndyT

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #1 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.

Offline FrenchBlue Joy

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #2 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. 


Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #3 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.

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #4 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

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #5 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!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #6 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.

Offline Blotbot

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #7 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?

Offline AndyT

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #8 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:


Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #9 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!  :)
Truly, Erica
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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2014, 05:41:33 PM »
Here's a fuller appreciation of Business Writing.


Offline Lori M

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #11 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.

Offline Moya

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #12 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.

Offline Lori M

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #13 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.  ;)

Offline Blotbot

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Re: Business Writing
« Reply #14 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".