Are Millennials Resurrecting Cursive?

Finally, something Millennials aren’t killing, right? Making lists of industries Millennials have ‘allegedly’ killed is passé at this point; memes have been born and buried in the bottomless Internet graveyard and journalists have squeezed every last drop out of clickbaity headlines featuring the words “Millennial” and “killed.” So, what’s next? How long can we continue to profit from this Millennial shtick?

Well, what if we do something as simple as talk about all of the things Millennials are reviving rather than killing. From 80’s and 90’s nostalgia (think Stranger Things and choker necklaces) to buying second hand clothing because it’s actually cool (and not just because you’re still paying off those student loans), Millennials love all things retro.

For starters, ask any Millennial if they know someone who uses a typewriter (from their own generation—grandparents don’t count), and I guarantee they know at least one person who waxes nostalgic for the contraption that so many great writers of yesteryear used to type out their pièces de résistance. Jack Kerouac, for instance, typed out the beatnik hit On the Road on one 120-foot long roll of paper using a typewriter.

In fact, if we go back and take a look at the earliest appearance of the typewriter, which was introduced in 1874, people predicted it would replace the need for writing by hand–sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? And though these days the idea of communicating strictly via emojis may sound quite whimsical and harmonious (via being able to communicate through one universal language), it seems as though Millennials are actually being lured by the old world practice of writing by hand, and more specifically, writing in cursive. Look no further than Millennials’ beverage of choice, La Croix, to see that even their logo is written in none other than cursive font.

Just a few years back, if you walked into a university lecture hall, you would see rows of students taking notes on their laptops. These days, it appears as though students have taken a knack for the nostalgic notion of writing with pen and paper. Despite the fact that it is much slower than typing on a laptop keyboard, students have realized that they’re better able to retain information if they write things out manually. However, not all students choose to write in cursive. If you take a look at a pile of final exams, you’ll see the whole spectrum of writing styles; from all caps (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE) to a sort of print-cursive hybrid, to full on cursive.

So, what’s the big deal?

For starters, with the current administration and state of affairs, it would appear as though people are more interested in politics than ever, and Millennials are quite the activists. So, it may not come as much of a surprise to hear that even cursive has become a politicized entity. Though it may seem superfluous to some, cursive has not been able to escape being the center point of a classic conservative versus progressive debate. In our next post, we will further examine this “controversy” as well as its adaptation to modern times and Millennials’ role in its resurrection.