I enjoyed your article in the Dec. 20 Daily Herald about cursive writing being taught in the schools and its benefits. Being an older person, I have certainly written my share of cursive, as well as Gregg shorthand, which uses the same type of strokes.

One point that is overlooked by teachers, I believe, is that a proper technique in holding the pen is important. Currently I see all sorts of fist-like grips, some of which are in the picture in the article, that bear no resemblance to the way we were taught many years ago: fingers fairly straight, pen held between the tips of the thumb and first finger, with the second finger slightly curled behind. A Google search on "how to hold a pen," shows pictures and explanations that show this method.

A Chicago public school student for my primary grades, I remember our teacher walking around the room making sure the students were holding their pens correctly. Students today will have a very hard time achieving precision, speed and comfort with these fist-like grips.

It seems that the thinking for many years has been to let the child decide how he wants to hold the writing implement. That certainly does not hold true in sports, music or other disciplines. There, the best, most effective form is always taught. It seems that proper pen-holding technique is a lost art to even the teachers of today, and that has made cursive more difficult to learn and write.

Christine Essenburg

Sugar Grove