Monday, May 9, 2016

Cursive Quimby

In Mrs. Whaley’s third-grade classroom, the children are practicing their cursive capitals:

Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (New York: William Morrow, 1981).

Ramona must be in the clutches of the Palmer Method, whose capital Q is a piece of work. In The Palmer Method for Business Writing (1915), A. N. Palmer admits that “capital Q is simply a large figure two” — a big floppy numeral passing for a letter. Some Method!

I can’t recall a cursive Q of any sort from childhood. I do remember G and Z , which came to me in their Palmer forms, and which I could never get quite right. Especially Z .

[Capitals Q and Z from The Palmer Method for Business Writing (1915).]

Related reading
All OCA handwriting posts (Pinboard)
Dowdy-world miracle (From Fifteen )
Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary
Quimby economics
Ramona Quimby, stationery fan


April 2018: In the memoir A Girl from Yamhill (1988), Beverly Cleary writes about her first exposure to cursive, in the form of the the Wesco system of handwriting, which, like the Palmer Method, has a 2-shaped Q. It’s now obvious to me that Cleary is drawing on her Wesco childhood in her depiction of Ramona’s dissatisfaction with cursive writing.

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