What is wrong with the education system when college grads can't write their own name?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Bridget, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    926
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I recently had a job in which I had to collect slips that other employees had filled out and had to sign with their signature. I often needed to go back through these and ask questions of the person the slip originated from. Trouble was that most of the time, the signature was illegible, just sort of a squiggle. After a lot of difficulty learning who had signed the slip, I repeatedly requested that these folks sign their name legibly in the future. I assumed they were trying to sign it like an autograph, like a movie star. Gradually it became clear to me, after witnessing their embarrassment and yet not correcting the behavior, that THEY DIDN'T KNOW HOW. These were college educated young people, and don't know how to sign their own name! Not to mention spelling; I could go off on a whole other tangent on that. So, exactly what ARE they learning these days?
     
  2. Capt Nice

    Capt Nice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    7,440
    Likes Received:
    5,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Having a signature that's not legible is not the same thing as not knowing how to spell your name.
     
    Junkieturtle likes this.
  3. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    27,303
    Likes Received:
    4,335
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    There is no legal requirement to have a readible signature. Sounds like you are criticizing just to criticize. I haven't used a legible signature in 35 years.
     
    Capt Nice likes this.
  4. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2018
    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    I was trying to get some documents notarized at a UPS store and the girl there wanted me to sign the document. I put my signature on it and she said she couldn't read it and wanted me to write it out plainly. I told that it would no longer be my signature if I did that. My signature is my unique mark on the line that says "Signature," directly below my written out name. Despite showing her my driver's license and looking at her like she was a space alien, she refused to accept my signature, so I wrote it out just like on the line above, and life continued.

    I'd say that if you wanted them to put their name on it, it's one thing. If you want a signature, it's a personal sign or mark used for legal reasons because it's not easily duplicated. Maybe it would have helped if you asked them to write their names instead of signing it.
     
    HonestJoe likes this.
  5. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    926
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Actually, I finally began asking for the signature, which was required, but also print your name below it, so it could be read. It isn't that they can't spell their name, simply that they don't know how to write it. Are we headed for just saying "make your mark" then, like they used to do with people who were illiterate?
     
  6. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2018
    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    I don't think we're headed that way (reminds me of the scene in Moby Dick when Queequeg signed on to sail). It's just that our mark is our mark. It has to be unique, not legible. If I look back at my signature over the years, I see that mine was quite legible when I was in my 20s, but now it's chicken scratch.
     
  7. Junkieturtle

    Junkieturtle Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    11,270
    Likes Received:
    1,850
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Cursive is being phased out. My kids haven't even learned it. And this is a good thing. It's a totally obsolete writing mechanic and a 100% waste of time for schools to do. When I was in school in the late 80s and through the 90s, we wrote in cursive from 3rd until 6th grade. And then, never again. Not once, other than a signature.

    A signature is not meant to be something that you easily read. It's supposed to be unique and hard to reproduce. If you are having trouble reading people's signatures, you're better off asking that they also print their name, like pretty much all standardized forms currently do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  8. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Messages:
    8,384
    Likes Received:
    1,703
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Have you ever seen a dr. Signature on a prescription?
    this is trump sig
    If i did not know, i would not know
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  9. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    926
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yeah, except when a signature is required on a legal document

    I agree that they are as bad as movie stars. Actually, I think I will start doing the squiggle thing too and maybe it will make me feel important like a doctor or a movie star. Of course it will be much easier to "reproduce" than someone attempting to reproduce every letter of my name.
     
  10. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,315
    Likes Received:
    926
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Doesn't it seem strange to even be having this conversation? Even 20 years ago, no one would be discussing whether it was important for people to be literate, which means able to not only read, but also to write!
     
  11. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    27,303
    Likes Received:
    4,335
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Being able to write is less important all the time. I type almost everything that I write for other people to use (except for checks). I type most of what I need for myself. Yes, I scribble some notes on paper, but rarely. I usually use the note feature on my phone (which has the advantage of being backed up, unlike paper notes).

    I am kind of frustrated that they don't have enough emphasis on touch typing, which IMHO, should replace cursive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  12. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2020
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    673
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This is not because they don't know how to spell their own names. It's because students are being taught to PRINT (like the letters on a keyboard). However, everyone has to sign their own name on something at some point. It's bizarre they can't practice to do that legibly.

    Now, if you want to get me started on why kids can't count... ;-(
     
  13. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    12,493
    Likes Received:
    2,623
    Trophy Points:
    113
    You are simply wrong about signatures. Their purpose isn't to read the persons name but to signify that it was that individual who signed the document. It will likely be harder to accurately fake the natural flow of a "squiggle" type signature than something more clearly defined.

    There is and never has been any expectation for signatures to be readable, or even the full name (my signature is just my first initial and surname for example). Any legal or otherwise important document will (should!) have the persons name written out separately to the signature (either pre-populated or specifically asked for in additional to the signature).

    An autograph is related but slightly different and shouldn't be compared. I'd expect most "celebrities" will have a different personal signature to their professional autograph, even if they don't work under a stage name.
     
  14. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2020
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    673
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Some currency exchanges will require a fingerprint if a customer's signature isn't legible.
     
  15. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2017
    Messages:
    15,455
    Likes Received:
    4,562
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Schools are not really focusing on teaching cursive writing anymore. It is becoming seen by many people as obsolete. They think the schools have other better things to teach the kids (like understanding the difference between a trans man and a trans woman). So many students are coming away from school not really knowing how to write in cursive, barely being able to even sign their own name.

    This despite the fact that the United States Constitution was written in cursive script.

    A more realistic alternative might have been to require the people to both sign their names and to write their name below in legible normal letters.
     

Share This Page