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Dec 26, 2013 07:03 AM

This might be silly but…..

Why is it that every restaurant I've ever been to in Paris that has a blackboard displaying menus or specials has them written in beautiful handwriting? Are the French more adept at teaching there children to write in a beautiful cursive than we North Americans? I've never been to a restaurant in North America that has blackboard displays written even remotely as well as those in Paris,

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  1. Maybe they use handwriting because they change the menus every day.

    1. Yes, the French still teach and learn cursive writing; it continues to be a valued skill.

      1. French children are graded severely on their handwriting skills, and rewarded handsomely for having beautiful handwriting.

        These same children have little to no access to computers in the classroom, by the way.....

        1 Reply
        1. re: sunshine842

          And it is the same thing here in Italy, but much worse. That's why this country is so backward (but wonderful when it comes to food... if you know where to go).

        2. When I was in primary school in France, we had to do a lot of handwriting practice. Those with messier writing (I was one) had to take remedial classes. No idea how it is in American schools.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Sirrith

            Penmanship is still a huge deal -- even elementary-age kids use fountain pens.

            1. re: Sirrith

              When I was in elementary school (back in the Dark Ages) penmanship was taken quite seriously, and grades were given. I understand that Cursive writing is no longer taught in most American public elementary schools. Kinda scary if you ask me!

              [FWIW, My mother didn't like my handwriting the way I was learning in school. (I'm left-handed, and cursive is not conducive to us) so she made me practice Palmer method (the way she learned).]

              1. re: ChefJune

                but to grade a term paper more heavily on penmanship than on actual content is stretching academic integrity.

                It happens -- simply because a student's handwriting doesn't look the way the teacher thinks it should, not because it's illegible.

                We all need to be able to communicate with a pen and paper in such a manner that others can understand what we wrote...but we're talking full-on obsession to the exclusion of actual academic content.

            2. If my memory serves correctly.... back in the day a cover letter used by a jobseeker was usually handwritten. Not sure what the practice is now.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Steve

                not since the advent of typewriters and printers.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Ah, then I must be thinking of something else that was seldom handwritten in the US but common in France...

                  1. re: Steve

                    It was common 20 years ago or more, but not recently.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Yes, I was thinking late 80s, early 90s, but well after the typewriter.... and even into the computer age. Certainly not in the US, but common practice (at least from what I saw) for the French.

                      1. re: Steve

                        hasn't been common practice since the early 90s, according to folks actually living and working in France these days.

                        Even the CV photo is beginning to disappear.

                      2. re: sunshine842

                        More than that, I've never done it and am in my late 60's.

                    2. re: sunshine842

                      And email......nearly all job applications come through email these days or job portals - even in France.

                      But back to the menu boards. I wonder if it's also a factor that many restaurant staff in France are long serving professionals so experience and pride in a job well done also comes into play. Contrast that to many other countries where waiting tables is a stop-gap and not a profession and maybe that gives more insight.

                    3. re: Steve

                      It was, because of a rather odd belief in "graphology". As a left-handed person, I was always terrified of that. My handwriting is not ugly, but it is straight up and down, which to some graphologists means introversion or some such rot.

                      I'm glad to see the end of the photos, which are clearly discriminatory, unless you are an actor or model.

                      1. re: lagatta

                        Oh no, you'd be right at home in France -- straight up and down is the holy grail, and kids are penalised for having any slant whatsoever.