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No more joined up writing. Can it be true?


I read in the Sunday papers last week that a State in the USA had decided to stop teaching joined up writing. It is hard to understand what the thinking is for a group of state officials making such a decision. I know the keyboard is used extensively nowadays and hopefully children are being taught how to touch type but not be able to write a flowing cursive script seems to be a cruel trick.

What will happen to simple thank you letters? Those wonderfully studied letters from children who were made to write thank letters for their birthday gifts and thereby bringing joy to their grandparents. And love letters full of secret codes and messages to keep lonely feelings at bay and something to tuck under your pillow?   Imagine not to have been able to read the fabulous collections of letters sent home by men from the front?  What will we do when we have to print out a shopping list because we don’t know how to scribble a readable note?   And alas there will be no more remembering to bring a pen so we can make notes at interesting presentations or conferences?
 So with emails instead of letters and video calls to our nearest and dearest perhaps there is no need to hand write anymore. Lists can be made quickly and instantly using smart phone apps. We can even record our thoughts on our phones and again the app is there to transfer them to typed words. Will the next step be to dispense with grammar and well crafted turns of phrase? Will we ignore spelling errors as mere typos? I for one hope not. Brilliant writing is all powerful and creative, and many writers of great books admit they still handwrite their first drafts.
 If we stop teaching handwriting it won’t only be doctors who will be criticised for their writing it will be all of us. And those days at school chewing the pencil and trying to think of how to present your thoughts as words to win the handwriting prize will be gone forever.
Quicklearn provides business writing workshops and and one to one coaching to ensure your communications are accurate, brief and clear.

2 Responses

  1. Hand Writing

    Wish it had happened years ago! As a dyslexsic who finds hand writing difficult I would have been spared years of being treated as if I had a large handicap by not having great writing skills! Living in a digital world makes me as equal as everyone else.

  2. Hand Writing

     My hand writing is terrible. I can’t even read it myself sometimes, so anyone else has little chance.  Using tech means I don’t have to write by hand, but that probsbly makes things worse for me.  Having said that, discontinuing the teching of joined up writing would be a loss beyond the everyday use of the written word.  What about caligraphy, The Book of Kells for example.  Although not joined up, it is an exellent example of the art of hand writing and a skill of writing beautiful words beautifully.  Handwriting conveys more than words, it conveys emotion too.  Call me old fashoined, or just old and yes, I prefer vinyl to digital music, but I hope the writing is not (just) on the wall.

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