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Is neat handwriting going the way of the quill pen?

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:00 28 February 2018

Who needs good handwriting these days?

Who needs good handwriting these days?

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Rachel Moore has bad handwriting. So do many people. But is that anything to really worry about?

Appalling handwriting runs in our family. I mastered the art of 100 words a minute legible shorthand for my journalism exams, which I still use daily for work, but my handwriting on birthday cards looks like a seven-year-old’s.

My sons’ handwriting is equally atrocious. My younger son battled against teachers to hold his pen in the most unconventional way.

Every year we worry about the examiners’ patience with their papers. My older son’s finals loom this year and the handwriting issue has already been raised.

But they don’t need to write with a pen any more, apart from in exams. Lectures are recorded, essays and dissertations are typed.

Technology for tiny tots means children are turning up at school unable to hold pens and pencils, senior paediatric doctors have warned.

But will they ever need to hold pens anywhere other than school?

Touch-typing is far more important preparation for the modern workplace but it isn’t taught in schools. Pens are practically obsolete in the modern workplace, apart from dinosaurs like us hanging on to our Pitman 2000 and spiral-bound notebooks.

It might feel sad but teaching neat handwriting feels about as progressive in 2018 as brandishing a quill and ink and an abacus.


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