Are We Losing the Ability to Write?
Photo Credit: Dennis Tokarzewski • Source: ThinkStock
I make part of my living blogging. So spelling, grammar and punctuation are a constant thorn in my side.
No matter how many times I go over things I’ve written there always seems to be a word or comma I missed.
I always felt that a person’s opinion would be placed in higher regard if proper grammar and pronunciation were used when stating the position.
I remembered back to my early schooling in southern Illinois. How many hours we spent on writing and reading in the first four years of school.
I’m not even sure they even teach cursive writing any longer.
If you can print your name and fill in circles on a true false or multiple choice test you are home free.
No one wants to write term papers and no one wants to grade them. Imagine having to write 20-30 pages in longhand.
Is Writing Really Necessary?
You aren’t going to go far in life without being able to read, but is writing necessary? As long as I can type I can write — can’t I? Whenever I am asked to put pen to paper, I have to admit it’s uncomfortable.
Not that I can’t do it or need the spellchecker, but the muscles used are not as responsive as the touch-typing that I am doing now.
I can type a page and a half blog in a few minutes but writing it legibly would take much longer.
Maybe I should force myself to physically write more. Try to bring back that very legible cursive hand I mastered in 5th grade.
Imagine being graded on something called “Penmanship?” The ability to write in a way that anyone picking it up could read it.
Communication in longhand would be more personable than an email or Facebook message — but those are instant. No chance of it getting lost in the mail.
The only actual physical writing I do in a year is limited to my wife’s birthday, anniversary, and Valentine’s Day card.
I have written three books and not a single utterance has been with pen, pencil or paper. All three were done electronically.
If I had to write them longhand, I would probably still be writing book two.
Some Final Thoughts
I am somewhat sad that actual writing our thoughts on paper is going the way of the horse and buggy. It just takes too long to express our innermost feelings by our own hand.
As the pen glides across the paper there is a feeling that plastic keys just can’t convey.
Would the Declaration of Independence carry the same weight if it were a typewritten page? The Gettysburg Address? Magna Carta?
Handwriting analysis, yes; keyboard analysis, no.
What we write and how we write it is who we are.
Do you still write — by hand? Comments below