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I came across this article that I liked from The Telegraph:

Letter writing dying out among children

“The traditional art of letter writing is dying out as growing numbers of children turn to email, text messages and social networking websites, research suggests.

One-in-10 schoolchildren have never written a letter by hand, it was disclosed, and almost a third of teenagers have failed to put pen to paper for more than a year.

By comparison, almost half of pupils use website such as Facebook and Bebo to communicate with friends every week.

The disclosure – in a study commissioned by the charity World Vision – prompted fresh fears over a decline in writing skills among a generation of schoolchildren.

A rise in the use of computers has already been linked to poor spelling, punctuation and grammar as pupils become over-reliant on electronic checkers.

Sue Palmer, former head teacher and author of the book Toxic Childhood, said: “If children do not write or receive letters they miss out on key developmental benefits”

I have been blessed with beautiful handwriting and a talent for drawing and, like with many things you discover you’re good at, I have worked on my handwriting and I have grown to identify with it. I am a good writer and when I write to someone I sometimes hold vain hopes that the reader will recognise the effort I have put in. But I still remember classmates struggling, and later adults, struggling with handwriting and labouring with great concentration and often with cramped hands at producing crafted handwritten letters. Many brilliant, often scientifically-inclined, students were held back or were thought of as incomplete because of their poor penmanship. Teachers would often remark on how clever a student was while in the same breath making a sharp comment on their poor handwriting (“if only they could write more beautifully…”).

Much like calculators liberated us from doing mental arithmetics, typing may free more of us from being judged by a single metric, our handwriting. Until now, whatever thoughts we had, whether they pertained to physics or poetry, biology or history, would have been funnelled at school through our handwriting, beautiful or sloppy, often bearing no relationship to the quality of the thoughts it expressed. I suppose that the table has turned and I will continue to have my beautiful handwriting but future generations will not have to be judged by how well they hold a pen.

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