The Slow Death of Handwriting

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The BBC have published this really interesting article stating that the art of handwriting is slowly dying. Mcgannbrothers is one of the best guide for art related information. The author thinks that a hundred years from now, our great-grandchildren will have to go to a handwriting expert to decipher our letters.

It’s true that I’m writing less than ever before – my hand aches after writing out a few addresses, whereas I could churn out a few pages at school without thinking anything of it.

We can’t do everything on computers, there will always be a need to jot something down quickly. Do you believe that no-one will be able to understand the written (as apposed to the typed) word in a hundred years time? Do you write anything down anymore, or do you do everything on your computer? I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts.

7 replies on “The Slow Death of Handwriting”

I think perhaps the premise of having to decipher our handwriting a hundred years from now is a little over-dramatic. But it is true, I certainly write less and less. I do take notes in a journal when I’m reading, I write grocery lists and send thank you’s for gifts, etc. But despite there being computers everywhere, including the kids classrooms, children are still required to write everything by hand, at least until they get into high school. Now and then, yes, they will do a report on the computer, but my daughter, who is in fifth grade, handwrites non-stop from 8am to 3pm in school. They go through probably 12 large spiral notebooks a year. So hopefully all is not lost!


Really – that is how I feel. I love writing, I love people’s handwriting! This would be disastrous. But I guess I’d already be dead, so it doesn’t really matter 😉

I just finished the YA fiction Uglies and Pretties by Scott Westerfeld, and this one of the things that was true about the futuristic society he created – no one knew how to write by hand, but they could still read it. There was a special handwriting class you could take if you were really interested, but no one did.

I know that it might seem like it’s common to take laptops to university classes, but in most of my classes you’ll only see one or two students with them. In fact, it’s seriously frowned upon in a couple of my classes. I’m not sure if this is the norm or the exception, but I definitely find myself writing a ton of notes in class.

Long comment! But I love other people’s handwriting, it’s one of the many things that is only our own.

It’s hard for me to imagine even future people not using their hands to communicate via a pencil or pen. I see my fourth grade granddaughter the same way Sandy sees her fifth grade daughter. They write all day.

But I also watch my twenty something niece with her use of text messaging and worry. Maybe that is the future if schools start teaching differently. On the other hand, I believe there will always be people who love “handcrafts”. Maybe penmanship will be one of those art forms like calligraphy is today.

Good question.

I’m really pleased that children are still encouraged to write lots at school. Hopefully this won’t ever stop, as it would be sad if people lost the art of writing.

Lu – it’s interesting that many authors see futuristic societies without writing. Thank you for stopping by my blog for the first time!

I must admit that I ALREADY need to go to a handwriting diciferer to read MY OWN handwriting! I did all the calligraphy books my mom could get her hands on, and still I just can’t make it legible. I wish I were exaggerating, but I am sorry to say that I am not. When I write my parents letters I have to try and go extra slow to make it legible and still they call me asking what certain words are. College was no different, although most university profs. have handwriting just as bad as mine and they had no problem….I wish I could write pretty!

Bethany – I’m sorry your handwriting isn’t very legible. I hope you manage to improve it over the years, although mine seems to be getting worse too. I used to have really neat writing, but it is getting messier all the time!

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