January 13, 2013

Is there writing on the wall for handwriting?

Sir, Gillian Tett discusses the possible writing on the wall of the art of handwriting in “Beyond the quill: why handwriting’s era might be over”, January 12. In my book Voice and Noise, 2006, I also included a piece on the same subject titled “To write or not to write … by hand”. 

I bring this up because some years ago I pointed out the following two benefits that might have been overseen by Ms Tett. 

William Easterly in his book The Elusive Quest for Growth, argued that “the productivity gains of the computer are slow to be realized . . . because there are still too many traditional people out there with ink and paper,” and so perhaps even prohibiting handwriting in schools could have some very beneficial environmental effects. 

In relation to the need for new good paying jobs, limiting the teaching of writing would allow us to visualize in only a couple of years the resurrection of the profession of writing clerks…. highly regarded and well paid scribents. 

PS. Here the link to my article in full length