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Monday 25 June 2012

Could We forget how to WRITE? (Mail Online)

If you can’t remember the last time you jotted down a hand-written note, you are not alone.

For a study suggests that the days of using pen and paper may be numbered – with a typical adult not having written anything for almost six weeks.

In a world where we increasingly tap out our thoughts, messages and reminders on a keyboard or a touchscreen phone, the traditional note or letter appears to be becoming redundant.

The research, commissioned by online stationer Docmail, revealed that the average time since an adult last wrote by hand was 41 days. But it also found that one in three of us has not had cause to write anything ‘properly’ for more than six months.

Two thirds of the 2,000 respondents said that if they do write by hand, it’s usually something for their eyes only with hastily scribbled reminders or notes most common.

More than half of those polled admitted their handwriting had noticeably declined, with one in seven declaring they were ‘ashamed’ of their written word.

And four in ten said they relied on predictive text for spelling, with one in four regularly using abbreviations or ‘text talk’.

The startling long-term conclusion is that future generations may end up entirely dependent on keyboards to communicate.

Gone are the days of handwritten phone-books, writing reminders or noting something on the calendar, with technology now making these practices redundant for most of us.

Two thirds of those polled said if they do write by hand, it's usually something for their eyes, only with hastily scribbled reminders or notes most common.

Yesterday, Dave Broadway, managing director for Docmail, said: 'It's a shame handwriting is in general decline, but that's come about from the need for convenience and communication that is clear and quick.

'People by habit will always look for shortcuts or to make their life easier, and that's the reason technology is so prominent in our everyday lives.

'What will always be of importance is the quality of what we're communicating and how we convey ourselves.

'Handwriting will always carry a sentimental value but inevitably makes way when it comes to the need to be efficient.'

The decline in handwriting quality was blamed mostly on the lack of a place for it in the average modern life, with the need to be able to reach many people and constantly edit documents quickly crucial.

Indeed, forty per cent of people claim that when they do have to write it never needs to be neat, so they stop trying.

And one in three said they used to have smart handwriting but that today their style is much scruffier- the same number would get someone else to write for them if it had to be smart and presentable.

Dave Broadway, managing director for Docmail print and post, added: 'Technology puts everyone on a level playing field when it comes to the ability to communicate clearly.

'For business matters and occasions that require speed, clarity and cost efficiency or delivering to a wide audience, a technology-based solution will always be the most beneficial.

'But even if its usefulness is reduced, it's important that people maintain their ability to communicate without a full reliance on technology.'


Four in ten Brits rely on predictive text and increasingly rely on it for their spelling, with one in four regularly using abbreviations or 'text talk.'

LOL (laugh out loud), U (you) and FYI (for your information) are the most regularly used abbreviations.

Today, creating a shopping list, taking notes in a meeting or even wishing someone a happy birthday are more often done via electronic means.

One third said when they do write something down, they often struggle to read their own writing when coming back to it later on.

And nearly half (44 per cent) said that their scribing is neither nice nor easy to read.

One sixth of Brits don't even think handwriting should still be taught in schools.

One in three Brits describe handwriting as 'nice' but not something they would want to do every day.

Read the article published in the Mail Online here: Could we forget how to WRITE?

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