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« Mid-morning cheer-me-up: MIKE PENCE | Main | Never Again... WHAT? »

Sunday, 11 April 2010


Mannie Sherberg
"Cool" younger readers of the above post may be asking, "Who neeeds penmanship when we've got the word processor?" The answer is: "We all do." Even though writing by hand may be going out of fashion, learning penmanship taught students something that pounding the keyboard will never teach them. Forming words on paper -- and doing so with scrupulous care for the shaping of each letter -- once taught youngsters a crucially important truth: The use of the English language should always be done with painstaking effort and exacting attention to detail. Words aren't something you throw at a screen; they're wondrous creations, to be treated with meticulous affection. Some of the youngsters -- not all, but some -- who used to learn penmanship ended up by having lifelong love affairs with English -- and much richer lives as a result. Anyone who reads much of what passes for English prose on today's Internet can only be astonished at the crudity, the carelessness, and the contempt which which many "writers" treat the language. Hardly evidence of love, much less respect. The death of penmanship is nothing less than a blow to our civilization.

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