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Tomas Quinones

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Will handwriting go extinct like an ancient art only practiced by a handful of people across the world?

I recently took a writing class at a local community college where the professor did not allow us to use computers while in the classroom. We had to use pens and paper to write rough drafts of stories, arguments, observations and comparisons.

To me, the act of handwriting had not been regularly practiced since I was in high school during the early nineties and yet over half the class were students under the age of 19 years old. The rest of the class varied from 20 to 50 in age and yet by handwriting alone, I could tell which student had the better handwriting.

Some of the younger students weren't able to write cursive at all, others barely made anything legible, while the older students were commended on their nice writing, I couldn't help but wonder if the younger generation were no longer going to learn to legibly write well.

Some of the students I spoke to about this observation claimed they were never taught to write in cursive and did all of their writing assignments and notes on a laptop since they were in kindergarten. Even printing letters was a challenge for them for they lacked the practiced motor skills in their hands to allow other humans to read their ideas.

After the course ended, I've asked friends, strangers at cafes and other teachers if this was a dreadful decline in penmanship that will never come back as a means of communication.

What do you think? Will handwriting, printing or cursive, become a rare art that only artists and historians would practice? Will typing eventually become the only way we can communicate unspoken words to other humans? Will children eventually grow up never knowing how to hold a pencil and write?

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    Aug 3 2011: I feel cursive handwriting will disappear. I know personally, at my 7 year old nephews school they recently said they were taking cursive handwriting out of the school and replacing it with keyboard efficiency. Where 10 years ago I was learning handwriting at this same exact school. So I can see this making it's way into other schools and over time becoming the "normal". I do think that it is a shame. My aunts and uncles still seem to be using handwriting quite regularly. But I don't see this in people my age group (20). I only truthfully ever use it when signing my name. Other then that I type. Or print. So in the foreseeable future I don't see all hand written techniques being completely lost. But I am seeing the start of this process of eliminating handwriting even in my little hometown. Thanks for this thought, it raises very good points.

    - Jamie

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