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Handwriting may soon become a thing of past

One in three persons has not had a reason to write anything 'properly' for more than six months.

People may soon forget how to write! The days of using pen and paper may be numbered and the traditional way of jotting down a hand-written note appears to be becoming redundant,a new study has suggested.

In a world where we increasingly tap out our thoughts,messages and reminders on a keyboard or a touchscreen phone,writing notes by hand is decreasing at a faster pace,with a typical adult not having written anything for almost six weeks,the study said.

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,the Daily Mail reported.

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.

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More than 50 per cent 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’,it said,concluding that perhaps the next generation will be almost entirely keyboard-dependent,the report said.

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.


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,” he said.

“Handwriting will always carry a sentimental value but inevitably makes way when it comes to the need to be efficient,” he added.


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,it said.

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,the study suggested.

First published on: 23-06-2012 at 05:50:55 pm
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