Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 27, 2009


Time - People born after 1980 tend to have a distinctive style of handwriting: a little bit sloppy, a little bit childish and almost never in cursive. The knee-jerk explanation is that computers are responsible for our increasingly illegible scrawl, but Steve Graham, a special-education and literacy professor at Vanderbilt University, says that's not the case. The simple fact is that kids haven't learned to write neatly because no one has forced them to. "Writing is just not part of the national agenda anymore," he says.


Anonymous Mairead said...

Right away we have a problem: "manuscript" means HAND-writing, not type.

Roman (upright) and italic (slanted) type styles both come from penwork, but they competed for dominance in the early days of moveable-type printing.

The Roman style came from pre-Renaissance letterforms, while italic came from the somewhat flowing and connected handwriting of Italian master penmen of the Renaissance such as Gianbattista Palatino (for whom Hermann Zapf in 1948 named his most famous typeface)

Kids don't do handwriting today for the same reason they don't do any of the other arts: it's discouraged. Handwriting, like writing, painting, sculpture, and music, is an artistic craft and Capitalism has no use for art or craft unless it can make money from it.

July 27, 2009 4:29 PM  

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