FIVE YEARS AGO, Wired asked, "Is the keyboard killing penmanship?" Two days ago, I stood and watched modern day scribes tap away on their wireless keyboards, connecting to a virtual neighbourhood miles away from their feet in the west of Ireland. Some of my well-regarded teachers would argue against permitting everything to be written on keys.
- Rich Gioscia, Director of design, Palm One, has said that when you type, you tend to join ideas with "a sense of urgency" and that can lead to "rushing things. It may even get worse when we have things like voice recognition and speech-to-text input at our disposal."
- Lisa Marnell, Director, Handwriting Help: "Fourth and fifth grade kids are learning keyboarding when they would've been honing cursive writing, which is much faster than block printing. Note-taking becomes extremely unpleasant if they go off to a high school with just two or three computers per classroom. Also, many younger kids are starting school without the hand strength they need to write well--holding a mouse or playing with a Game Boy simply doesn't develop fine motor skills."
- Edward Tenner, Author, Our own devices: "Much everyday 19th-century handwriting was bad. But people had clerks who wrote in standardised scripts, or they did so themselves when necessary. Contemporary cursive tends to be all draft mode except on formal occasions, often delegated to calligraphers. Laser-printed uniformity has become meaningless because it can be achieved so cheaply. Today's recipient cares less that a personal note is half-legible than that it has been handwritten at all."