Your Comments: The Plight Of Penmanship

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Many of you responded to our blog posting about penmanship. We asked you whether cursive really is necessary. Host Liane Hansen reads some of your responses.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

Coming up, Andy Trudeau offers his opinions on this year's Oscar nominees for Best Original Score. But first, more than 70 of you responded to producer Kimberly Adams' posting on our blog about penmanship. She wrote that she loves to write with the fountain pen she inherited from her late father, but that she prints as much as she writes.

She wondered whether cursive really is necessary. Well, most of you lamented the apparent death of handwriting. David Schneider wrote that typing and writing by hand are two very different acts. Handwriting is, of course, slower and it reveals something about the writer's physical state as well as the quality of attention. If these things are no longer important, then human experience altogether is diminished.

But high school teacher Christian Riley(ph) wrote: I agree that my students' handwriting is atrocious. Most of them also don't understand how to properly powder a wig and their horsemanship is abominable.

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If You Can Read This, It's Probably Not Handwritten

A sloppy signature and unreadable handwriting rankles author Kitty Burns Florey. She says good handwriting is on the decline — and she knows where to point the finger.

Host Liane Hansen speaks with Florey about her book, Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting, and the state of penmanship in the digital age.

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