Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The art of Writing… a relic?





My cousin sister’s precocious son is only 3 years old. And boy can he spell! He can type the correct spellings of words from car and truck to pentagon and hexagon.  Oh by the way, his favorite word is the truck and he even chose a birthday cake with a truck iced on it…hmm Sometimes when I sit on the computer checking mails, my daughter likes to come and sit on my lap.. She wants to watch Abby Cadabby video (of Sesame Street fame) or may be photos from our hard disk. Few days now I open the notepad with big font size and let her type. And she enjoys getting the alphabets on the screen. She can recognize most of them but gets confused between M and W! Anyway. And that got me thinking…


These kids are going to grow up and use the keyboard, no matter what profession they choose. Do they even need to learn how to write? People invented writing in order to save the words and texts for posterity. For instance, the scriptures in the Vedas initially were passed down from teacher to disciple by word of mouth. And many were lost. Until they decided to record it on leaves. Then came printing. So with all these gadgets that we have today and that we will see in the future, why should kids learn to write? Typing is so much easier than writing! Writing will probably be relegated to a skill like dancing that kids learn as a hobby or something! Similar to ‘Abacus classes’ these days!
Conversation in 2050-
Mother 1: I am sending my son to ‘writing’ class!
Mother 2: Really? Wow.. You mean like using a pen? That’s amazing!!
I wonder… if children don’t learn to write, are they missing something? Like, does it help in brain development? I know it improves memory. You are more likely to remember something that you write vis-à-vis read. But typing won’t be too different!
The only scenario I can think where it might be a problem is, should there be a massive power grid failure…

Photo credit: blog.nj.com

6 comments:

vr said...

Krish is not precocious...he is just obsessed with alphabets! I agree....writing will become an art rather than a necessity...but experts do say it develops the brain and its a whole new kind of brain activity. Maybe that too will change..evolution will take care of that. And no spell check means you better know your spellings...its so much better for kids...its like creating art for them...such a sense of personal accomplishment when they learn to put the alphabets they know on paper. I do miss handwritten letters and cards...i think something about the written word...so personal..so real.

anilkurup said...

Hand written messages- well I talk about that I would be described- not in tune with the times.
Besides writing and the art of writing, reading too has waned. It is sad, really sad that the present generation is too glued to visual media than noticing the value of print.

kaalpanique said...

@VR and Anil, times are changing. whether we like it or not. this is a reality we must face and it is happening in everything we do... art...painting... music... literature...Everything is on the computer. I miss the days of letter writing and sending birthday cards. But its all emails these days. There was a time when writing was calligraphy. And now calligraphy is a specialised art form. I am only projecting this trend into the future. I do think that there will be a time in the future when writing will become redundant. i hope its a long time away though...

Balachandran V said...

There is another major issue related - that of spelling. When we use computers, a lot of spelling errors come in; but instead of correcting it by ourselves we leave to spell check.

Recently there was an interesting series of posts in one of the blogs i follow: NRIGirl. She and a few of her friends corresponded by writing letters by hand and then scanning it up in the blog. It looked so warm and intimate; it brought life into the communication.

kaalpanique said...

thats a nice idea! a sort of way in between..

Rahiim Payyadimeethal said...

:)))