July 15, 2001
the newness of tech.

Keep your Typewriter, but Don't Forget Use of Pen

PENMANSHIP will not become a lost art--at least for many generations--in the opinion of local educationists. T.A. Brough, assistant municipal inspector of schools, and W.K. Beech, principal of the High School of Commerce, were inclined to disagree with a statement of Talcott Williams, formerly of Columbia university, who has declared that:

"The prime deficiency in the whole teaching of children in our schools is that they are allowed to use te [sic] pen when they ought to begin with the typewriter."


"I don't agree with that at all" said Mr. Brough. "We have not all typewriters. Many people cannot afford to buy one and in any case they are too heavy to carry around."

Authors and poets would be under a severe handicap if typewriting should displace hand-writing entirely, pointed out Mr. Brough.

"Many writers dictate their books, but persons with the poetic temperament are likely to be siezed with a desire to write when they are far from the nearest typewriter. They would be at a loss if they had never learned to use pen or pencil. Typewriters will have to be practically pocket-size before they can take the place of penmanship."


"I think that man is talking through his hat," continued Mr. Brough. "The art of penmanship will never be lost altogether."

Mr. Beech went right to the heart of the question when asked his opinion regarding the Talcott Williams pronouncement.

"If you went out to interview someone, you would hardly take a typewriter with you; would you?" he asked.

"Penmanship still has its uses."

"The typewriter is indispensable in office work, but the pen is still used to a large extent," said Mr. Beech. "Indeed, we find that more emphasis is placed on good penmanship than ever. To prove this it is only necessary to point to the way in which business firms, in seeking office help from among students, insist that they should apply in their own handwriting."


"The modern system is better than the old," he continued. "The muscular movement is of great assistance in the learning of shorthand. The psychological effect of combining the teaching of penmanship and shorthand leads to a better result. A great deal of the world's work is done with the pen yet," he concluded.

(from the Vancouver Sun, April 22, 1923. Thanks to Amanda making me a photocopy.)

posted by dru in politicsoftech