Writing Matters! National Stationary Week 2016
The power of the written word cannot be overestimated.
From documents that have shaped history and survived to enlighten generations about the past, to love letters and cards cherished for decades, educational projects and even documents that help us in our day-to-day lives, handwriting is a skill that sets us all up for life.
While smart phones and computers have transformed everyday living, they will never be a replacement for the beauty of the written word in conveying a message – and results of a recent YouGov survey have revealed that the majority of Brits agree that handwriting remains as important as ever.
More than two thirds of people surveyed (68%) agreed that handwriting remains a very important tool, and 92% that it is very or fairly important while 97% agreed that it is important to teach handwriting to school children and - while 34% of people admitted they will use text messages or emails to send ‘thank you’ notes this year - 47% said they would send one by hand.
The survey found that almost a third (29%) had sent a handwritten letter or note in the previous month. In a separate survey carried out by the National Handwriting Association, the majority of people (64%) said that receiving a handwritten note makes them feel special.
This year’s National Stationery Week aims to keep Britain writing. Here’s an A-Z of why writing really matters:
A is for: Archives. Handwritten documents and notes have been passed down through centuries to permanently record some of history’s most important events - not just consigned to a virtual trash bin.
B is for: Beauty. A hastily-drawn up email will never capture the sheer beauty of a handwritten letter
C is for: Caring. Handwritten notes, letter and cards are the most personal form of communication. Think love letters and cards that are treasured for decades. A handwritten letter shows courtesy and etiquette. Emails declaring ‘I love you’ just don’t cut it in the same way
D is for: Diaries. Imagine pouring out your innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions and keeping it stored in a computer file to treasure for all time. Doesn’t have the same ring does it?
E is for: Education. The dawn of the computer era is upon us but when schools, colleges and universities set a project they’ll still expect it to be completed in legible handwriting. It’s up there with reading and ‘rithmetic.
F is for: Failsafe. There’s no need to rely on computer batteries or storage space. Handwriting can be enjoyed anywhere, at any time, without the need to rely on technology.
G is for: Generations. If something ain’t broke then don’t fix it! Generations upon generations have used handwriting to get their message across. It’s just as important now as it ever has been in the past
H is for: History. We know so much about the rich past of the world we live in purely down to handwritten documents passed down over time. There were no emails when the Magna Carta was drawn up…
I is for: Imagination. Crafting a handwritten letter stimulates the brain and imagination, and is proven to heighten the feel-good factor
J is for: Jargon. Can you remember the most important documents of all time being littered with LOLs, ROFLs or L8Rs? No, neither can we! Handwriting encourages the correct use of language
K is for: Knowledge. They say that knowledge is power. And it is proven that the brain takes in far more information when it is being written down
L is for: Learning. Evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep. Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information.
M is for: Memory. Handwriting enhances brain activity and memory, helping to keep the mind sharp
N is for: Nostalgia. Ever dug out old school notebooks, diaries and cards from years gone by to relive happy memories from the past? Threads of text messages and emails just don’t provide the same sense of nostalgia
O is for: Opulent. It’s not just artists that get to go wild with creativity. Beautiful handwriting can bring a page to life
P is for: Pen and pencil - the instruments that bring our thoughts and emotions to life on the page. You know how the famous saying goes – the pen is mightier than the sword!
Q is for: Quill. Let’s take a moment to step back in time! The quill was used to write with ink before the invention of the dip pen. Shakespeare’s world-famous plays would have been written down using a quill – and the literary masterpieces have certainly stood the test of time
R is for: Romance. Great love stories tend not to be rooted in the foundation of a text message or email! Think instead of soldiers in battle taking hope from letters sent from their loved ones back home or cards filled with soppy scribblings and cherished for years
S is for: Signature. Even if you’re never intending to become a scribe, everyone should practice their signature. Some of the most memorable moments in history have come from people signing on the dotted line…Think treaties, marriages, births, autographs – or even football contracts
T is for: Text Messages. Let’s face it, texts are a handy way of quick communication. But they’ll never beat a carefully-crafted handwritten message
U is for: Unique. Nobody wants to follow the crowd so handwriting is a perfect tool to express personality and individuality. Every person’s handwriting is unique
V is for: Vision. Our vision is for writing by hand to co-exist in perfect harmony with technology in this digital age
W is for: Writing. Because writing by hand really does matter!
X is for: X Factor. Handwritten notes just have that extra little something that makes them super special!
Y is for: You. Just like fashion sense and choice of hairstyles, handwriting says a lot about who you are
Z is for: Zeal. With handwriting proven to stimulate the mind and imagination, sitting down to write a letter will produce a feel-good factor. It’s a fact!
The importance of handwriting is being highlighted as part of National Stationery Week – as we launch a campaign to ensure Britain keeps writing!
A number of states in the US have removed cursive handwriting from the curriculum and then reintroduced it and Finland is also removing it in favour of teaching typing skills. MPs, celebrities, teachers, youngsters and parents alike are now joining forces to make sure the UK continues to prioritise handwriting as an important skill.
Whether it’s jotting down a shopping list, writing a birthday card, taking down a phone message or filling in an application form, handwriting is part of our daily lives and while modern technology has transformed the way we communicate, the skill of handwriting remains important in education, employment and everyday life.
If you feel the same, please write a brief letter or card of support to Small Man Media, 6 Waterloo Road (2nd floor), Wolverhampton, WV14BL or call Sehrish on 01902 587001.
Posted by Rebecca Harding