The pen is still mightier. Or should be

21st October 2011 at 01:00

Oh dear! Andrew Beswick, who is pushing his school into "a world in which there is no place for handwriting", sounds like an overexcited puppy with a new bone ("Not so mighty any more", 14 October). Naive, inexperienced - perhaps - and thank God he's not teaching my children. HOGWASH!

Of course children need to learn to write with a pen. We call computers progression: we will bask in its wonder as the new iPhone 72 is launched in five years; we'll all revel in the capabilities of Sir Richard Branson and the like to send ordinary folk into space. But any sensible human being realises the limitations of technology. The practicality of solely using electronic devices as a means of expression is foolhardy and morally wrong. Even (TV chat-show host and technology fan) Jonathan Ross baulked at the major BlackBerry failure this week by fixing a handwritten Post-it note to the device and chucking it out of the window. Humorous - but a lot of truth there.

So, yes, Mr Beswick, let's just give up entirely, shall we? Let's consign our children to a life of ignorance devoid of all traditional skills. Let's remove our ability to function entirely. No knowledge of anything but tapping, copy and paste and the infernal right click on a mouse. Choose a spelling (any one will do) - that's what kids do if we let them. Hence their computer work is often impersonal and inane.

I'm sorry, my friend, the pen has always been mightier than the sword and long may that continue for centuries to come.

Helen Rocci, Boston, Lincolnshire.

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