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Umberto Eco: Good handwriting should be valued

23rd September 2009

Esteemed author Umberto Eco has highlighted the importance of having good handwriting.

In an article for the Guardian, the Foucault's Pendulum writer pointed out that many children today are accustomed to using computers and mobile phones for communication, which has reduced the need for good penmanship.

However, Eco argued that taking the time to write things by hand has several benefits, despite being slower than modern approaches.

'Writing by hand obliges us to compose the phrase mentally before writing it down. Thanks to the resistance of pen and paper, it does make one slow down and think,' he explained.

The author, whose latest book is entitled Turning Back the Clock, also said he believes handwritten notes are more pleasing to read and claimed his parents' scripts could be considered 'minor works of art'.

Eco ended the article by calling for parents to send their children to handwriting school, arguing that this activity could increase youngsters' appreciation of beauty.

Handwriting may also offer clues into character traits, if recent research is to be believed. Analysts from the University of Haifa in Israel claim handwriting can betray when people are lying, as they tend to press harder on the paper, make longer strokes and use taller letters when making up information.

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