x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Is the pen no longer mighty?

Should we lament the loss of the habit of writing with pen and paper?

Handwriting is an important part of culture around the world, not least in China, where calligraphy represent a centuries-old tradition. But, as a spelling contest broadcast across China last week testifies, many of its citizens are falling out of the habit of writing with pen and paper, sparking concern in certain sections of society.

China is not alone in experiencing such a "character crisis". In fact, in the age of digital communication, handwritten messages have become an almost inevitable casualty. So what, you might ask. What's the harm of using tablets, laptops or smartphones to communicate instead of putting pen to paper?

It is an interesting debate and one we'd encourage you to participate in. Just like in China, calligraphy occupies an important place in our regional and national heritage. So, should we care that the pen is no longer as mighty as it once used to be?

You are encouraged to offer your opinions on this subject, either typewritten or with old-fashioned pen and ink.