The alphabet

Is writing now changing the world for the worse?

How do you feel about writing? Does that sound like a bizarre question? OK, what about this? Do you worry that you don’t read enough? About the encroachment of screen time into book time? About the decline of letter-writing or penmanship? In universities, where ChatGPT has made a nightmare of written assessments, lecturers have had to fall back on viva voce interviews to determine whether students are the true authors of the essays they submit. My hunch is that writing – the idea of writing – is now more fretted over than celebrated; that what we feel towards this venerable invention is, on the whole, something like a complex of