Are you handwriting-phobic? I am, mostly,but I try to write thank you notes, holiday cards, and the occasional update letter. Eek!

the world in words

Remember all that talk earlier this year about US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s signature? It’s hard to call it a signature at all, it looks more like an unfurled slinky. People called the signature “manufactured”—“silly” even.

Who cares, right? In a way, we all do because Lew’s signature will soon appear on US currency (although the Treasury Department is coy as to exactly when that’ll happen).

But when it does, will the value of the dollar be affected by the value we may place on the handwriting of the Treasury Secretary?

Does handwriting have value? Not Wendy Cope’s, at least if you ask her. Cope is a British poet. She crafts profound things out of words—exactly the kind of person you’d expect to find pleasure in putting pen to paper.

“I don’t actually like having to hand-write anything that’s for public consumption,” she says. “I’m not very proud of my…

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