IS THE PEN NO LONGER MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD?….Old farts are forever complaining that kids aren’t as well educated today as they used to be. I think Plato felt that way about Aristotle, and it’s been all downhill since then.

In other words, it’s best to take this complaint with a grain of salt. Still, I have to say that an awful lot of people I trust have been telling me this lately, and in no uncertain terms. Yesterday, for example, both Mark Kleiman and my brother were pretty adamant about the almost complete lack of writing skills displayed by contemporary college students. The kids are as smart as they used to be, and their math skills are OK, but they can’t write worth a damn. They can’t write papers, they can’t write paragraphs, they can’t even write coherent sentences.

Is this true? Or just a case of old-fartism? I realize this isn’t exactly a scientific survey or anything, but I’m curious to know what teachers at various levels think of this. I know plenty of them read the blog, so comment away. Is writing really a lost art?

NOTE: One (1) person will be allowed, on a first-come-first-serve basis, to write a semi-literate comment allegedly from a college student. After that, the joke is done. OK?

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