A recent article ‘Natural language processing: is this the end of the written word?’ on TechRadar trumpets the latest developments in the ability of smartphones to process search queries through the use of voice commands. To quote the article, “Devices now allowing the sending of voice messages and predictions for self-driving cars and voice-activated doors, lights and elevators (cue the internet of things), it's clear that the future will be spoken, not written.” At first, this might sound like good news for the acquisition of second languages and their communication. However, a post on Science Daily, also just published, gives timely pause for thought. According to a new study by the Association for Psychological Science “research shows that taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop for remembering conceptual information over the long term”. The full engagement of the voice, the hand and the eye at the point of learning would appear to pay dividends in long term retention of information. It seems that to truly internalise and recall information the old-fashioned methods may be still best.