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Detail of a form filled in with handwritten block capitals
Detail of a form filled in with handwritten block capitals

Block letters (known as printscript, manuscript, print writing or ball and stick in academics) are a sans-serif (or "gothic") style of writing Latin script in which the letters are individual glyphs, with no joining.[citation needed] In English-speaking countries, children are often first taught to write in block letters, and later may be taught cursive (joined) writing.[citation needed]

On official forms, one is often asked to "please print". This is because cursive handwriting is harder to read, and the glyphs are joined so they do not fit neatly into separate boxes.[citation needed]

Block letters may also be used as a synonym of block capitals, which means writing in all capital letters or in large and small capital letters, imitating the style of typeset capital letters.[1] This is not a necessary implication.[citation needed] However, in at least one court case involving patents, the term "block letters" was found to include both upper and lower case.[1]