WRITING, A LOST ART - PART TWO
minded individuals of today concur that the demise of descriptive letter writing
is indeed a great loss to our society. Oh, to return to the day when one never
used obscenities, abbreviations, or numerals; the appropriately composed
correspondence began with expressions of charm and grace, and ended with a
proper appreciation for one's status.
Dedicated journalists of yesteryear created a specific setting in which to
write. The place of serenity was surrounded in appropriate furnishings, and
appointed with matching paper and envelopes, some complete with embossing and a
hint of scent, and chosen for their elegance. The fountain pens were neatly
displayed near the leather writing surface, and nearby were bottles of colorful
ink and of course, blotters. The panoramic view of choice was a formal garden
teeming with statues and manicured pathways.
Once the classic was complete, it was folded ever so carefully, and creased
using a well-worn bone folder. Sealing the envelope was accomplished using
sealing wax; different colors denoted holidays and special occasions. Another
signal of gentility was the calling cards of that day; fashioned to match the
stationary of the lady, and presented during an appointment.
Traditionally young women received training in producing an appropriately worded
correspondence; the ladies of the family gave extensive instructions about the
acceptable manner of grammar and style. Gentlemen were excused when they did
not exactly follow the procedure, but they were never exempt from sending an
acknowledgement; a thank you, or an apology; phrasing an acceptable dispatch was
Modern forms of communication, messaging and e-mail, have allowed us to become
negligent, and lose touch with valuable emotions. Proper grammar and spelling go
unnoticed, and silly icons have replaced explanations of emotion. Instant
messages and internet notes are impersonal and sometimes deleted without being
Today, if you are the recipient of a handwritten note, you have received
something precious, and nearly extinct. If the composition is distinctive, and
the language is elaborate, there is no doubt that the person who designed the
missive, has an appreciation for the grace and charm of yesteryear.
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