LETTER WRITING, A LOST ART - PART TWO

 

The genteel 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 expected conduct.
 
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 comprehended.
 
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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