Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lost art of writing

Read this somewhere lately...things to be happy about-picking up a pile of junk mail from your mailbox and discovering an old fashioned letter. We seem to have lost the energy, time and skill of writing letters and sending cards to friends and family in our day of instant communication. It's easier to email, IM-instant messaging or Skype rather than take the time to write a few short lines in handwriting-what's that? There used to be classes in school called penmanship and cursive writing nowadays kids print or type.

My grandmothers used to always send me cute birthday cards with a note inside and a $1 bill-how fun to receive that in the mail, and I always wrote a thank you letter in return-another lost art. I have two relatives in their 80s who don't have computers so every few weeks I send them a short letter and include my published articles for them to read as they know the people I write about-my grandparents and their parents. I love handmade cards-receiving and sending them to others. Journals also seem to be a thing of the past unless we can type them into our computer. 


  1. You're preachimg to the choir on this one! When teaching Grades 4-6 Eng Lang Arts, I had the kids write to their grandparents[or aunts/uncles, brother/sister away at college or married, ] and the return letters were addressed to the school. Also, we wrote to overseas service wo/men and their answers taught some real lessons. It was great. I still send cards with personal add-ons and/or jokes. I like to surprise my niece by sending a card to her work address for an unexpected 'wahoo'.

  2. I used to send my mom and other family members letters about every two weeks. I sent cards and notes to my kids at school.

    But, I'm sorry to say, you're right. I don't think I've sent a birthday card to anyone in years. Not even my kids and my four grandchildren. Although I tell myself I'm going to start doing it every January. My mom also sent cards to all my children on their birthdays with a dollar or two in it. It was such a joy for them to have something just for them in the mailbox.

    Personal communication seems to be a lost art, like tatting. It doesn't speak well of a society that can't remember the simple courtesies of thank you notes, get well cards, birthday wishes, and "thinking of you" notes.

    Maybe we can join forces and get a trend going.

  3. I keep in my scriptures a letter my Grand-daddy Floyd wrote me when I was starting kindergarten. It is the only letter I have left from all the letters they sent me, mostly on my birthdays. It means the world to me.

  4. I agree. I do still send cards for family birthdays. I like getting real mail, and I want my grandkids to experience that joy too. I bought a book of Gram-O-Grams, which are post cards to send to grandchildren. This reminds me it's time to send one.
    When I was working, we always celebrated Classified staff day each year. It was common practice to give little gifts. When I saw that it was getting a bit competitive, I stopped the gifts and instead gave personal, hand- written notes. They were treasured, just as I treasured any I received.

  5. I'm in. My former colleagues and I were talking just yesterday about how we hoped spoken language wouldn't spill over into written language, but I think it will.

    The "I'm doing good" as an answer to "How are you?" Drive Safe, Eat Healthy, etc. etc.

    Anyone who has stopped by my blog from time to time knows how I feel about careless use of words.

  6. With all the "texting" that kids do with the abbreviations, I wonder what a real letter would look like. I still send cards and letters, but I am old..LOL...