Where Has the Art of Letter Writing Gone?

My grandma is a real stickler about birthdays and holidays. Every major holiday, she writes me a lengthy letter to fill me in on all the exciting things that are happening in her life. Well, a few weeks ago I was reading an e-mail from a friend of mine who recently moved away. As I was reading through it, I noticed that the spelling and the grammar were absolutely atrocious. So I started thinking about the letters that my grandma writes and I don’t recall seeing any errors like that. I even pulled a few of them out and, just as I thought, they were written perfectly. Obviously she took the time to read over what she was writing to me – and isn’t that part of the letter writing process?

I keep in touch with a lot of people around the country through e-mail. When I write an electronic letter to a friend, I take the time to make my thoughts coherent. I check for spelling errors. I always use proper punctuation. I learned all this in elementary/high school.

So what’s wrong here? As far as I’m concerned, an electronic letter is just the same as a traditional paper letter. Why would you send an e-mail to another person that is full of spelling and punctuation errors? Granted, we all make mistakes, and spelling may not be one of your strongest areas, but I have seen some pretty awful letters; some that don’t have periods between sentences and others that do not have any capitalization. Heck, some of them I can’t even understand. Believe it or not, a letter or e-mail like that really takes away from what you’re trying to tell the other person.

What is my point here? I’m not sure. All I know is that it is becoming a peeve of mine. I’m asking all you people out there who use e-mail to remember the lessons you were taught during your school years. Remember to dot your “i’s” and cross all your “t’s”. Just because we are in the fast-paced age of technology doesn’t mean we have to abandon the traditional lessons we were taught. So the next time you are about to hit the send button, why not give that letter a quick skim over just to make sure everything is how it should be? Or, if you can’t be bothered to do that, at least put your letter in the hands of an electronic spell checker.

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  • Mary Turnpaugh

    Email is a wonderul, effective, inexpensive tool to communicate with those close and far. I have several email friends from around the world. BUT, there is nothing like opening your mailbox and finding a real envelope with real stamps and a postmark.

    I’ve recently gotten into Mailart….I think I sometimes frighten “custom agents” but it’s so much fun. I’d love to hear from others who have regular penfriends. How long have you been doing this? How many penfriends? Thoughts on the subject.