Grieving the Death of Handwritten Letters

Though computers and e-mail play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word.

- David H. Baker, Executive Director of Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA).

Photo by Karen Arnold
Photo by Karen Arnold | Source

Preface

National Handwriting Day sponsored by WIMA, is celebrated every 23rd of January, on John Hancock's birthday. Hancock, first and third governor of Massachusetts is remembered for his large, bold, stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence.

John Hancock's signature on the United States Declaration of Independence.
John Hancock's signature on the United States Declaration of Independence. | Source

WIMA encourages everyone to display their creativity on the 23rd of January by using a pen or pencil to write a letter, a poem, a note, or even a journal entry. Their purpose is to emphasize the importance of handwriting and have individuals explore its “purity and power.”

Sad to say, handwritten letters are already dead to some of the elderly and others whose friends and relatives communicate only by texts and emails. Not only are the younger people not wanting to write; when they write, they do not care to write well. This is contrary to the habit of students in previous generations who tried to put forth their best, especially in love letters.

Following is the expression of those of us who grieve the death of handwritten letters.


We are Grieving

We are grieving:

the loss of handwriting—the art of putting words on paper, using a pen;

the absence of mail with our names written in cursive on the envelopes;

the scarcity of beautiful stationery on which personal letters used to be written.

Photo by Sabine Sauermaul
Photo by Sabine Sauermaul | Source

We are grieving for:

the grandparents and great-grandparents who, because they never learned to use computers, receive no letters from their offspring who only write emails;

marriage partners who have no handwriting to compare, showing how differently they write each other’s name thirty years after they crafted their first love letters;

the young woman who may never know what it is like to cherish a stack of love letters tinged with the sweat of her anxious lover’s palm;

the young man who may never enjoy the fancy curves of a woman’s handwriting which, compared with his straight or slanting strokes, symbolizes her femininity.

We also grieve for other important features which comprised the handwriting era.


Historical Letter Writing Facts

Dates and Events
Around 500 BC - According to the ancient historian Hellanicus, the first recorded hand written letter was penned by Queen Atossa of Persia.
Before 1840 - Coach or horse riders delivered the letters. The receiver paid cash on delivery; the cost depended on the number of pages and the distance traveled.
1840 - Great Britain introduced the first prepaid stamp. Other countries organized similar systems.
1845 - The United States established a uniform 5 cents postal charge.
1847 - The United States standardized stamps.

Love for the Mailman

We no longer anticipate the arrival of the mailman, hoping that he brings the answer to our emotional longing.

We used to smile at him when we glanced through the letters and saw that special handwriting, and he in turn would be joyful that he made us smile.

We fell in love with him--as a reflection of the love we had for the one whose love letters he brought. Now that we associate him mostly with bills, he receives less love and fewer smiles.

Now, most of what the mailman brings are public distributions with names stamped on labels prepared by machines.

Sometimes he or she does not even have to read our names, because some letters are identical for all the neighbors.

See how the absence of handwritten letters damaged the bond between us and the mailman?


The Handwritten Notes

Nowadays, teachers do not spend much time teaching handwriting; students can hardly read what they write. That coupled with the fact that texting is the popular mode of communication is the reason for the death of notes in the classroom.

Sending texts and emails in the classroom can never be as adventurous as passing sweet and juicy gossip in handwritten notes. Whether it was just mischievous, or facts we really needed to know, it was a fun undertaking.

Privacy was less back then, without a mini-keyboard at the fingertips; but sweethearts managed to scribble and put down the pen before the teacher turned around, and it was worth the dare to fasten it between the pages of the textbook, or drop it on the floor at the right time, for the right person to retrieve.

In the event that the note passed from hand to hand and fingers slightly touched, it was intimacy without iniquity—the making of a deep, deliberate friendship cultivated by deliberate handwriting instead of hurried electronic mail.


Word Images

Back then, there was no way to “insert photos” into our letters, but we knew how to paint images with words.

We learned how to describe our features so that the reader gazed into our dancing, close-set, bright or tired eyes while he or she read our words. We checked on our vocabulary to decide that lustrous, not luscious, described our hair; and delight, not daylight, described our mood. Our writing arsenal included dictionaries to help us make our portraits accurate.

We let our imaginations fuel the words we sent, and unveil the words we received. Miraculously, the images we painted with words did justice to the images that came whenever they did from the photographer. Meanwhile, we learned spelling and patience.


Love Letters

Just ask the married couples who were married forty or fifty years ago. Ask them about the love letters—where they keep them, the last time they read them, and how often they kiss them.

Those handwritten characters which compose the letters reveal traits of the writer’s personality not possible to see in texts and emails. When distance separates them, they share the touch of the actual paper sent from one to the other, some scented and some stained with actual tears. Those cherished compositions plus the privacy, the vulnerability and the love they represent will last forever.

Amazing Video on the Power of Handwritten Letters. A Must See!

So, we are grieving for those who have settled for the quick and fleeting electronic thrills which seem so trifling in comparison with the handwritten letter. But while we grieve, we hope—that we can resurrect the handwritten letter, especially the handwritten love letter.

© 2014 Dora Isaac Weithers

More by this Author


87 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Wow, MsDora, this is awesome! Yes, those days are gone for sure. However, I do have some very special friends who still send handwritten notes and cards, and they do mean so much and such a joy to receive them. I have kept every letter or card I have ever received. They are all in a big box. I love going back and reading them, especially ones from my mother. You are so right about that love letter. If there is one letter that NEEDS to be handwritten, it is that love letter. Can you imagine receiving a love letter via email? To me, that would not constitute a true love letter! I did not know about such day of celebration on the 23rd, so thank you for sharing.

Up and more and sharing.

God bless you, Faith Reaper


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

What a delightful hub MsDora. Oh how I miss hand written letters. I remember as a child having penfriends and loving the correspondence exchanged and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the mailman in the hope of receiving a reply. I used to be proud of my hand writing, and even regularly used calligraphy to write cards etc. Now I only use hand writing when jotting notes and drafts for my poems and stories, and spend very little time on the neatness and preciseness of my writing. It is so sad. I do feel for the elderly who are not email savy and now receive no letters. Voted up.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Faith, you are blessed to still be receiving handwritten mail. Hold on to them. Thank you for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jodah, I have often thought of engaging in pen friends again. I am thinking more seriously now. Our handwriting is surely deteriorating from lack of use. Thank you for your input.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

That was beautiful, Dora, and I admit I miss the old letters in the mail. Email is so impersonal by comparison.

Beautifully written my friend.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Oh, this is great, and I couldn't agree more. Letters I hold most dear to my heart are handwritten ones from long ago. They are irreplaceable. There's no Facebook or IM or text that can replicate the personal quality that is communicated through them. That video was a fantastic add. Voted way up +++ and sharing, pinning.


RunningDeer profile image

RunningDeer 2 years ago from Iowa

This is a lovely hub. I love handwriting letters. My friend and I promised to write each other after we left college, and we send handwritten letters to each other.

Did you know they don't even teach cursive to children anymore in the States? It's a dying art. I love cursive. My grandmother has the most beautiful handwriting.

Voted up and sharing!


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

This was a great reality check MsDora. I also challenge anyone to take on the task of teaching the elderly the "new tricks". For one, I am in the process of teaching an 87 yo lady to operate a computer simply because she is interested in learning. If they (the elderly) have the will to do it then it is worth helping them. It may be time consuming but it gives them something exciting to try to do. Thanks again for such a wholesome hub.


Deerwhisperer 2 years ago

I loved this line "Back then, there was no way to “insert photos” into our letters, but we knew how to paint images with words." This is because it seems that conveying images with words has become a lost art, particularly with all the fast-paced modern technologies. Thankfully I am one of the lucky ones who have kept all my love letters and will be sharing them with my grandchildren soon, although sadly I have included one more to my collection, one that will never be mailed. This is because the love of my life for almost forty years passed away on February 11, 2013.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Billy, thanks for your comment. Remember that you have to send if you really want to receive.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Fourish, thank you. Hold on to those letters, my dear. That "personal quality" you mention is precious.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Running Deer, thank you and welcome to my HubCircle. Only while preparing this article I learned that cursive is not on the curriculum. What a shame! Please maintain that letter writing with your friend.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Word, all the best with your ambition. Just see that she does not forget how to write. It would be great if everyone did both handwriting and emailing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

DeerWhisperer, you are indeed one of the lucky ones. Sorry that your loved one passed! So and thankful that you have those cherished memories you can revisit on the anniversary which is soon. What a legacy for your children.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

This is truly an eye opener. 100 years ago, people communicated by post cards. Many of which can be found for sale online now. I remember when I was in school, Valentine's Day meant little personalized love notes passed around to everyone in the class. We'd take a break from studying to make an envelope out of construction paper to hold them all.

The older generation has a hard time understanding why thank you notes are no longer received. It used to be customary to send thank you notes after receiving a gift. Not so much any more. I was surprised to receive one this year.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 2 years ago from Iowa

There is something so awesome about getting a real letter in the mail. Other than greeting cards, I can't remember the last time I got one. I will put National Handwriting Day on my calendar and will vow to write to someone!


Zabbella profile image

Zabbella 2 years ago from NJ-USA

Loved it!!! You were so right on many points. The young ones will never know the fun of having PEN-PALS . I had a lot of pen-pals, it was so much fun. I still enjoy writing letters. I especially enjoy getting them. Some folks whom I used write to A lot tell me that they miss my snail- mail letters, because I would draw little cartoons and stuff. E-mail just does not cut it. A funny tid-bit...My husband IS a mailman! I do love him! One would think his mail load is easier, but it isn't. How sad, that folks do not look forward to their mail anymore.


ziyena profile image

ziyena 2 years ago from Southern Colorado

Beautiful Dora ... especially this line: "the young woman who may never know what it is like to cherish a stack of love letters tinged with the sweat of her anxious lover’s palm"

I still hold on to all the letters that I sent and received to my ex-husbands in both the first war in Iraq and the second ... sentimental as I am. I guess I understood that one day they would indeed be some form of dying art, which I did actually notice during the second war in Iraq when the use of the internet became a more prevalent and speedly means for couples to connect during wartime. I truly enjoyed this jub and it brang so many bittersweet memories flooding from the back of my mind. Thank you


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

Thank you to "The Dirt Farmer" for sharing this absolutely beautiful hub. I think that this is one of the most lovely hubs I have read in a very long time. I always enjoyed getting letters in the mail, and writing them too. I'm almost 50 and I still try to write a handwritten note, but I find I use email more and more. How sad. I do make my daughter write thank you notes for gifts, but other than that, she mostly communicates to relatives by email. My daughter is fortunate that she still learns cursive in school so she can write, and more importantly, read it. Some young can't even read it. Imagine what the world would be if people could not read cursive. Voted, shared, liked. Just beautiful.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Crafty, sure times have changed. The pen is mostly used for signatures now. Thanks for your input.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Deborah, I loved getting letters in the mail too, but we might have to start the writing in order to receive; so I bought stamps today. I'll be writing lots for National Handwriting Day, and hopefully I'll continue after that.

Thanks for your comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Zabella, please start writing again; and please continue to love your husband. Say thank you to him on behalf of all of us. I appreciate your comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ziyena, so glad you kept those letters. Some would die for those bittersweet memories. Thank you for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

GlimmerTwinFan, you're daughter is very fortunate. I watched a video in which a child referred to cursive as grandmother's handwriting. How could they let such a pretty thing die?


sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk

This is a beautiful hub MsDora - wonderful! I remember the days when you could buy perfume scented notelets and beautiful envelopes - how gorgeous they were. I too remember the hand written letters from my Grandma - who will keep the emails we write and read these days! Voted up MsDora - a cracking Hub.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

Wow! This is a poignant reminder of our times. Even the sending of Christmas greetings is going by the wayside with the use of electronic media and e-cards. They certainly don't take the place of the real thing that I like to tack up on my bulletin board to remind me that I am loved, cherished, and missed! We, the older generation, are leaving a legacy behind as we leave handwritten notes, cards, and letters to our posterity.


superrmom 2 years ago

Dear MsDora, I really appreciate this very inspiring article and Ted Vid. I happen to still have 5 children/students in my home/school whose curriculum I write...cursive and handwritten letter/notes are still in our curriculum... And thanks to you my lesson plan for January 23rd is already written out! Blessings and Shalom.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Sallybea, I closed my eyes and try to smell those fragrances you mentioned. Yes, those were the days. We never thought that our children would prefer something else. Thank you for the memories.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Denise, yes! The bulletin board. Those handwritten notes of love and care made proud displays. Thank you for that memory.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

SuperrMom, welcome to HubPages. Those five children are blessed to have you plan their curriculum. Hope January 23rd is an enjoyable day for you and for them.


mdgardner profile image

mdgardner 2 years ago from Virginia Beach

Great hub MsDora. I can't remember the last time I hand wrote anything other than a grocery list or a phone number on a post it note. I think technology has ruined my handwriting. Everyting is typed on some type of keyboard. I literally can't write in cursive anymore. I can tell they don't put great emphasis on it in school by looking at my duaghter's handwriting.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

MD, the word is that handwriting is not a big deal anymore. You may be able to repair yours by helping to improve your daughter's. Please write for her sake. Thank you for sharing.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida

MsDora- Great article.

This should really shock you.

I have been living in Florida for the past three years and I was shocked the other day when in a conversation with a teacher friend she dropped a bomb on me.

She told me that in Florida, they no longer teach Script, either writing it or reading it.

I was stunned! How many necessary skills do we need to drop from our children's education to accommodate the low achievers?

Have a good day,

DON


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

I admit that I also allowed the handwritten note to die, but the good news is I'm back at it again. I also send cards once again. I guess I got lazy when email is so much easier, but I vow to keep the handwritten letter alive. Excellent reminder!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

I grieve the death of handwriting and see the death of grammar along with it. As I read over text messages I receive and respond to, I can see why punctuation and capital letters are going away. The devices make it difficult to capitalize and add apostrophes - or at least I find it so. Speed has become more important than writing rules and writing in general. Nice one, Ms. Dora.


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 2 years ago

Hello Ms Dora.

What a beautiful ,hart warming tender sentiment you've created out of 'Grieving the death ' of "handwriting." So true. Nothing in the world will substitute proximity warm feelings that brings handwriting. We belong to more privileged generation who cherish memories , re-living those precious moments a handwriting was bringing from a " sender." By your permission, let me make a confession : my handwriting has been improving since some a year ago as I made decision to come back to writing again. Are you ever right about learning spelling and new words in my case by repeatedly writing them down . Looong years back, while earning my degree in ( - ) at one point i was learning four languages the same time, and my way to memorize new words was,writing them down everywhere, all the time… ( insane ? ) it worked for me, and is now.

Nowadays parents would do enormously great favor to their children if instead of watching " Hollywood " would spent time practicing writing.

Vote up and awesome, and useful.

May The Lord bless you richly.


parrster profile image

parrster 2 years ago from Oz

Nice hub MsDora. It is a lost art, and so too the benefits. I cheat when it comes to nice cards. I still buy them, but I print off my message to a size that fits the card, and then neatly glue the message inside. A benefit to this is that I have copies of everything of significance I have ever sent to anyone over the past few decades.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

Great thoughts! Now it seems that unless we print out emails, we don't have any record of what other people have told us about what happened in their lives. I love the old letters when doing family research. As you said, people had to describe things instead of adding pictures so I can get an idea what the person looked like. Even with pics in emails, you can always see the details. Plus, those old letters preserved family stories and history if people kept them.

I'm a writer and love saving my work. Sure, now I'm able to print it out from the computer, but it's my way of saving things future generations might find interesting. You never know what little tidbit will inspire someone years from now.


susi10 profile image

susi10 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

Wow, MSDora, I really like this hub. It illustrates how special a handwritten letter can be, and how much we will miss the tradition. I will miss the times when I expect a handwritten letter in the post, which today is never there. Instead, it is a fast and rushed note sent to my email Inbox, you cannot feel the emotion or the individuality in an email. With a handwritten letter, you feel special because someone took the time to write that to you. I will greatly miss those days.

Excellent hub, MS Dora and shared. Thanks for this beautiful hub.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Don, the shocks keep coming concerning all the valuables that are now being excluded from the curriculum. Makes me feel helpless, but also thankful that I grew up when I did. Thanks for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Sunshine, I'm with you. Of course, email is easier, but like you, I'm signing up to keep the handwritten letter alive. Thank you for your comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Peg. I agree with all your observations. Rush, rush and spread inferiority. Let's do better all who know how.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Michael, thank you for your input into this conversation. Yes, we are blessed to belong to that "more privileged generation." We owe it to that privilege to continue the good we learned in it.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Parrster, a really neat idea. Thank you for sharing. Cheers to the memories!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Sheila, you're so right. We still have to print those emails if we want to save the content. The handwritten letters seem so much more authentic. Thank you for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Susi, "you cannot feel the emotion or the individuality in an email."that's exactly what I'm trying to say. Thank you very much for your participating.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I miss hand writing and getting letters. My sister -in-law (and she was more like a sister) exchanged letters up until her death and I treasure her last letters to me. By email would not have been the same at all. Beautifully done. ^+


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I so feel this too. What a lovely Hub. My mother has letters my dad sent. It is a dying art, and a true art. I love writing my thoughts down in longhand.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jackie, thank you for sharing about that last letter from your sister-in-law. That's beautiful. I'm sure those letters helped you in your grief.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Rebecca, thank you for participating.I'm sure that one day your mother will let you read those letters. How precious!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Amen and Amen! I wrote just a couple of months ago on the lost art of writing thank you notes. I knew that many younger generations would not know what stationery was so I made it a point to explain it. We still use pens for signing documents, but very rapidly are being replaced by technology. There is nothing personal anymore. No one takes time for another in this way anymore.

What makes me most angry is when people use texting, email, and voicemail to announce a life altering event. A dear friend got a text from her sister the other day informing her their brother died very unexpectedly. That's a bit off topic, but this kind of thing started when we quite writing letters and cards and talking face to face or on the phone. Much needed message MsDora.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Lambservant, you're right about announcements that deserve to be made in a more dignified manner than texting. Read your article on handwritten notes. Thank you for your input, and let's keep doing what we can to teach the right thing.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

what a great hub Msdora, living in this fast pace world, there is no need for writing letters.. even Christmas cards or any greeting cards can be done on line.. what these kids are missing,,,huh?


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Hi Frank:

Thanks for dropping by. The kids are missing out on intimacy and creativity among other things, for sure. Faster is not the same as better.


Edward J. Palumbo profile image

Edward J. Palumbo 2 years ago from Tualatin, OR

I am disappointed to learn that cursive writing has been eliminated from the core curriculum of many school systems. I am interested in the development of writing instruments and, though not a collector, I seem to accumulate fountain pens. An e-mail or text message is a sad alternative to the handwritten note or letter, and I remain loyal to the use of fountain pens for personal correspondence


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Edward, I read your article on the fountain pen. I'm putting that on my shopping list. Emailing and texting are certainly no comparison. Thank you for stopping by and welcome to my HubCircle.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

You are so right writing little notes when you need it the most is so rare these days. The modern world has changed many lives. A well approached hub on this topic.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, DDE. Those little notes have made the day for so many people, so many times. The best to you!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi MsDora how I totally agree with you! my brother mentioned this the other day, many years ago he had a pen pal in America, they were going to meet up in London, but it never happened, long story, but he was saying how he missed writing to people this way, great point, nell


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Nell, thanks for participating. I also enjoyed pen pals during high school. Yes, we continue to write if we like. I mailed a handwritten letter today.


L.M. Hosler profile image

L.M. Hosler 2 years ago

An awesome hub. I enjoyed it very much. Do you remember when ladies would add s bit of perfume to those love letters? I work taking care of elderly people and sometimes they show me some of those things. Last night one lady was showing me valentines from when she was a young girl. The young have so much in electronics but have no idea what they have missed in so many ways.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

LM, yes I do remember scented letters. The elderly people you talk about are blessed to have such wonderful memorabilia. The young have our sympathy. Thank you for sharing.


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 2 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Some quite moving observations on what seems to be a waning practice in the west. Certainly consider receiving handwritten letters as a gift now, especially ones of a more personal nature.

Quite a coincidence you writing this insightful Hub article MsDora; was reading just the other day that some European businesses actually employed graphologists( so-called 'handwriting experts ') in the recent past, as a serious part of their recruitment procedure. The example given was two prospective employees, whittled down from applications, and equally matched in their skills, with one to be chosen only,yet the cover letter which they deemed to represent a more suitable personality for aforesaid position dictated whom the employer was going to eventually recruit ( wouldn't place much stock in this personally, as it in itself seems to be an arbitrary way, using what mainly is the translation/interpretation from the viewpoint of, what is arguably a pseudo-science, yet it has been practiced ).

Can't beat the personal touch.

A great Hub. Thank you.

Kind Regards,

R.Q.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Hi Romeos, thank you for your kind comments and for sharing that European episode. At least, handwriting is still alive, if only in the business world.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

I love the topics you choose to write about - things that I don't usually think about. But you're so right, and I'm guilty. Thanks for pointing out a society's shortcoming.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Lifegate, thank you for reading. You do just as well reminding me of things I need to focus on. Blessings!


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 2 years ago

This is really a lovely hub. I sometimes miss writing by hand but I can write more ideas when I am typing. I know the feeling about the mailman. I sometimes wait for him to deliver our mails. Now you just open your computer and you got the message. Sad and yet we have to move on.

I still use it by taking notes.

Thanks for sharing . :-)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ignugent, thank you for participating. As you say, we have to move on, but we'll grieve for a while.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

Well-done Hub with lots of interesting historical facts.

You brought back memories. I remember when I learned to write script in 3rd grade. I made an art out of it with fancy handwriting. But I quickly lost that ability in my 20's when I started typing everything. Letters, notes, and computer programs. I can't even read my own handwriting anymore.

I do remember those days when we anticipated something personal in the mail, such as a handwritten letter from a friend.

And as you mentioned in your article, dictionaries were so helpful. Those days are long gone. I still have one on my shelf, but I never use it. It's too easy to check the meaning of words, or to find a synonym, online.

Everything is by email and texting today. Imagine if someone received a true love letter in handwriting in the mail. That probably would have a very positive effect by making the recipient feel special.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Glenn, I share the memories. You make me long now for a handwritten letter. Thank you for your valuable input.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil

Hi MsDora,

What a lovely idea for a hub. Who would have thought that things would have changed so quickly? Perhaps it is the evolution of communication.

When my mother was alive, we would write, then we sent cassettes, then we went on to the internet.

I loved getting letters in the mail, it was like an unexpected Christmas present.

My cousin and I would write each other and I'd melt red sealing wax onto the back , as though the letter contained secret information. Sometimes we would write letters backwards so the other would have to read it in a mirror. We used our imaginations.

Thanks for taking me on a trip down memory lane.


Zabbella profile image

Zabbella 2 years ago from NJ-USA

Hi there! I took your advice and wrote to a few family members. The letters were 4 pages long all written in longhand! I had such a wonderful feeling...I am sure they felt good getting the letters ( hope they write back)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Blond Logic, you and your cousin seem to have had lots of fun. A sigh for the good old days. Thank you for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Zabella, I'm proud of you. I share your joy in writing those letters. I intend to keep writing every now and then. Like you, I look forward to the response. Your comment is very encouraging.


cynthtggt profile image

cynthtggt 2 years ago from New York, NY

This is yet another terrific hub from you. One can forget the email, gloss over the FB post, but the letter, the card, the note they always remember, and can keep close to their heart. Voted up.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Cynthtggt, thank you. I think we share many similar thoughts. That's encouraging.


C.V.Rajan profile image

C.V.Rajan 2 years ago from Kerala, India

You are right. It is a by gone era.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

CV, thank you for commenting. I still think that those of us who cherish the handwritten letter, can try to keep it alive.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

As a child in Los Angeles I remember always being excited by the sight of the mailman and wondering where he goes during the day. Once I even followed him around for awhile. My handwriting sucks, but handwritten notes do have a special flavor now that the internet has taken over so much correspondence. Things are changing, and the personal touch of a long, hand written letter has sadly disappeared.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Grand Old Lady, thank you for sharing. That's funny--following around the postman, but I surely understand your fascination.


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 2 years ago from Essex, UK

MsDora; I absolutely agree with so many of the sentiments expressed here - and yet I am as guilty as most others of neglecting to write letters by hand. I must admit I don't tend to write handwritten letters now, though I still often post typed letters and hand sign them. And I do still send postcards when on holiday.

But I agree that it is sad that handwritten letters, or even notes, seem to be a dying form of expression. They have a permanence about them, and I - as a hoarder - still keep letters and cards I received when I was a child. Very few have been thrown away. Not so e-mails which are so easily written and so easily discarded and so much less sentimental.

Particularly, I think of lost friends or relatives who have died - a hand written memento can be treasured in ways which a computer message simply cannot.

So whilst it may be impractical to expect everyone to return to hand written letters for all purposes, I certainly think that everyone should make the effort on special occasions - birthdays, thank you messages, love letters etc, to communicate in a more personal way by hand, and not simply through electronic digits on a commputer. Voted up and shared. Alun


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MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Alun, I wish my readers would read your appeal for personal expressions by hand on special days. Thank you so much.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

What an awesome hub! I miss the times when I was expecting handwritten letters from my love ones. Handwritten letters was the beginning of my more than 3 decades relationship with my hubby. My hubby and I started being pen friends in the 70´s and we are married for 33 years now. I´m always glad when I came home to the Philippines alone because I mostly received a handwritten letters from my hubby. It reminded me of the good old days.

It was always a pleasure to receive letters from my pen friends all over the world. It took weeks and months to have their replies but it was worth it. As you can see I already had worldwide connections at those times.

Thanks for reminding me those times Dora. It was a pleasure to read this great hub of yours. Have a nice day!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Oh Thelma,those were the days! The handwritten love letters served you well. We sympathize with those who will never know such joy!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 15 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I do miss handwritten letters but I found that usually it was a one way conversation. Even those I wrote to are passed away now. Even email seems old fashioned now.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 15 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Don, no matter your mode of communication now, I'm glad that you miss handwritten letters. I have often thought of having a pen pal, but I've never ventured. Perhaps those who wanted to write, are mostly gone too.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 15 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

MsDora, I did, in fact, do penpals back when I was a freshman in high school. It was after WWII and I had a couple of Japanese students I exchanged letters with. They wrote pretty good English, I wrote no Japanese. We mostly wrote about our own cultures. I later exchanged some letters with students in England. sadly, I didn't keep it up, possibly because money was scarce and postage overseas seemed expensive to me.

It might be part of the appeal of places like hubpages, facebook etc that one makes contact with a variety of people.

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