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The Vanishing Art of Letter Writing

Updated on June 21, 2010

Emails and Business...

As an English major, I was required to take courses on literature from all over the world, technical and business writing, and some creative writing. Looking back, I'm grateful for each of those classes. But I've also come to notice how certain areas of writing are simply not taught anymore, because they're a dying art.

With just a click of a button, and many times without using spellcheck and capitalization, we're able to send off email after email, with an almost immediate response. The internet has connected the continents, making it vastly easier to keep in touch with friends and loved ones thousands of miles away. Not to mention the necessity of having access to email accounts and quick information for business needs. And there will always be certain documentation that will need to be sent via the Postal Service; anything pertaining to legal, financial, and other miscellaneous papers are important (and always necessary) to have 'hard' copies for signatures and other personal uses.

Yes, having the internet and email satisfies our need for easy info and immediate gratification, but there's something missing. Granted, it's usually unnoticed, even so, the hole is still there.


Sending more than Hallmark Cards

It's always a joy getting a greeting card of any sort from family and close friends. There's something more special about it, rather than receiving an e-card for your birthday. The same can be said about hand-written letters...real, put-a-stamp-on-it letters.

I had the opportunity to, basically, 'learn' how to write meaningful and informative letters. Actually, I had no choice. My husband was 600 miles away training in the Marine Corps. And the ONLY form of communication allowed was REAL letters, no emails, no phone calls. So, over thirteen weeks, I wrote dozens (yes, dozens) of letters. And occasionally, when there was time, he was able to write me back.

There is something to be said about receiving letters in the mail; they are precious and priceless. They are TANGIBLE evidence that someone took the extra time to write and send you something because you are special to them. Sure, you can send an email (or even a text) and type 'I love you'. But seeing it in the person's writing, using their own penmanship, there's so much more said. For some, it's much more exciting getting actual mail rather than email; and that's because receiving 'real' mail is more rare, and in turn, makes it more exciting.

The world we live in is 'going green' and 'paperless'; you can now pay your bills online, keep in touch with buddies, and read the newspaper...sometimes all at the same time! So, sadly, the art of letter-writing is fading into history, something people only did during 'the old days'. It's more convenient to 'shoot a text' saying 'luv u'. The letters I have from my husband are irreplaceable, so much more meaningful than any text or email I've ever read.

So, a hint? Or some small advice? Well, we only live once. Take time every now and then to send a 'thinking of you' card. Jot down a quick couple of lines to someone you love. Go a few extra steps to the post office and buy a book of stamps, and a few steps beyond that to the mail box. Believe me, the lucky recipient will cherish not just the card, but the effort behind the message itself.


When was the last time you received a Love Letter?

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    • sugarloaf10 profile image

      sugarloaf10 7 years ago from Kentucky USA

      Well said! I love getting real letters in the mail, especially since it's so rare to receive them these days. When my husband and I were dating and in college, we would write each other notes during class. I saved every single one of those notes! There really is nothing like a hand-written letter.

    • Michael Adams1959 profile image

      Michael Adams1959 7 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

      Thank you for a good hub. It is sad letter writing is not as it used to be. I recount the letters sent home by soldiers, wow what messages they all contained. It is a dying art.

    • vanchen profile image

      vanchen 7 years ago from British Columbia

      It is kind of sad how letter writing is becoming obsolete. Nice Hub.