- Books, Literature, and Writing
You Are How You Write
[Summary: One of the Three Rs is Writing which begins with R sound; Cursive writing is the way to write letters linking one to the next without breaks; In business, people use shorthand to take notes faster, and in writing business letter, you may include a subject heading after the salutation, and the meaning of "Re" has changed from "Refer to" in a paper letter to "Reply" in an email.]
The three R's were meant to stand for Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, and they certainly all begin with a strong R sound, but if someone thought it was spelt with an R, he must haven't learned much about writing, and he seem to have lost sight of the A in arithmetic!
But this famous phrase - the Tree R's - is a useful reminder that education starts with learning to read, to write and to work with figures. You start by getting to know the shapes of the letters - by reading them; then you learn to made these shapes yourself - that is writing.
Most children first learn to form the capital letters, then go on to what is called "cursive" writing. The word "cursive" simply means "run together," one letter linked to the next one with no breaks between.
In the field of business and business correspondence you will discover yet another kind of writing - shorthand. There are several systems of shorthand writing, but they all have the same purpose, to enable words spoken or dictated to be taken down by the shorthand writer in signs which stand for the various sounds of the syllables instead of spelling the words in cursive writing.
Because we have shorthand, cursive writing is indeed often referred to as "long hand" to distinguish the two. A shorthand writer is called a "stenographer".
The most famous diary in English was written by Samuel Pepys three centuries ago and it has become a great piece of literature which the historians have studied to learn about England as it was in the days of Pepys. This diary was written faithfully and fully each day and no trivial event or observation was left out.
Writing a letter. The heading of a business letter should contain the return address (usually two or three lines) followed by a line with the date. A business letter may include a subject heading which would go in the centre of the page in the line immediately below the salutation. It would normally be something like this:
Re Purchase of Bracken Mount Estate.
"Re" means referring to or in connection with. "Re" has new meaning in email, if you reply to an email message, your email program probably inserts "Re: " in front of the original message subject automatically. This "Re:" is an abbreviation of "Reply" or maybe "Response".