Sunday, September 14, 2008

Traditional Letter Writing

Author's Note: I have decided to rehash this post as a Spin Cycle Post. Be sure to check out other Traditions at Spin Cycle by Sprite's Keeper.


One semester in college I was fortunate enough to have a schedule in which I was done with my classes by Thursday at noon (I did have one class on Friday, but it did not require any homework). Because of this, I could finish my homework before the weekend began. The only unfortunate thing about this schedule is that when Sunday evening rolled around, everybody I knew was doing their homework. Rather than getting lazy and blowing off my homework till Sunday, I chose to write letters instead. What I found when I was writing my letters is that I have a lot of traditions that I always use when writing.

Hand written or typed:
What I found is that I type faster than I write. So, if you get a hand written letter from me it is thus considered more personal than a typed one— mostly because it takes more time to write. Also, with a hand written letter I cannot correct my mistakes as easily as with type written letters. Using that same logic, you could say that an e-mail letter is even less personal because I can easily delete something and there would not be any evidence of my edits.
Salutation:
It used to be clear cut in that if I had a salutation before your name— "Dear Name,"… then it was less personal than if I only had your name— "Name,". However, this only applies to written letters. For e-mail, it depends on if the message is going to a group of people in which case it would not have any salutation at all.
Close line:
I typically have a closing line or sentence which indicates that the letter is ending. My best one is one that I used in undergraduate school which is the following: "Looks like this could be the end… so be sure to tune in next time (same bat-time, same bat channel) for more exciting adventures of… Undergrad!!!" Many other times I just say "Be good and take care" instead.
Poem:
For my personal letters I use a poem that I wrote which I try to relate to the overall mood of the letter. Sometimes the poem is only a one line quote, while other times it is a several line poem. When I typed my letters I tried to center the overall poem on the page which is when you look at my poetry originals you will see a number which was used to center the poem on the stationery that I used. Also, if you look at a typed or hand-written letter you will see that I use my trademark (C over J) followed by the year the poem was written to sign the poem.
Signature:
Personal letters will typically have "With love," while more serious letters skip that part and only have my name. However, with casual e-mails I will typically use just my name ":-Chris" since it does not really require a formal signature.
Seal:
If I hand-write a letter, or even sign a card, I will use the same ink (or pencil) to seal the envelope with my trademark. Even if I type a letter, I will seal the envelope with my trademark. I used to use red ink when signing a card, but nowadays I never have one handy, so that tradition is less strict.

Even though I have progressed from Hand-written, to Typed, to E-mail— I am glad that I still hold on to many of my traditions, otherwise my letters may not have as much personality as I would like.

Post a Comment
Web Analytics