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Letter Writing

picture of letter writing

Do you write many letters? Back in my lower-tech days, I wrote lots of letters ... long letters! It seems that the easier and cheaper communication became, the less I communicated with handwritten letters. I'm in touch with many of the same people I used to write to, but I'm also definitely in touch with many more than before. Most of my written communication now is by e-mail, texts, and instant messages. I rarely ever receive handwritten personal letters, maybe because I seldom send them myself.

In my files I found some very short letters, all of which actually say quite a bit. I've accumulated others along the way, and post them today for your enjoyment.

Dear Americans,
You'd have cool accents too if you hadn't thrown all that tea in the water.
The British

Dear Internet,
Please stop with the talking ads that start on their own.
Just had a heart attack

Dear Internet Explorer,
Thank you for being the #1 browser that people use to download a better browser.
Safari, Firefox and Chrome

Dear Silence,
You may be golden, but I'm silver
Duct Tape

Dear Yahoo,
I've never heard anyone say, "I don't know, let's Yahoo! it..." just sayin'....

Dear Facebook,
Congratulations on becoming a verb. Welcome to the club.

Dear Facebook,
Just wait, one day they'll abandon you as well.

Dear Windshield Wipers,
Can't touch this.
That Little Triangle

Dear Icebergs,
Sorry to hear about the global warming. Tough luck.
The Titanic

Dear World,
Please stop freaking out about 2012. Our calendar ends there because some Spaniards invaded our country and we got a little busy....
The Mayans

Dear Math,
Please grow up and solve your own problems. I don't have time for yours AND mine.
I don't care about the value of X

Dear Mathematicians,
Here's a hint: X will always equal 10.
The Romans

Dear Rubik's Cube,

Dear "ppl hoo tawk lyk dis,"
We are coming for you.
The Grammar Nazis

Dear Toaster,
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn?

Dear Americans,
Oh, you thought I meant change for the BETTER ... I can see how you'd think I meant that....
President Obama

Dear Obama,
Harder than it looked, huh?
George W

Dear Amish,
You shouldn't be reading this.

Dear kids who tormented me in 7th grade because I was smarter than you,
I need you to work overtime tomorrow.
Your Boss

Dear John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,
Your name is my name too!
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

Dear people that text back "K,"
I am rarely in the mood to talk about Potassium.
Facetious chemistry student

Dear Scissors,
I feel your pain... No one wants to run with me either.
Sarah Palin

Dear girls who have been dumped,
There are plenty of fish in the sea ... Just kidding! They're all dead.

Dear The Movie,
The Book

Dear Prince Charming,
You've got some 'splaining to do!
Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty

Dear Customers,
Yes, we ARE making fun of you in Vietnamese.
Nail Salon Ladies

Dear National Association of Procrastinators,
That is quite the acronym.
I think I'll join you

Dear person reading this,
You're here because you're actively procrastinating or avoiding real work, aren't you? It's OK...me too.


How would you describe your letter writing? If you're older, did you used to write more letters?


"God gave me two ears and one mouth, and I ought to preserve the proportion." — Drew Conley

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11 Comments on “Letter Writing”

  1. #1 Vikki
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I love these short letters! The Google one to Facebook about becoming a verb and the ones between Obama and Bush stand out the most in my mind.

    Hmm, letter writing? Dave had a grandfather and an uncle who both loved writing and receiving letter, preferably hand written. But they have both passed away. About the only letters I write anymore, type actually, are at Christmas to send in our Christmas card to people we don’t see regularly.

    Back about 25-30 years ago I was into penpalling and wrote nice long, hand written letters to something like 20+ people all over the country and even different parts of the world. I could write for hours. Now, if I have to write even half a page, I get a terrible case of writer’s cramp. I’ve also seen my penmanship decline from what it once was.

    I read somewhere that the younger generation is not developing their penmanship skills because so much is now done on computers. Worse yet, some school districts are dropping the teaching of cursive complete.

    What’s going to happen when technology develops into voice command only and the keyboard becomes optional? Just a thought.

  2. #2 Nancy
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    The first letter brings to mind a comment a British friend made to me earlier this month: “We gave you Yanks our lanuguage, and just look what you’ve done with it.”

  3. #3 Ron
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I find it interesting that you should bring up this topic. As you know, I am your age and yes I did write letters, particularly when I was in the service. I think it interesting and sad that so much personal contact with the present will be lost to future generation because of the effect of technology. Example: Currently the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center has an exhibit “Civil War: Battlefield & Homefront”. This exhibit wouldn’t be possible without the letters and diaries from that time. If you think of the historical stories that are told today most are centered around the personal stories surrounding an event or person, these stories coming from live personal accounts if possible but mostly from personal written documents. I think in 100 years it would very difficult to create an exhibit “Iraq: Battlefield & Homefront”, if someone would choose too. Unless of course someone is saving all of the blogs, tweets, emails, Skype conversations, etc. I’m just sayin.

  4. #4 Carrie
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 11:28 am

    When I was 15 I spent a year in Africa, making 2 phone calls the whole time, since we had to drive to the capital city to use a phone. I wrote lots of letters every day. Later my grandma gave me the letters I had written her, and it was neat to read over them. I used to write to a missionary friend by hand every time I received a prayer letter from her. She said that the only other people that wrote her by hand were little old ladies. I’m ashamed to admit that I have not written that way for a while. May I blame the baby?

  5. #5 Michael
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    E-mail hit the scene right as I was coming of letter-writing age. I have written some long e-mails in my day. I try not to write too much by hand because my handwriting is not great.

    I wish I could be around 200 years from now to see how historians will do research about our time period. Our shift from handwritten to electronic communication will significantly affect research of many kinds.

  6. #6 Leah
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Thank you for using “fewer” instead of “less” at the end! 2 points!

  7. #7 Megan
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    My mother made me write thank you notes every Christmas. This has developed into an exchange of letters with my maternal grandmother, about 10 a year. It’s just fun to get real mail!

    When a cousin joined the Marines, I wrote him a letter everyday he was in boot camp. Now another cousin is on a second tour in Afghanistan, and I write him once a week.

    For context, I’m in my late 20s.

    It seems to me check-writing is going the same route.

  8. #8 Sue
    on Jun 29th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Loved this post, thanks for sharing. =)

  9. #9 Caroline
    on Jun 30th, 2011 at 1:08 am

    i love writing letters! i used to do it all the time as a kid, and i still do! probably not as often as before, but that really doesn’t have to do with the fact that i can email or “facebook”. 🙂 for me, those means of communication are for questions that need a quick answer. the real letters are the ones that are written by hand over a couple days and mailed to the person. those are the ones you save forever. or at least that’s the way it is for me. and i’m one of those kids who grew up with the internet! guess i’m a little old fashioned?

  10. #10 Laura
    on Jun 30th, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I used to write by hand more often than I do now . . . but I didn’t have 5 kids then. 🙂 Telephone calls used to be too expensive to consider for more than holiday occasions, but most of my extended family has unlimited calling, so now we talk and cover a lot more ground than we would if I was limited to what I got onto a page before writer’s cramp sets in.

    I think there is a definite loss when we quit writing by hand, though. Writing things by hand makes us slow down and think about what we are saying and how the other person will react. We have time to reconsider before sticking the note in the mail. How many of us have regretted careless words or emails?

    Also, I think that even if the schools are not taking the time to teach handwriting (which they *ought* to do), parents should still make their children write, especially things like thank you notes.

    Our electronic age seems so powerful, but one solar flare could take down the entire thing, as in the 1800’s, when one destroyed the telegraph system. They had to rebuild from scratch. You really have to wonder what life would be like if that happened again today . . . it gives meaning to the word “virtual”–all the knowledge we *think* we have, but it’s really not tangible without the infrastructure to handle it.

  11. #11 Nikki
    on Jul 5th, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I love those funny short letters. I posted some of them on my Facebook (and I placed your blog’s url beside them). I hope that’s all right.