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REBLOG: On letter-writing, or how will the future remember you?

This thoughtful post by Su has set me thinking.

Shaking the tree

When was the last time you wrote a letter? A proper, personal (dare I even say, handwritten) letter — on paper?

I suspect the last time I did was in 2006; to my grandmother not long before she died.

I don’t even send all that many greeting cards anymore. Like letters they have been replaced with phone calls, Skype, emails and FaceBook messages.

For family historians, letters are invaluable. They are the “Sunday best” of information sources; the snapshots and snippets of past lives that reveal character as well as information. If public records provide a skeleton of our ancestors and clothe them in the uniform of their time, personal letters (and diaries) show us something of the colour and texture of a life. They are the ribbons and shawls that hint at personality and individuality.

Since literacy became widespread, letters have been a lifeline between family members and friends…

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8 thoughts on “REBLOG: On letter-writing, or how will the future remember you?

    • I do enjoy getting your emails, Sue. And I wonder if I ever did write back to you when you sent me those photos. When I had pen-pals, I used to keep a diary and then I had something to refer to when I wanted to tell them what I’d been up to – which wasn’t much, most of the time.


      • sue says:

        Keep telling you I have a bad memory, so you are safe. Don’t like deleting emails just in case there is something interesting that i want to refer to. Should just chop out the bits I need and delete the rest, some I do then forget where I have saved them to. Lucky with your blog site I can just look up anything I need. Only used to write to my 2 cousins in Albury. But I could send them messages via the radio station there, Friday nights was request night and I could just tune in to hear it. Do send lots of texts to close friends, but it drives me up the wall having to edit, my finger must be too fat for the pad and touches the wrong letters. Took off predictive text as some of the stuff it came up with made no sense at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. sue says:

    Mostly I abbreviate, (when you learn shorthand you get used to using main sounds/letters – dropping vowels) but I have one friend who grizzles about that, some stupid reason about losing language skills, then signs off “LOL”, go figure

    Liked by 1 person

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