Thursday, February 2, 2017

Letter Writing Part 2

In continuing with the theme of letter writing I'm posting

Ease in writing Letters must not degenerate to carelessness.
It ought, at the same time, to be remembered, that the ease and simplicity which I have recommended in epistolary correspondence, are not to be understood as importing entire carelessness. In writing to the most intimate friend, a certain degree of attention, both to the subject and the style, is requisite and becoming. It is no more than what we owe both to ourselves, and to the friend with whom we correspond. A slovenly and negligent manner ofwriting is a disobliging mark of want of respect. The liberty besides, of writing letters with too careless a hand, is apt to betray persons into imprudence in what they write. The first requisite, both in conversation and correspondence, is to attend to all the proper decorums which our own character, and that of others, demand. An imprudent expression in conversation may be forgotten and pass away; but when we take the pen into our hand, we must remember, that " Litera scripta manet." (What is written is permanent.)
Source: Elegant Extracts ©1842 pg. 386

NO ARGUMENT is necessary to show that a text-book on corre'' spondence is needed. The average student can solve difficult arithmetical problems, analyze 'Paradise Lost,' or read Greek, before he knows the requirements of an ordinary business letter. Much of the business done at the present day is by correspondence, and the only writing that many persons do is comprised in their letters. One's habits and abilities are judged by his letters,—and usually correctly. If he writes a well-arranged, neat, business-like letter, he is given credit for possessing like qualities in business. But if his letter is awkwardly worded, slovenly and carelessly written, we conclude he possesses similar traits of character. It is. important, therefore, that early training be given in neatness, correct forms, and established customs in writing letters.
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A letter that is worth writing, is worth writing carefully. A slovenly letter is indicative of a slovenly man, and there is surely no compliment, but rather disrespect,. in sending such a letter to one's friends. Do not be afraid to write and re-write until a sentence is as nearly perfect as you can make it. From this practice you will acquire skill in composition. Prominent literary men and women do not allow their compositions to appear in print until they have been rewritten, corrected, and improved many times. Charles Darwin's manner of writing was, first, to make a rough copy, then have a fair copy made and corrected, then a new copy made, once more corrected, and sent to the printer; the printer's proofs were then corrected in pencil, reconsidered and written in ink; and then he was glad to have corrections and suggestions from others.
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2. Social Letters are letters of sentiment; and embrace domestic or family letters, letters of affection, introduction, congratulation, condolence, advice, and all letters that are prompted by friendship or love.
3. Business Letters.—A business letter is a letter on public, private, or personal business. There are two classes of business letters. Apersonal business letter includes letters of merchants, bankers, manufacturers, and others in connection with their business, either as firms or individuals. An official letter is one written by or to a public officer on business pertaining to his office. This class embraces the letters of various officers of a city, state, or nation.
Source: Practical letter writing ©1897

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