What is a letter? A letter (noun) is a written or printed communication directed to a person or organization, usually sent by post in an envelope.
There’s so much about letter writing! So much more than just writing letters to friends and family. Letters are a form of correspondence – you should know that already! Letters have been the source of communication since many, many years ago, but now in this modern digital age, letters have become forgotten by many. Many not everyone, but still, majority of the people are connected through the modern technology and communication platforms. How often do people write letters to one another? How often do we use our phones and mobile devices to get in touch with our friends and families?
The modern English word ‘letter’ comes from the Old French lettre that, in turn, derives from the Latin litterae, meaning letter fo the alphabet. In the past, letters are so common around the world and most people would write letters in order to get their message over to whoever they would like to send to. Although a handwritten letter may seem to one as primitive and expensive because of the postage, the coldness of the keyboard can little compare to the warmth and familiarity of receiving a physical letter.
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (1466-1536) said this of letter writing: A letter is mutual conversation between absent friends, which should neither be unpolished, rough, nor artificial, nor confined to a single topic, nor tediously long. Thus the epistolary form favours simplicity,frankness, humour, and wit.
small tips preserving letters
- Store letters flat in a container out of the light.
- Handle as little as possible.
- Avoid staples, paperclips and rubber bands (unless letters are already taped or so on – don’t try to undo what has already been done).
- Store at around seventy degrees or less and in humidity of ideally around forty to fifty percent. Keep humidity and temperature even.
- Use ‘acid-free’ archival folders and boxes.
- Store newspaper clippings with letters – newsprint is acidic and may stain the letters.
- Keep letters in garages, attics or sheds where temperatures fluctuate. Keep away from radiators, pipes, vents and food.
- Be tempted to frame or mount letters and don’t put in scrapbooks.
It is best best to use plain white, ivory, light blue, or grey stationary (or notecards) for condolence letters, thank-you notes, and replies to formal and informal invitations.
BONUS: How to make scented ink
- Blend approximately ten drops of essential oil (rose or lavender are suggested) with a teaspoon of vodka.
- Add the mixture, a little at a time, to a small bottle of ink (deep colors work the best).
- Stir thoroughly and the ink is ready to use.
Let’s why not write letters to one another – whether near for far or from different parts of the world! Let’s not stop the popularity of letter writing and the fun that we’ll have. Try writing one to a friend, it will be fun! I enjoy writing letters to my friend too, so why not?! 🤪 Let us keep the chain going! (and writing letters is much more fun than digital ‘writing’!)
Stay connected!! ✍️