Gransnet forums


Writing letters

(31 Posts)
Maniac Sun 12-Aug-12 18:04:54

How many personal letters have you sent/received in the last month? None I must confess.
On a recent thread mugnanny was advised by GNs to write (with pen and paper) a letter to her estranged daughter.Such communications are becoming rare in our computer age. I wonder if I will ever use up the postage stamps bought before the last price increase.
The postman's deliveries are very boring .Maybe we should start a 'Write a letter' day.What do you think?

glassortwo Sun 12-Aug-12 18:17:53

I have not written to anyone, my DH Aunt who died last year loved to get a letter and I would write to her but since she has gone, I dont write to anyone, thats sad isnt it.

Email sent loads but its not so personal.

I dont know who I would write to now!

Anagram Sun 12-Aug-12 18:24:34

We'll use the stamps up at Christmas probably, Maniac. Despite the decline in letter-writing, people still send cards.

jack Sun 12-Aug-12 18:32:45

I have a stash of attractive blank greetings cards (as well as some beautiful old-fashioned Basildon Bond notepaper with matching envelopes) and delight in finding excuses to use this lovely stationery. This month I have posted some thank you letters, a "congratulations on your new baby" card and an RSVP to a wedding invitation. But, sad to say, I haven't penned any long, hand-written letters, as most correspondence is now confined to e-mail. However I would never send condolences via e-mail - much too impersonal.

johanna Sun 12-Aug-12 18:46:22

Also have a stack of very nice blank cards, and I love it when there is a reason to use them.

Some people I know do not even send Christmas Cards anymore.
They do a round robin e-mail ( o.k. with a card they have created ), but that is not the same is it?
Others have told me they are not bothering with people they never see or hear from.
Which I think is a terrible shame. Christmas is a good time to let people know you have not forgotten about them, don't you think?

Our previous next door neighbour , whom we rarely saw or spoke to, unlike the present one, moved away to Cornwall and since then we exchange Christmas cards full of family news etc. How funny is that?

Bags Sun 12-Aug-12 18:57:12

Emails can be as personal or as impersonal as you like, just like hand-written or printed letters. I used to write loads of letters by hand but can no longer write more than about a postcard's worth without it being too painful. Thank goodness for email, I say!

Do those of you who think email is impersonal find gransnet impersonal too? If not, what's the difference?

Ariadne Sun 12-Aug-12 19:03:59

No, I don't find e mail or GN impersonal at all! There are many ways of communicating. What I love is the immediacy of electronic communication - as if one was having a conversation. Just look at how our posts swing backwards and forwards, digress, return and so on. Lovely. I do have a couple of friends who only write letters, and I like that too, but do miss the opportunity to send a photo to illustrate a point.

NfkDumpling Sun 12-Aug-12 19:12:21

I only write letters once a year, to enclose with Christmas cards to old friends I don't get to see anymore - but will do, one day! I don't like printed round robins (although one friend writes a brilliantly entertaining one) so each is individual. But I find it very hard now having got used to back tracking on the computer and inserting stuff I've forgotten.

tanith Sun 12-Aug-12 19:29:59

My sister wrote to me the other week, she's not very techy although we have exchanged to odd e-mail she prefers to write... reminds me I better reply...

johanna Sun 12-Aug-12 19:50:35

I agree with you, to -email condolences seems very insensitive and rather lacking in good manners.

Butternut Sun 12-Aug-12 20:01:39

Emails have an immediacy that I enjoy, along with other forms of 'cloud' communication - tweets and fb - but there is something extra-special about receiving a postcard or letter in the post. It appeals in a way which I can't quite identify - but is very, very nice. smile

Barrow Mon 13-Aug-12 12:59:57

Have to admit I mostly use email these days - except to my Mother, I write long letters to her about once a month - got one in my bag to post now. She doesn't write back as often as she used to but at 86 I suppose I should expect that, but I know she enjoys receiving letters so keep I keep it up.

Annobel Mon 13-Aug-12 13:20:34

I had an argument with my sister about emailing condolences - I don't, she does. I agree that a handwritten letter is more personal and indicates that more thought has gone into it.

Bags Mon 13-Aug-12 13:36:51

Why does something handwritten indicate more thought? Can't say I can tell myself. Surely an emailed expression of condolence is better than none at all? Sorry, but I think it's just control freakishness that wants to lay down rules about what is the proper way to express sympathy.

Likewise congratulations. Many of those I received when DD3 was born were via email. I was glad to receive them all. I printed them out and stuck them in her memory book with explanations of who the people from all over the world were and how they were connected to my life.

If someone Close to me were to die I should not object to email notes of sympathy. Quite the reverse. I should be touched to receive them.

Victor Tue 14-Aug-12 08:28:57

Writing something by hand takes more effort and thought than firing off an email from your computer, when you're probably using it for something else anyway.
An email is certainly better than nothing at all, but with automatic spelling correction and the other tools "assisting" us, it is all too easy to type something different to your intended message.
Maybe it's just age and future generations won't even be capable of writing, so the issue will die with us.

Bags Tue 14-Aug-12 08:41:48

I don't use a spell checker (although I do break off and look words up in a dictionary if I'm not sure of the spelling) and I often go to the computer specifically to write an email. I prefer to type because I have arthritis in my hands and writing by hand hurts. It's also quite hard to keep my handwriting neat nowadays.

Also, if I have received news by email, it seems natural to reply by the same mode of communication. That's all it is: a mode of communication. What is communicated is up to the writer. Ditto for all other styles of communication. Moaning about one or ther form of communication is just, well, moaning. And unappreciative of the sender.

As for speed of communication making a difference to the sentiment. That's rubbish! One feels the sentiment immediately on hearing bad news (or good news).

Naturally, if what one has to say needs some consideration, one takes one's time composing the communication. That applies to all kinds of letter, not just had-written ones.

I think people are making all kinds of unjustified and unkind assumptions in saying one form is better than another. It is a very negative outlook.

jeni Tue 14-Aug-12 08:49:40

I don't use a spell checker, it uses me! I don't write letters as no one would be able to read them! grin

Bags Tue 14-Aug-12 08:52:20

jeni smile

glassortwo Tue 14-Aug-12 09:00:33

A typical Drs handwritting jeni is that part of your training? grin

Hunt Tue 14-Aug-12 09:24:12

Up in the loft is a box of letters from my beloved when we were engaged, tied with a red ribbon of course. I would probably not have had these if email had been available. Also a bundle of letters congratulating my Mum on my birth. I think the look of a person's hand writing comes into this equation. You miss the variety with an email, it doesn't give many clues as to the writer's personality.

Bags Tue 14-Aug-12 09:31:14

As I said before, hunt, I printed and stuck into a book for my daughter, the congratulatory emails I received after her birth. I have also printed emails I wanted to keep from when I first knew my DH, along with some hand-written letters. Email need not be limiting unless one chooses to make it so.

vegasmags Tue 14-Aug-12 09:47:20

I rely on email and in fact depend on it - I belong to various groups where we communicate via email and facebook. If for some reason the email is 'down' I can get quite panicky. The young adults in my family only use email, and I think it would never cross their minds to use any other form.

However, I do communicate with my 8 year old grandson by traditional letter. He lives 150 miles away. Our correspondence began in response to his complaint that mum and dad got lots of letters (ie bills) and he never got any. I thought it would be fun and that it would encourage him to practise his handwriting. I am hopeless at drawing but I usually illustrate my letters to him and try and make them amusing. Recently, I wrote to him before going away on holiday and drew a picture of the small backpack I use as hand luggage, along with its contents. It was the spare pair of knickers that he found hilarious!

He also loves receiving parcels (who doesn't?) and I find amazon is great for organising books to be delivered to a different address.

yogagran Tue 14-Aug-12 10:00:59

Well done Bags for printing out the emails that you received when your DD was born - at least you've have got them for posterity now. That's one of the problems with emails, once read, they sit in the inbox perhaps never to be looked at again. At least a letter is something tangible that can be kept and treasured.
Another advantage with letters is that it's more personal. I'm often very wary of expressing my feelings in an email which may get read by other members of the family who share the same computer and although I do have a separate email address for "personal stuff" - it's still not the same as you don't know who else will read the email that you have sent out.
That said - it must be months since I wrote a letter, I often send postcards to my DGD in Canada and I know she likes receiving those - it's something just for her and she also likes to check the postbox

Maniac Tue 14-Aug-12 10:32:32

I've developed a tremor in right hand in last few years so writing legibly is more difficult.I try to avoid it apart from signatures and inscriptions in greeting cards.
I use email communication daily but I do wonder if my hand muscles (like other body parts) deteriorate from lack of use.

Gally Tue 14-Aug-12 10:34:11

Bags I printed all the e-mails I received from the 3 girls when they went off travelling for a year. They are all in a ring file and serve as a form of diary for that year reminding me of where they were and what they were up to. I enjoy writing letters - not that I write too many these days but find my writing is becoming more of a scrawl from lack of use hmm. I received some incredibly moving hand written letters when John died, which were so much more welcome than e-mails - although I did, of course, appreciate them too..