Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Project for the Day: Handwritten Letters

the anatomy of a well-written, handwritten letter inspired by Emily Post's etiquette
Stationery by ilfant Press, available here.

I don't know about you guys but we LOVE handwritten letters. The art of handwriting is sadly dissipating. In an article called "The Case for Cursive" in The New York Times, Katie Zezima relates that "...learning cursive helped students hone their fine motor skills." This may eventually create better artists, illustrators, or architects!

My personal handwriting is a mix of cursive and printing, but I am proud to say that I am able to write in all forms of cursive and shorthand (I actually was in one of the last high school classes that had the opportunity to learn short hand). I've looked over my teacher husband's shoulder as he is grading his high school students' papers, and I have to say that I'm afraid we may be going backwards in the art of writing. I see no cursive whatsoever, and even the printing is sloppy at best.

Will you teach your children cursive? Will you teach them the art of the handwritten note? How about thank you notes, the most important kind of notes of all? Here's our version of the handwritten letter:

the anatomy of a well-written, handwritten letter inspired by Emily Post's etiquette

• Dear So & So or "Hello Joe, what do you know?"
• Always include the date. It will be so fun for your grandchildren to find these notes and be able to see the long-past date.
• Emily Post says: "If you take the trouble to write a letter, you have remembered someone in a friendly way, otherwise you would not be writing at all." With that in mind, tell them why you are writing, what you are thinking, etc.
• Answer their questions, or elicit a reply by asking your own. Give your own news, good we hope! Another Post-ism, on Letters of Gloomy Apprehension: "The chronic calamity writers seem to wait until the skies are darkest, and then, rushing to their desks, luxuriate in pouring out all their troubles and most especially their fears of trouble-to-come on paper to their friends."
• Nothing special in ending a letter, simply lovingly end the conversation. "Adieu!"

Now it's your turn: write us a letter! You may just get one back ;)

To: Emily & Andie
c/o Assemble Shop & Studio
PO Box 30904
Seattle, WA 98113

PLUS, these beautiful Earthscapes stamps deserve more than just the phone bill:

Emily Post quotes via Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, 1956
Earthscapes stamps via USPS

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