THE ART OF LETTER WRITING
Letter writing is an integral part of various language syllabi all over the world. Children are taught the correct format and style of writing letters at a very young age. Sometimes these letters are addressed to the school principal or the editor of a newspaper while at other times, children are asked to write to a sibling or a friend.
The former type, i.e when letters are written to a higher authority, is called formal letters. Letters addressing friends or relatives fall in the category of informal letters. The language and style of letter writing vary slightly according to the level of formality.
But kids these days would never experience letter writing the way their ancestors did. While this generation only writes occasionally or as per an academic requirement, letter writing was the only mode of communication in ancient times. Unlike emails, you couldn’t simply click ‘send’ and expect your message to be delivered instantly.
The letters could take days or weeks to reach the recipients. Even before the establishment of postal systems, riders would carry letters and travel miles and miles to reach their destination. The reply would also take equally long.
Leaders would add poetic touches to their letters and personalize them with their own stamps or signs. People were specially hired to assist in the writing of formal and informal letters. The activity was nothing short of a form of art.
Learning about such interesting historical facts can really help us in being grateful for the facilities we have today. Moreover, we could learn to enjoy the task rather than finding it unnecessary. After all, it is letter writing that evolved into more modern forms like emails and text messaging.