Friday 20 May 2016

Oops, I can't spell a town name

Today, I managed to post 4 letters. One of them was to a friend and this was my fortypluth letter to her. However, it is only with this letter I posted to her today, I realise I have been spelling her town's name all wrong. Instead of herTOWNsomething, I had been writing herTONsomething. I even wrote down the wrong spelling in my address book. I've googled the misspelt town's name and find I am not the only one to have erred. The BBC,, Carphone Warehouse, Burger King, and Boots are among some of those who've misspelled too.

Thursday 19 May 2016

To The Letter.......

I am still plodding my way through Simon Garfield's wonderful book to The Letter I received for Christmas 2014. It is taking time to 'journey through a vanishing world' as I put clear sticky tabs/page markers at sections/sentences of particular note and interest. I don't always have these to hand and I dislike bent over corners. One of the points of interest I marked was Best Wishes, a sign off once used just for business letters and now, I almost always sign off my letters to penfriends with it. The book mentions correspondence of the Second Earl of Chesterfield and instructions to his daughter about putting the date at the bottom of the page because it is more respectful. When I write letters, I date it when I start. If I am unable to finish the letter in a day, I write the date when I recommence the missive. 

One thing I came across last night, was a description of a cat in a letter from a father to his daughter, as a mobile ginger flower - Ginger-dandelion. The letter writer was Ted Hughes. The chapter of the book was named The Modern Master. A collection of some of Ted Hughes' letters have been published. To The Letter also has a picture of Ernest Heminigway's cat walking across letters and correspondence on a bed. Some of my penpals have mentioned their cats getting in the way of snailmail by sitting on the letter, on the paper to be written on, on the table, or even the chair to be used at the letter writing desk.
Letter-writing - 'excellent training for conversation with the world.'
 I am over three quarters of the way through the book. I should finish it before Christmas 2016 and then, perhaps, I can follow up on selected bibliography and people mentioned, e.g. 
  • Abelard and Heloise
  • Second Earl of Chesterfield
  • Fourth Earl of Chesterfield
  • Letters of Ted Hughes
  • Letters Home (Sylvia Plath)
  • Madame de Sévigné
I wonder if there will be ebooks of the emails of some celebrity / author / entertainer / scientist / person of interest in years to come.

I wonder what people would make of letters answering Five Questions, part of the postal challenge on A World of SnailMail forum. Some of the questions asked can be a little silly. I recently answered a question unable to touch my nose with my tongue. Did you just try to do that yourself?

There is still time to ask Five Questions this month and answer others people's questions. Even some of my long time penpals incorporate answers (sometimes to other people's questions) in their letters to me.
'Maybe the crucial element in handwriting is that the hand is simultaneously drawing.'
Well, that is about all the drawing I can handle - letters!

So, why don't you surprise a family member or friend with a letter. One of the short stories broadcast on the radio last month mentioned a mother writing to her anorexic daughter in a bid to learn and help, and for this story, it worked. Taking time to write down thoughts and questions, without interruptions of, "You just don't understand..." or other speech-stoppers and the written dialogue continues in a calm manner. 

Letters connect people. Letters have brought more joy into my world.