The art of letter-writing is fast dying out

From “Principles of composition” 1915

by Percy Holmes Boynton:

A hundred years ago it took so long and cost so much to send a letter that it seemed worth while to put some time and thought into writing it. Now the quickness and the cheapness of the post seem to justify the feeling that a brief letter to-day may be followed by another next week ‚Äî a ” line ” now by another to-morrow.

From the “Sunday Magazine” 1871:

The art of letter-writing is fast dying out. When a letter cost ninepence, it seemed but fair to try to make it worth ninepence… Now, however, we think we are too busy for such old-fashioned correspondence. We fire off a multitude of rapid and short notes, instead of sitting down to have a good talk upon a real sheet of paper.

The webcomic xkcd has 17 more of these types of quotes.

It would be fun to take all these quotes and make them into various forms of correspondence to individuals.

— Hand-write a quote in a letter and mail it

— Hand-write a quote on a postcard

— Type one on a someone’s facebook wall.

— Print out onto a sign and hang it in public and take a photo and post it to flickr.

— Read one aloud to someone on the phone.

— Make a podcast with one of the quotes.

— Write a quote in chalk on the sidewalk.

— Make a youtube video reading one of the quotes, and have someone doing it sign language.

— Send one of these quotes via a telegraph.

I challenge everyone to hand-write at least one of these 19 quotes on a piece of paper and snail mail it to a friend.

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