Letters mingle souls
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is to inform you that today, Dec. 7, is National Letter Writing Day.
To wit: email, tweets, and texts may be the communications media of choice in the present digital age, but compared to traditional forms of correspondence, that is to say, the letter, of which this present missive is an exemplar, they are impersonal.
It is not these popular communication technologies, but only the letter, that is capable of transmitting a writer's personal sentiments unmediated by technology. Only said letter may be composed thoughtfully by hand, using the finest writing instruments created by skilled craftspeople and robotic manufacturing techniques, and the best papers, created in pollution-free factories on other continents by underpaid workers working twelve to sixteen hour shifts.
It is only said letter that is stamped, mailed, and hand delivered by postal couriers not stayed by snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor workplace violence, from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
Your attention is herewith drawn as well to the fact that, like all letters and unlike any email, tweet, or text, this present letter was written on sandalwood scented, 24 lb. rag bond paper, using a gold-nibbed fountain pen, premium mauve ink, and only the finest words chosen by hand from the English language, before being distributed. Additionally, and with regret, said letter was digitized for mass circulation and distributed not by postal service workers celebrating National Letter Writing Day with festive adornments on their uniforms and light refreshments, but electronically, a United States Postal Service supervisor having certified that the USPS, its agents, heirs, and assigns, would not be able to guarantee delivery of said letter by close of business on National Letter Writing Day. Tracking for said letter is also not available.
You are further informed that the intention of National Letter Writing Day is to ensure that letter writing does not become a lost art. Any indication that you have lost the art of letter writing will be referred to our attorneys for further action.
Most sincerely yours,
[place electronic signature here]
Disclaimer: This letter, a personal expression of the writer, not an impersonal email, text, or tweet, contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this letter. Please notify the sender immediately if you have received this letter by mistake, then shred and eat the letter to ensure that it does not fall into the wrong hands. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.
Peto, “Old Scraps”
The Smithsonian Institution blog post for National Letter Writing Day suggests that readers stop emailing and tweeting for a day and write a letter instead, because unlike digital texts, letters endure. And since National Letter Writing Day is also Pearl Harbor Day, the Smithsonian suggests that you celebrate by writing that letter to Gen. Tojo.
After you write a letter, you will need a stamp. If you look in the bottom drawer of your desk, as the Smithsonian suggests, you might find a stamp like the one celebrating letter writing that the Smithsonian uses to illustrate Ntional Letter Writing Day. The full quote on that stamp comes from John Donne’s “To Sir Henry Wotton.” It reads, “more than kisses, letters mingle souls.” Donne may not have been much of a kisser, but a letter mailed with that ten-cent stamp won’t mingle any souls, since it's going to cost you $0.46 to mail a first-class letter today.