Author Topic: The language of Victorian letters  (Read 21045 times)

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Offline Tania+

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Re: The language of Victorian letters
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2006, 10:34:17 PM »
[size=9]I tend to agree with what posters have shared about their letter writing, and or keeping of letters. Kate's posting registered with me almost immediately. Quote :[i]Perhaps Alix, foreseeing an uncertain future, did what she thought was right towards her grandmother, in the knowledge that QV would have absolutely loathed the thought of strangers looking at personal letters, however inocuous[/i] End Quote. So did the comments about the Tsar and The Tsarina exchange of letters.

Certainly Hiraku's post makes it all the more plain in understanding that perhaps regular mail exahange will soon be passe. That makes me a bit sad. I will miss the beautiful handwriting of those who took time to place their thoughts, on some of also the most beautiful stationary of the past. It's kind of sad watching the most treasured offerings from one's heart, and hand, slowly go out of style, and taken over by a computer. But for people as myself, on the other hand, the computer is a plus, otherwise we would be stranded indeed, incommunicado.

I'm glad to see Imperial Angel considers letter writing, and good manners to remain, be in vogue. I agree wholeheartedly. A family member had a very large impressive wedding, but unfortunately failed to follow up with thank you's, because she was in school and had no time to respond I'm told.

As to how grooming and attire, this is very important imho. You don't have to be in riches to allow others to see you care about your appearance. (Same with language. Learning to write, speak, communicate with care, can be the most important action you can offer yourself for all your interactions in life).  

Janet I agree about this particular statement you made: Quote: As for manners . . . the essence of good manners is being thoughtful of others. This is something parents should begin teaching their children--by example as well as by monitoring--from the late toddler stage on.  And yet I've observed and heard at supposedly professional offices, staffed by people 18 years and older, the following behaviors: loud and abrasive voices; self-induced belching followed by gales of laughter; indiscreet statements (i.e., telling a phone caller that someone who has temporarily stepped away "is in the bathroom; ya wanna wait til he gets out?"); mumbling; a lack of eye contact when responding to a question; chewing with one's mouth open; failure to clean up after one's self; the unabated use of inappropriate language; and--overall--a "me-ism" that makes "me" oh-so-cute--however I behave--and informs others that if you don't indulge my me-behavior, you risk becoming my victim End Quote/

But above all Janet said much in this one sentence : Quote : "No wonder people flock to history-based websites, searching for something they sense is missing from their own lives! "

Hopefully Janet, it makes a great impact, and lives will find what they need from these very fine history-based websites. I certainly have had enough of the me-ism era. I find nothing cute about it, nor do I encourage such behavior in every day interface, or on the internet.

Thank you all so much for your important points. They are all very valuable indeed.  :)

Tatiana+[/size]
 

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tania »
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Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: The language of Victorian letters
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2006, 10:42:09 AM »
I too think it's very sad today that no-one writes letters anymore.

I have a friend on exchange at a university in America from ours in England, and we write to each other regularly, as well as email, because the post takes a while.  I love receiving her letters and reading them through slowly, and then being able to keep them to look at again and again.  I felt the same about letters I used to write to a pen pal.  The excitement of seeing a letter addressed to me and then reading what someone so far away had physically spent the time writing was lovely.  

It's a shame that today, with most of our written communication being through email, that our ancestors will not have any record of our thoughts and relationships with others, unless we print out our emails and save them, which I doubt many people do.  

Last year I went to the archive of my university with my friends, and we were allowed to look through some of the diaries and letters of the original students of the university, which started out as a women's college in the late 1800's.  It was amazing to see these people's lives written out in front of us, and the way they were so passionate and loving in their language, even when they were just sending a note to the girl in the room next door to ask her to tea!  It's the physicality of letters that I love, and the way that they give a snapshot of a way of life, lost forever except through the things they left behind.  We will have lost that sense of history in our technological age, which is a shame in my mind.  It is interesting that there has been a vogue in recent years for researching family history; are we afraid of losing contact with who we are nowadays, because we have hardly anything physical to say we existed? Even photographs are done digitally now and kept on computers.  What will we have left for our ancestors?

We always seem to think that technological advances are a step forward, but sometimes I can't help thinking that they are a step back.  The more technology advances the less we have to talk to each other and build physical relationships, and how that can be a positive step forward, I don't know.

Rachel
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'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline imperial angel

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Re: The language of Victorian letters
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2006, 10:57:48 AM »
Yes, techonology sometimes seems to be a step forward, but it could be regarded as a step backward. I see good and bad in all things, and anybody who realizes that knows that technology certainly enriches our lives, but sometimes we loose the meaning of things because of this. I agree about history based web sites, they seem to offer a gateway into the past, which was possibly a better time. I have always I would have been happier back then. The modern era is very much about '''me''- Tania is right. My ideas and such are closer to the Victorian era than the modern era, and perhaps we come to sites like these to seek that age of manners out.  Good or bad, we have to deal with life in our own era, but we can come here and debate the people and things of an earlier one. Letter writing and manners needn't be things for the Victorian era, they can be modern as well. ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by romanov_fan »

Alixz

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Re: The language of Victorian letters
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2006, 05:06:56 PM »
I see email as a big improvement over the telephone.  At least with email, we do sit down and write and many of us remember our training and use proper language skills.

The telephone, of course, leaves no record and neither does email, unless we print it out.  But at least we have taken the time to compose our thoughts and put them in writing, no matter how brief a time it lasts.

The other thing about email is the quickness of it.  I remember writing to a boy who was in college in Wyoming when I was younger.  I live on the east coast.  Sometimes I would ask something and never get a response because he didn't have my letter in front of him when he replied.

One funny thing that happened was that I asked if I could come to Wyoming to visit him in a letter which crossed his letter to me asking me if I could visit.  So I got his invitation and he got my question with in days of each mailing, both of us were surprised.

Also, I am a horrible speller and I think that "spell check" is the best invention since sliced bread.  The other thing is that about 20 years ago, I almost cut off my right thumb.(It was a dumb accident with a garage door!  Believe me, I have a healthy respect for garage doors since that night.)  

I am right handed and couldn't write at all for the first six months and then had a great deal of pain for the next six.  To this day, I prefer to type because it hurts less and my script is not very legible.

I know that some people don't like to get typed letters, but for me typing is just plain easier.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alixz »

Offline imperial angel

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Re: The language of Victorian letters
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2006, 08:49:34 PM »
Yes, there are good things in email, and most likely it's better than the telephone. Modern forms of communication can have their advantages, and so can the ways they had then. What we need to do is always put care and thought into communication, however quick or carelessly we could do it if we wished to.  The advantages of modern communication can be used wisely, of course. Perhaps our discussion of the advantages of modern communication vs. the old way shows that the new isn't always best, and neither is the old, and that we ought to use both well, and that both in different ways have advantages. But I guess I like the old days.

Alixz

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Re: The language of Victorian letters
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2006, 06:39:14 AM »
When I want to buy something or replace something that is impossible to find in my area, I can't imagine what we used to do before the internet and Ebay.

I just recently needed a replacement for a certain model mouse.  It is no longer made and no store in my area could find me one.

Ebay to the rescue!  It's coming from CA, but it is coming!

My son, who is now 19, seems to have been born with the technological skill to keep up with every new advancement.  I have fallen way behind.  He even treats me with "disdain" at times for my fumbling around with things he just seems to inately know.  His "Oh. Mom."  is probably similar to the one I gave my own mother 35 years ago.  I had to teach her to drive after my father died.  I also had to teach her to balance a checkbook.

Those things were simple to me, but not to a women who grew up in the post "Great War" era and married in the middle of the WWII era.  My mother was no "Rosie the Riviter".

I love my computer and all that it gives me access to.  What I grieve for are the manners and mores of my younger days.  I would love to have no music videos and no MTV poluting our younger generations.

Just one more thing.  I just completed a "thank you note" to my neighbor three houses down who came over on Saturday with out anyone asking to help my son move a very heavy cement post from one side of the road to the other.

The neighbor just happened to be walking his dog and saw that my son was in need of another strong back and took his dog home and returned with a bigger sledge hammer and some extra muscle.

The job was done in half the time.  Good neighbors are so nice to find.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alixz »

Offline imperial angel

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Re: The language of Victorian letters
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2006, 08:33:14 AM »
Thanks for the examples you gave of how modern things can be good. Certainly, I embrace the modern age, considering that I am of it (  since I was not existing before twenty years ago), and live in it, what else can you do? I certainly appreciate some of its aspects. Of course, all the good things we say were then can still be shown today as well, it's just getting less I think.

Offline Clemence

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Re: The language of Victorian letters
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2012, 06:27:38 AM »
I wonder how long did it take for a letter from Russia St Petersburg to London and also, did the royals use the common mail services or a special mail for their private corrispondence?
'' It used to be all girls without clothes. Now it’s all clothes with no girls. Pity.''