On communication

Too often I am saddened by deterioration of everyday language. Fine word is almost nowhere to be found. Is it truly such a difficult thing to do to invest a couple extra seconds of our time to choose words, to be polite and considerate when speaking to strangers in a grocery store or public transport? What does this tell us about the way we see each other? Sometimes I feel (fear) people take other people to be less human than themselves…

What about written communication between acquaintances and friends? Messages, chats on social networks or Skype… Is it truly necessary for this kind of electronic communication to be simplified to such an extent? To use brief, almost impersonal sentences, to cut words to a bare syllable, mix letters and numbers? Have people forgotten how to enjoy words? 

What about thoughtful, meaningful notes on presents.. and postcards.. and that almost extinct species called letters? Whether electronic or handwritten they do deepen intimacy and, being generously personal, bring a relationship to a higher level. E-mails, of course, less so since they lack handwriting dimension. Not to mention that they cannot contain scents, pressed flowers, herbs and similar distinctive objects…

And invitations? I am not talking here about wedding invitations or anything of that sort but of precious pieces such as this one:

My dear Gerry Durrell,
I wondered, after our conversation the other day, if it might not assist your investigations of the local natural history to have some form of magnifying instrument. I am therefore sending you this pocket microscope, in the hope that it will be of some use to you. It is, of course, not of very high magnification, but you will find it sufficient for field work.
With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Theo. Stephanides
P.S. If you have nothing better to do on Thursday, perhaps you would care to come to tea, and I could then show you some of my microscope slides. 


Of course, I have to make Gerald’s satisfaction on receiving this note mine through reading since, for me, there’s no other way… It would be very pleasant to befriend someone with this kind of old-fashioned ways, I should imagine…


7 thoughts on “On communication

  1. I love to write notes when I buy people gifts…usually books, it makes gifts even more precious. Letters are a wonderful thing, I miss them, spending time on choosing the right pen and paper…it was all very exciting…people complain that the cost of stamps has gone up but I would be impressed if anyone could deliver their mail for less than the cost of a 60p first class stamp.

    1. The Christina case already convinced me you are a gift giver to wish for..

      I haven’t wrote a letter for two years now and I miss them, too. I enjoy making my own envelopes and water-coloring sheets of paper.

      Well, even if stamps are costly, it shouldn’t be such a problem because, of course, one will not send letters as often as e-mails. 60p every, say, three months, is something anyone can afford. Or I’m mistaken..

    1. Why, thank you.. With you and Nesi as readers and conversational partners I have motivation more than enough to write regularly. Thank you for that, too.

      I don’t know about you, but I will definitely start writing one! Don’t have to wait for somebody else to initiate correspondence, do I..

  2. Enoyed this thoughtful post….. I am all for communicating in the old-fashioned ways (come to think of it, actually I am rather old-fashioned in more ways than one!). I used to think (still do) that the most valuable souvenir I can bring back from my travels are the postcards written during my time spent in waiting, in moving, in reflecting, in trying not to doze, etc….. during my time away. Handwriting that is stiff from the cold, or blurry words going off tangent due to dozing from exhaustion…. all the bits that are wrapped up together with the words to share the moment with the card recipient. One of the most rewarding gift-giving moments I ever experienced was in seeing my friend being moved to tears when she opened the box and out fell 17-18 postcards, all jam-packed with my handwriting, ranging from the neat and tidy to the downright unreadable! :)

    1. I love it! Who wouldn’t shed a tear upon receiving such a precious gift! Sounds so beautiful.. :)
      It really is a shame we don’t get postcards and letters more often these days. They are so much more than a message..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s