20 Nostalgic Quotes About the Loss of Handwritten Letters
National Handwriting Day, established by the Writing Instrument Manufacturer's Association (WIMA), is celebrated annually on John Hancock's birthday—January 23rd. Individuals are encouraged to display their creativity by using a pen or pencil to write a letter, poem, note, or journal entry to emphasize the importance of handwriting and explore its "purity and power." Who could have imagined seventy years ago that handwriting would be on the endangered list in less than a century?
Handwritten letters are already extinct to those whose younger relatives and friends communicate only by texts and emails. Not only do modern people not want to write—when they do write, they do not care to write well. This contrasts significantly with the pride of students from previous generations who tried to excel in handwriting— especially when it came to love letters.
Here are some heartfelt quotes for those who experience intense nostalgia at the memory of handwritten letters.
About Handwriting vs. E-Mails and Text Messages
- "Though computers and e-mail play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word." —David H. Baker, Executive Director of WIMA
- "There is a difference between a page of hand-written text and a print out from a word processor. A trained eye can tell who wrote one, while the other might have been created by anyone." —Matt Maszczak, The Writing Cooperative
- "One of my favorite things about handwritten letters is that you can keep them for however long you want, and revisit them at any time. A screenshot of a sweet text doesn't quite measure up." —Lauren Beasley, Odyssey
- "Handwritten letters allow us an opportunity to pause. Due to a lag in delivery time, they might also force us to consider the shelf life of what we write . . . And their tangibility lends them a sense of permanence." —Maddie Crum, Huffpost
- "Texting and email are mostly reactionary. You need information, so you reach out. Writing letters is much more deliberate. You do it to give, not to receive." —Kyle Young, Lifehack
- "There’s something sacred [and romantic, in the broadest sense] about communicating in the way generations before us once did. . . It’s how grandma and grandpa kept their love alive during wartime . . . Computers can never take the place of this kind of sentimental history." —Alena Hall, Huffpost
- "In our throwaway era of quick phone calls, faxes, and email, it's all too easy never to find the time to write letters. That's a great pity—for historians and the rest of us." —Nancy Reagan, The Letters
- "Emails and texts act like the middleman between the author and recipient, technology even dictates your words by guessing them and filling them in for you. The pen, however, begs to be enslaved; it needs to belong to you . . . When someone sends you a handwritten letter, you receive a part of who they are." —Kiran Sidhu, The Guardian
- "While typing can be mindless, studies show that writing integrates three brain processes: visual, motor and cognitive skills. You see the paper and your words, you use your fine motor skills to form the words, and you stimulate your brain to remember the shapes of each letter as you write. It’s exercise for the brain." —Jacqueline Whitmore, Entrepreneur
- "No emailed message or attached Word document—no matter how heartfelt or well-composed—compares with a letter . . . validated by an official postmark that adds the important context of date and place . . . Finding and reading handwritten letters from nearly 100 years ago is perhaps the closest thing we have to a time machine." —Editorial, Valley News
About the Pleasure of Handwritten Letters
- "Writing to someone, taking the time to craft each letter, to buy a stamp, to select an envelope, to travel to the post office—none of this goes unnoticed. A letter, before the content is even read, has already said, 'I care about you. You’re someone special.' And that is a message that all enjoy." —Wesley Baines, Beliefnet
- "Handwriting is a spiritual designing, even though it appears by means of a material instrument." —Euclid of Alexandria
- "To me, reading through old letters and journals is like treasure hunting. Somewhere in those faded, handwritten lines, there is a story that has been packed away in a dusty old box for years." —Sara Sheridan, Author
- "Find a small moment of joy in a blue sky, in a trip somewhere not so far away, a long walk an early morning in December, or a handwritten letter to an old friend simply saying 'I thought of you. I hope you’re well.' —Charlotte Eriksson, Author
- "Nothing is as endearing as a handwritten letter scribed by the person who holds your heart spellbound." —Alfa H Abandoned Breaths
- "One of the biggest things that I miss most about handwritten letters is the actual feel of paper in our hands . . . For example, a heartfelt letter from one's lover written in his own handwriting with his favourite pen on his preferred piece of paper definitely shows the type of person he is." —Tahsin Abedi, The Daily Star
- "I want there to be proof that I was here beyond a Google search. That proof will live on in my diaries, my letters, and the scribbles I sent other people . . . I want the people I love to be affirmed and reminded of how capable they are on a daily basis. I think letters are the purest way to do that." —Hannah Brencher, More Love Letters
- "Just imagine the bliss and the joy of giving your child to read a letter handwritten by his/her grandmother decades ago. It is definitely worth starting to handwrite your letters and give your dear ones something to talk about for generations." —Kenneth Waldman, Learning Mind
- "The lost art of longhand writing has made us miss out on the pleasure of seeing a good piece of handwritten script and pen craft—an art we are losing out to time, machine and thinning out passions." —L. Aruna Dhir, Daily O
- "The sight of the man on a cycle with a bundle of letters, delivering these envelopes to our mailboxes was once the most exciting view from one's window . . . What has happened to all the postmen? Are they still at the post office waiting for us to post a handwritten letter for them to deliver?" —Tahsin Abedi, The Daily Star
Facts from "History of Handwritten Letters"
Around 500 BC
According to the ancient historian Hellanicus, the first recorded handwritten letter was penned by Queen Atossa of Persia.
Coach or horse riders delivered letters. The receiver paid cash on delivery; the cost depended on the number of pages and the distance traveled.
Great Britain introduced the first prepaid stamp. Other countries organized similar systems.
The United States established a uniform 5 cent postal charge.
The United States standardized stamps.
© 2014 Dora Weithers