I have observed that when thank-you notes written by people from old money families are personally delivered, the annotation "By hand" is invariably added to the bottom right corner of the envelope. Can anyone educate me as to the origins of this practice?
I am looking for published collections of fascinating letters. NOT by writers. [more inside]
How can I help a parent to get to know me better? [more inside]
I'm applying for a fellowship, and my recommender showed me the letter he sent out on my behalf. Turns out it's rather generic and, while very positive, does not give examples of my supposed awesomeness. [more inside]
Did people commonly make and keep copies of their handwritten personal correspondence? [more inside]
Help me think of people/companies my daughter can send postal mail to that are likely to respond. [more inside]
I am interested in making a small stamp with a letter Q to use to monogram clothing items. I don't like any of the ones I've seen with an alphabet set. Do you have a typeface with a nice letter Q, either capital or miniscule? I want it to be recognizable/readable and I tend to prefer more modern fonts but I'm open to everything.
My mother just sent me a Christmas card addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Lastname". Help me prove to her that such a salutation is outdated and that my identity didn't get swallowed up when I got hitched. [more inside]
I seem to remember that it used to be a thing that your kid could send their letters to Santa to a particular address and they'd get a nice reply from "Santa." Now that I'm old enough to have a kid of my own who wants to send a letter to Santa, I'm not sure where to send the thing. [more inside]
In my neck of the woods, stories based on leaked emails are currently a thing. I would like to know about big news stories based on illicitly copied correspondence, whether letters, telegrams, memos, or other media, that predate the internet (other than the Pentagon papers, which I already know about). The older the better.
What's the best way to buy a lot of six-sided alphabet letter dice? Distribution would ideally be similar to what's found in a Boggle game. I'm not picky about colors or inclusion/exclusion of certain characters.
Do you know of any children's books featuring mail? As in, a penpal or mailing letters. Specifically for an eight year old girl but I'm open to all suggestions! [more inside]
Academics, what is your institution's policy about tenure and promotion letters? Specifically, once the decision to award or deny tenure is made, does a candidate standardly get a letter detailing the committee's reasons? What is the letter like and who reviews it? Looking also for pointers to faculty handbooks where the letter process is described, and links to policies/recommendations from professional associations like AAUP or MLA on this. [more inside]
I would like to send Christmas letters, including one to a girl I like. There's only one problem: I have terrible handwriting. It's really, really bad. I've worked on improving it my whole life, but my motor skills just can't seem to pick up on the knack of writing properly; my words honestly look like the scribbles of a child, and unless I take care are sometimes illegible to other people. For this reason I much prefer typing things, but I feel that much of the sentimentality is lost if a letter is typed. Is there any way for me (through cool program, font, or other method) to send something that's typed that gives the same impact a written letter would? [more inside]
I'd like to buy a flat in a particular building. I'm going to do a hand-written letterdrop, but would love some advice about the best way to execute this. [more inside]
What is the best way to put together years of handwritten and typed letters along with photos for my son that can be added to and later given as a gift? [more inside]
Are there any organizations I can donate to or help with that are devoted to cleaning up the messes we made in Afghanistan and Iraq? I keep seeing news of American and allied bombings accidentally killing children and civilians, and it seems like all these require something more than just an "oopsie!" or indifferent silence. [more inside]
I like the links found on Arts & Letters Daily; I wonder if there are other sites with a large, comprehensive list of blogs, columns, articles, etc. [more inside]
Hello all, I'm looking for the name of the tool that would be used to punch letters into paper. [more inside]
Hi everyone. I recently visited an online map where people who share a very unusual niche hobby place a pin where they live, voluntarily including an address or name if they'd like, and I found to my pleasant shock that a fellow enthusiast lives only a few blocks from me. He/she left a contact address but not a name, and I'd really love to write to this person, but I have no idea what the normal etiquette is for addressing a personal envelope to an unnamed recipient (to be clear, I don't mean the letter itself, but the envelope). [more inside]
I first came across this about 20 years ago in a Calvin & Hobbes strip where Hobbes taunts his friend: "Calvin and Susie, sitting in a tree. Kay-Eye-Ess-Ess-Eye-En-Gee!" I never understood why Hobbes was making "words" out of letters; I assumed it was something unique to comics (or tigers). Then today, a poem linked to in this FPP reminded me of that old comic strip and got me thinking: Why is there an entire parallel alphabet to spell out the letters of the alphabet? [more inside]
Rather than rely on our usual email correspondence, I would like to write some letters by hand to someone very important to me who lives very far away. [more inside]
How do I gently ask my professors to send in the letters of rec they agreed to write? They are past the deadline I gave them . And, I am freaking out bc my applications cannot be reviewed by grad schools until the letters are sent in. What makes things more complicated for me is the fact that I just asked my profs in Jan for these letters, and I did ask them to save the letters. Well, I did not receive generous aid packages, so I am reapplying to another school which could fully fund me. so this is a huge deal! So I asked them again in October to resubmit the letters, and it makes me feel bad like I am burdening and bothering them, but now i am anxious that i don't have the letters. This is very worrisome to me because I do not want my application to not be submitted in time, and there are early application deadlines that I need to meet in order to be considered for merit awards
Help me find letters written between close female friends. [more inside]
I need to provide supervisor references for a job opportunity, but I do not have many people I can ask. Need help figuring out my options. Details inside: [more inside]
My little brother is currently in jail, and will likely be staying there or in a similar facility for quite a while. He is only allowed to receive postcards, and softcover books mailed from Amazon or B&N. If either of these items violate the byzantine regulations (details contained within), they will not reach him. What are some creative things that are basically just pieces of paper (no paint, stickers, double layers, etc) I can send as postcards? What are some books that won’t be taken away for sex, drug, gang, etc content you’d recommend for a 23 year old male who never really read for pleasure, recently earned his GED, and likes Hunter S. Thompson? [more inside]
I love writing letters to people - handwritten, with a fountain pen. Help me find a good paper for this purpose. [more inside]
Where can I legally get/buy people's printed family photographs, entire photo albums, letters and personal ephemera? I might need hundreds of these and they must be originals. If the items were somewhat dated, say at least 20 years, that would be nice. [more inside]
Looking for a very specific van Gogh line from his letters... [more inside]
Should I include a cover letter when submitting a story to a literary magazine? [more inside]
My bosses misuse words in very official, very important documents. Can I do anything about this? [more inside]
I'm tired of closing my emails with, "Regards", "Cheers", or, "Yours sincerely". Can you give me good alternatives for all occasions, from the formal to the semi-formal to the completely casual or hilarious?
Why is there more variation in the shapes of lower case letters than in upper case? Both a and g have distinctly different forms, but also f, q, and t show some variation. While in upper case only G and the tail on Q ever vary much. Yes, I know there are myriad different fonts out there. I have even made fonts myself. But the essential shape of the letters seems to vary more in lower case than in upper. Why is that?
I need ideas! I have two love letters that I would like to display, or archive in an attractive way, and give as a gift to the letter writers. [more inside]
Advice On Writing My First Cover Letter? [more inside]
Help me catalog my youthful correspondence so that when I grow old and wither I may smile at a time well-spent but long-gone with those I love -- 21st CENTURY STYLE!!!11!! [more inside]
What are some interesting/exciting ways to present a card/letter/postcard that is going through the mail. [more inside]
Getting up close and personal with someone who could greatly improve my future? [more inside]
I haven't lost the ability to correspond at a level higher than most ten-year-olds. I never had it to begin with. [more inside]
I would like to know how often one letter is followed by all the other letters. For example: A is followed by R 20% of the time, while A is followed by Q only .1% of the time. [more inside]
My social anxiety is backwards. I love talking to people in person and speaking in front of crowds, I'm pretty good with phones, but emails, online forums, and paper correspondence are things I approach with extreme reluctance. Does anyone else have this problem? How can I cope? [more inside]
I'm interested in novel recreational uses of snail mail, both historically and currently. Aside from pen-palling and exchanging goods, what kind of games or similar activities take place via old fashioned letters and postcards? [more inside]
How do I respond to an old friends letters from prison? [more inside]
I am looking for the text of a letter that I wrote to The Guardian in January 2008. [more inside]
Odd 'writing' on a stained glass panel - can you work out what, if anything, it says? [more inside]
What Would You Do When A Professor Tells You to Draft Your Own Recommendation? [more inside]
Is it possible to find pen pals in todays modern world? I find that I can go weeks without speaking to anyone in a meaningful way and my social anxiety is going through the roof. I think a pen pal would be a good way to start interacting with people again without having to worry about the social fears I have. Is there a site or place I could go to find pen pals? Especially ones gentle to shy people who would like to open up to others but take time to do so?
I'm looking for a translation of the following (presumably) Japanese sign(s) as displayed here Is there any correlation between the name written in English and the sign? It could also be helpful if anyone could point me towards a web resources where i can look up further Japanese letters etc. Thanks
As stated in a recent previous question, a good 365 to-do-per-day project is writing a letter a day.... so beyond the obvious, who should I write letters to? [more inside]