Samara O'Shea

Rules are Made to be Broken

Reader Mike sent me this great link tothe Victorian Do’s and Don’ts of Letter Writing. We 21st-Century Letter Writers have no rules—lest we risk letters not getting written at all. Still, it’s amusing to look back and see what was an epistolary sin was according to the Victorians. Of the rules, these are the ones I am most likely to break:

5. Never use underlining to further emphasize your meaning.
– Back in the day they learned to write in italics for emphasis. We don’t do that anymore, so I think underlining is a fine way to make your point.

6. Do not abbreviate; abbreviation is the sign of hasty writing.
– I actually don’t abbreviate much, but I think whoever wrote this rule would have a heart attack if s/he knew of text messaging.

7. Do not erase or cross out misspelled words in a letter. Should you make a spelling error, the letter should be rewritten.
– Yeah, this is not happening. I worship Wite Out!