A friend called the other day to offer a suggestion for a blog post. (I love it when they do.) And we ended up in a bit of a debate. Well, half of one anyway since we agreed that there is still a place for formal writing styles. But disagreed whether the upcoming generations will consider this to be a truth. Millennials now in the workplace, and those upcoming generations still in school.
Cursive writing seems to be a dying art, saved now for posh invitations. I’m ok with that, a lot of people say that they can’t read my writing anyway. So too will it be for formal letter templates? The salutation, indentation of a new paragraph – or my preferred extra carriage space – full sentences, grammar and punctuation? (Do these younger people who’ve only known typing on a computer even know what I mean by carriage space?)
I am betting on the continuation of business letter formatting. It is not a just because sort of thing, there is logic behind these rules. Formal address is respectful and the format helps the eyes and the mind absorb the message where big blocks of unpunctuated text make the eyes and brain balk.
Everything old is new again – this has been rediscovered over and over as humans have evolved on this planet. Formal styling in writing will see a resurgence. The content of a message must be packaged carefully, in order to retain its meaning.
Your turn – what say you? Don’t let your younger self that struggled with all the little rules speak here; think about reading comprehension, eye strain, possibility of misunderstanding. (Hey, if we could maintain this strict formatting using a typewriter doing it on computers is a breeze… My friend isn’t here to push her side of the debate…)
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