Monday, August 24, 2009

Writing Well, Part II

When you find an old and well-used leather bound book, you know there are pages to explore and a proper education on something to be gained. In my treasure book of social and business etiquette from 1882 there is much discussion of the proper position of the writer. It is "a matter of the greatest importance" and "exercises a powerful influence upon his general health." Further into this subject, the reader is admonished that no one should be satisfied with "a bad handwriting" when it is in his power to improve it.

Any one can procure a copy-book, and can spare an hour, or half an hour, a day for this effort at improvement. Remember that a good hand is not acquired in a week or a month; it takes long and diligent practice to produce this result.

The advantages of writing well are numerous, and will readily suggest themselves. In the first place, it is always a pleasure to prepare a plainly and neatly written letter or paper. The writer is then never afraid or ashamed for his friends to see his writing.

A good hand is also an invaluable aid to a young man seeking employment. A merchant in employing clerks and salesmen will always give the preference to the best penman. A young man applying by letter for a situation can scarcely offer a better reference than the appearance of his letter.

More late 19th century tips to follow soon.

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