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Will you pardon a typewritten letter?

by on July 9, 2013

For our exhibition in The Hague, I have been looking into Julia Grace Wales’ notes and letters at The Library and Archives Canada. Julia Grace Wales was born in Eastern Townships Québec and taught in the English Department of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1915, she travelled to the Hague to attend the International Congress of Women, and to present her plan “Continuous Mediation without Armistice”, which was adopted at the conference. In The Hague, I am pretty sure she stayed at hotel Wittebrug and that she went to Docteur’s H.Nanning pharmacy at Korte Poten 7. The pharmacy still exists under a different name.

Other than the expressions that are used less frequently, or the style of writing, what caught my eyes in some of the typewritten letters is that she begins her letters with: “Will you excuse a typewritten letter?” I am guessing that typewritten letters were considered less personal when they were introduced. The sentence and the apology made me think of the days when emails were new.  I do remember that I had apologized a couple of times for sending an email instead of sending a letter, or calling. It is too bad that the account I used for those emails got deleted without me copying all the emails, it would have been fun to go through them, although I am not sure I would have had kept them.

I will post three letters by Julia Grace Wales (the photographs and texts typed by me) that begin with appologizing for the typewritten letter.

Has anybody else ever started an email apologizing for sending one?

From → General, Language

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