March 23, 2014

"In some ways, little has changed in the art of the unsent letter since Lincoln thought better of excoriating Meade."

My favorite sentence in a NYT op-ed by Maria Konnikova titled "The Lost Art of the Unsent Angry Letter."

13 comments:

David said...

Restraint.

I'm exercising it right now.

sydney said...

I once sent an angry letter, a real letter, and ruined a good friendship. That was years ago before there was an internet. But the internet repaired my friendship. We found each other through a blog I once wrote and made contact with email. I was thankful for the chance to be forgiven. It never would have happened without the modern quick internet exchange.

MadisonMan said...

I do that sometimes with email. Compose it, save it to drafts, and later delete it, unsent.

rhhardin said...

To unsend vt.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

What's a letter?

Skeptical Voter said...

As a young pup fresh out of law school in 1968, I joined the biggest law firm in my home town. It had been founded in 1924.One of the firm's secretaries, the redoubtable "Mrs. T" had been hired as a "temporary secretary" on the day the firm's doors opened. Even as a shiny new lawyer, I was smart enough to know, "Never cross Mrs. T. She can hurt you in ways you don't even know."

She liked to tell the story of working for one of the named partners in the firm during the Depression. The fellow was an ardent Republican. Each morning during the FDR presidency, Judge "C" would call her in and dictate a letter excoriating Roosevelt for whatever political sins the Judge could think of. The letters were blistering hot. Mrs. T would faithfully type up the letter and put it on his desk for signature at the end of the day. The letters were never signed, and never sent. But Judge "C" felt better by 0930 on each work day.

SJ said...

[humor]
Lincoln wrote letters to Meade? Even if he never sent them...

Meade's been around a while, I guess.
[/humor]

I'm pretty sure the article is referring to this Meade, not the man you married, Ann.

Mark said...

Nights in white satin, never reaching the end,
Letters I've written, never meaning to send.
Beauty I'd always missed with these eyes before.
Just what the truth is, I can't say anymore.

MadisonMan said...

Maybe this has been asked/mentioned before. Any relation between present-day Meade and Civil War Meade?

Sam L. said...

Ah, the red-baiting McCarthy. The Reds were real, as Soviet records show.

Ann Althouse said...

"Any relation between present-day Meade and Civil War Meade?"

None that he knows. He said: "Meade is a very common name."

Ann Althouse said...

Meade's family story does not include any assertions of connection to General Meade. It does, interestingly, include a Cherokee ancestor… in the 1600s.

caplight45 said...

I have several angry letters that I have not sent to Meade. I prefer to excoriate people in person or at least on the phone.