Emily Post – Notes and Shorter Letters
In writing notes or letters, as in all other forms of social observance, the highest achievement is in giving the appearance of simplicity, naturalness, and force.
Those who use long periods of flowered prolixity and pretentious phrases–who write in complicated form with meaningless flourishes, do not make an impression of elegance and erudition upon their readers, but flaunt instead unmistakable evidence of vainglory and ignorance.
The letter you write, whether you realize it or not, is always a mirror which reflects your appearance, taste and character. A “sloppy” letter with the writing all pouring into one corner of the page, badly worded, badly spelled, and with unmatched paper and envelope–even possibly a blot–proclaims the sort of person who would have unkempt hair, unclean linen and broken shoe laces; just as a neat, precise, evenly written note portrays a person of like characteristics.
Therefore, while it can not be said with literal accuracy that one may read the future of a person by study of his handwriting, it is true that if a young man wishes to choose a wife in whose daily life he is sure always to find the unfinished task, the untidy mind and the syncopated housekeeping, he may do it quite simply by selecting her from her letters.
-Emily Post’s Etiquette (tips for letter writing)