For old-fashioned letter writers like me, the past few months have been pretty horrid, what with the U.K.’s postal strike. Despite yesterday’s news that the unions and management of Royal Mail have decided to suspend the strike until the New Year, a couple of pay checks have gone missing, not to mention a credit card payment–which resulted in my card being suspended. Many of you will no doubt be wondering why a tech writer doesn’t pay all her bills online. Answer: because I’m an awkward bugger.
That’s why news that the old-fashioned telegram is having a bit of a second wind doesn’t really surprise me. Two firms, Telegramsonline and Couriergram, have both reported an increase in business since the mailmen started getting all bolshy.
While emails, tweets, and SMS messages are pretty much the norm in the modern age, sometimes nothing will do but a letter sent via snail mail. (To paraphrase Don Draper in a recent episode of Mad Men, “You can’t frame an email.”) And it is possible to keep things brief in a telegram, since you are charged by the word. Oscar Wilde famously sent a one-character telegram to his publisher, enquiring after his book sales. “?” it read. The publisher’s response was just as short: “!”