This should coincide with two other things:what the one addressed wants to know. He is honest, conservative and shrewd, but recently I have been awakened to the fact that his incapacity to write a letter which does not leave a sting, a chill, or at least a sense of lofty indifference, is hurting my business more than would some downright reckless blunders. In a fire insurance concern employing hundreds of agents it would be easy for a manager to inform himself through his special agents as to Slide bearing manufacturers each agent’s nationality, education, experience in the business, etc.
The promiscuous writing of letters of recommendation has done much to cheapen the effect of recommends.”
Whatever else may be neglected in writing, courtesy should not be slighted.
One of the pre-requisites of a good correspondent is the ability, inherent or acquired to judge the general character and status of the writer by means of his letters. To avoid an offensive simplicity of language on the one hand and excessive technicality on the other is one of the tests of a good business correspondent. Were a man to write his letters himself with pen and ink he would study brevity and conciseness of expression, but having letters written for him, he will dictate more than he would write. Such letters are usually in imitation typewriting with blanks left for the name of the party addressed, and when carefully executed are a close imitation of a typewritten letter. Until the last few years the letter-head of a firm was a considerable guide to the standing of the company putting It out, but good printing is now much more common and many one-horse concerns put out conservative, well-gotten-up stationery. Getting few letters, they wish those long and newsy.
This effect is often underrated, being in fact passed by without a thought by the average stenographer, and the ordinary business man is so busy seeing that his dictation is correctly transcribed that he gives little thought to this essential.