MasterM is writing a letter to his new Commanding Officer. With a fountain pen.
I have the honour to inform you that following my commissioning...I will be reporting for duty...at 0700 on Monday x January.
Various pleasantries follow until the letter concludes
I have the honour to be,
your obedient servant,
Letters like this have been written by successive generations of young officers. It may seem an anachronistic tradition in an age of email and text message but the structure of the letter is designed to introduce MasterM, giving information about his achievements and interests. In return MasterM will receive a hand written letter of acknowledgement and welcome. These formalities ensure that working relationships and new teams can be established as quickly as possible.
MrsM ponders the vision of MasterM as an obedient servant and concludes that miracles must happen after all.
I think this is a charming way of conducting proceedings, so traditional.ReplyDelete
Was he wearing uniform when he wrote the letter?
No - he was wearing his favourite tweed jacket - which is very officerly attire.Delete
You mean there might be hope for Master D as well? (Please, please, please...)ReplyDelete
When MasterM was that age he didn't even know what you called "that thing that you put the paper in when you write a letter".Delete
I love this. I lament the passing of proper, formal, polite letters where everyone knew how to address each other, how to introduce themselves and how to sign off. There are huge benefits to the relaxed, informal communications of today but I think it would be reassuring to be able to follow social rules that everyone knows and understands.ReplyDelete
The great thing is to be able to do both and to know what is appropriate for any situation. Children are very adaptable - think of those children who talk street at school and then go home and talk proper.Delete
I rather like the idea of generations of young officers writing these letters. My 16 year old daughter will be leaving home for ballet school this year. We have always used social media to keep in touch, but suddenly the other day she announced that when she leaves she plans to write letters to me. I am delighted. Astonished. But delighted.ReplyDelete
Congratulations to your daughter - what a wonderful opportunity! Having had two children at boarding school I know how busy they are so I would have been very impressed if mine had managed regular letters home. However, I know that she will appreciate everything that she gets from home in the post. Both of my children have stressed what a lamentable failure I was in this respect.Delete