Why we no longer make fun of the mailman
Wow, Pete! You've said a mouthful here (truly), and I agree with all of it. A couple of comments: while I use email for lots of things, I've still retained, over the years, the idea that I can (yes, by God!) employ the technology to write "personal letters"! And I try to, complete with introductory remark (e.g, "Hi, [insert name here"] and a conclusion (or "sign off"), usually "Best." It's a little thing, but it still means a lot to me, though of course I can't speak for my "correspondents." Secondly, my advancing age has robbed me of the ability to write a pen-and-ink letter--in other words, my handwriting has become illegible (a failing I blame on all those years of writing marginal comments on papers submitted by students who never had the advantage of being taught by several old lady English teachers as I was "back in the day." Finally, I'm old enough that I've got a large number of file folders in basement cabinets jam-packed with my, um, "correspondence," BUT I've not really added to it for several years now. Guess I can check my computer file, right?