This post is dedicated to ranting, ranting about the need to sound professional almost all the time.
1. Letter in a bottle
We all want things to be in order, in a certain format/style, wherever, whenever. Does growing up really mean that one has to give up style in expressing oneself? This was during Newton's times.
2. The Telegraph
One may argue that the concept of a standard universe was destroyed along with Napoleon Bonaparte. It did, however, come back with Otto von Bismarck, as he gloriously led Prussia into victory in 1871. That to me dawned the glorification of machines. A British would argue otherwise, that the Industrial Revolution that happened in Britain made use of sophisticated machines since the start of the 19th century, and even spread technology of steam and rail to Europe and India.
3. The rise of the Speed-post
Speed-post (the snail mail in its fastest form) travel by air. In my primary and secondary school, which really wasn't so long ago, I had learnt how to write a formal and informal letter. That was how speed-post worked. You either write a formal letter, or an informal one.
4. The rise of pager
Message in the shortest form. You can page a person by dialling the receiver's pager number (which is like a mobile number). What the person does is to find a public phone to return your call. Occasionally, "happy birthday" or codes can be sent.
5. The rise of the email
Email started to get popular in the late 1980s. It was so new, nobody really used it. When someone did use it, it was for leisure purposes, for the novelty of it. It was the new cool, I remembered. I also remembered typing my friend's name in the "To:" field. Amazing. Even a three-year-old knows how to email now, I kid you not, without making the mistakes I made when I was 11.
6. MSN: The rise of instant chat
It was in the 1990s, when it became such a big thing. I was in primary school, and dating a boy in class, through MSN chats. All sorts of crap language we used. lol. nvm la, stil gt tmr 2 solv e prb.
7. Ding-dong! Sms!
In case you're wondering, that's a famous ringtone for SMS in Singapore. SMS got really popular in the late 1990s. They were used for informal purposes. Texting became a big thing only after Starhub started its 700-free-sms-per-month scheme for $10, in 2003. SMS language was very popular for a period of time.
8. Friendster - the prehistoric Facebook
That was a platform where one could add as many friends as one could find, to show off to the world how popular one was. The profile page could be decorated, and description could be made. It was in the beginning years of the millennium.
Gone were the days when one had only one audience. A blog offers incredible viewership. Initially started as an online diary, it quickly deviated towards pro-blogging - making money, and sharing expertise online.
10. What's App/BBM
If you don't know what BBM and what's app are, you're quite outdated. BBM stands for Blackberry Messenger, which allows one to instantly write to a Blackberry user overseas for free (similar to email, but friendlier). What's app is an application for groups of people from anywhere in the world to "msn" and sms at the same time. One can share pictures, weblinks and whatnot, and one sends it to another person's phone number instead of email address. Currently, it's still very new, and considered cool to be part of.
Alas. I'm still cool. But I really dislike the fact that there are so many rules in writing that has evolved with non-verbal, written communications. I think creativity and personality are really important, and I'm not prepared to give them up in my letter formats and styles.