[Ted Uzzle is a design engineer br tltec Lansing, a Sound system manufacturer. One of the world’s free spirits, Ted has some amusing things to say about postcards. — Ed.]
The Humble postcard by Ted Uzzle
The humble little postcard is a powerful business tool, but one which has fallen into disuse. This month we will look at it again, and see what it can do for us.
First, some lexicography. A postcard is a card obtained from any source, with a stamp affixed by the sender. The older spelling is as two words, post card (WeI?ster’s Second Edition spells it this way) but virtually all recent large dictionaries spell It as one word, arid that is how we will spell it here. Most modern dictionaries show it as a noun or a verb (“Postcard me when you get there.”) A postal card is a card purchased from the Post Office, with postage already att ached (or postage indicia printed onto it) . The hobby of collecting postcards or postal cards is called deltiology.
In the United States, a postcard may be no larger than 4.25” (10.8 cm) by 6” (15.24 cm) . 14 cents postage sends It by air from anyplace to anyplace in the United States, Canada, or Mexico. 33 cents postage sends it by air to anywhere in the world. Commercially printed postc ards usually carry a picture on the back, of some degree of delicious vulgarity. In this event, the message is usually written on the front next to the address. Individuals and companies sometimes have a return address printed on the front, and reserve the entire rear of the card for the message.
Postcards are inexpensive. They require only a bit over half the postage required for letters in the United States. They are inexpens ive to have custom—imprinted, compared to a letterhead and an envel ope. They are inexpensive to write, because the address need only be written once.
Postcards severly restrict the available space for writing a message. They force the writer to come to the point at once, and be brief. They allow only one main point (or at most two) per card. This means they’re fast. Your time management author has written hundreds of postcards for business correspondence, and not a single one ever took longer than two minutes to produce.
Postcards are courteous. Unlike telephone calls, they do not interr upt the recipient at his desk during business hours. What’s brief to write is also brief to read. And there’s rio envelope to open and discard.
Inexpensive, brief and to—the—point, courteous? You can see that postcards are not just for vacationers: they’re an ideal business tool. Before considering the specific applications for which post—
Danzig Report Vol. 1 - Nr. 53 - October - November - December - 1986, Page 13.
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