I <3 U 4EVA won't win a girl's heart. Send a real Valentine!


For centuries, lovers have written down their most heart-felt thoughts, attempting to convey emotions that flow more easily onto paper than off the tongue. 

Even the innocent notes of school children, passed behind the teacher’s back before the advent of text messaging, used to show great courage: “Dear Peter, Cindy said you might like me. If that is true, please put an X in the box. If not, put an O. Beth.” 

But today, any message at all can be sent through cyberspace in a nanosecond — even a love letter.

Imagine receiving a cyber-Valentine like this one: “I M LIB TOY. BWTM. GOK I NEED U ESEMED! 2MORO is ADIP WU. H&K. I <3U 4EVA”

(Translation:  “I am lying in bed thinking of you. But wait, there’s more. God only knows I need you every second, every minute, every day! Tomorrow is another day in paradise with you. Hugs and kisses. I love you forever.”)

How about this one:  “UR 2G2BT.” Could reading such a crude cryptogram ever take the place of reading the actual words, “You are too good to be true”?

Press “delete” and poof, those words of love are  gone!

Hand written love letters, however, can be read again and again. Years later they reappear, stored in a pretty paste-board box in the attic, or a sealed envelope in a long forgotten desk drawer.

They never cease to bring pleasure to the reader.

Mortimer J. Adler (b. 1902) made this amusing comment on  the love letter’s effect on the reader: “There is only one situation that I can think of in which men and women make an effort to read better than they usually do. When they are in love and reading a love letter, they read for all they are worth. They read every word three ways; they read between the lines and in the margins… Then, if never before or after, they read.

Here’s a bit of wisdom from Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), sure to confuse anyone.

To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say and to finish without knowing what you have written.”

To preserve your love letters, be sure to store them in acid-free archival boxes or envelopes.

For a bit of inspiration, here’s a beautiful love letter by poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning  to Robert Browning:

And now listen to me in turn.
You have touched me more profoundly than I thought even you could have touched me – my heart was full when you
came here today. Henceforward I am yours for everything. 

Now that you’re inspired, don’t back down. Do it for your Valentine. You won’t be deleted.

Find samples of love letters at  For more text message and email code words, visit www.netlingo.comFFG

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