Someone tells Walt not to use a colon after the salutation in a personal letter, so he uses just a comma. It makes me wonder why he used the old fashioned combination of the colon + dash, which I’ve written about before in a blog post on this site (it’s my most linked-to post by grammarians). The combination is supposed to signal a “restful pause,” which is not really signaled by the solo comma. We’ll see how long he holds to this new punctuation.
Walt’s getting another chance to join the Air Cadets, but is a little worried that it will interfere with his marriage plans—or worried that Ruth will be worried.
A transcript follows the letter images.
July 13, 1942.
I was just told that I shouldn’t use a colon after the Salutation in a social letter—so—I try it and see what you say—I wish you would tell me the worst mistakes I make—maybe I could correct some of them.—Ha.—
This letter will very likely seem funny after the others I have been writing, it isn’t consistent with my latest ideas, and I don’t know just how to write it so that you won’t misunderstand it. But this is it.
As you already know I’ve always wanted to enter the Air Cadets, well—I was talking to a fellow in our troop today who just took the examination and passed, he said they had lowered the qualifications and it was a lot
eaiser easier. So,—I went into the Troop Commander—and ask him about it—He said he would do all he could for me—I sent home for my birth certificate as I have to have it before I can submit my
my application. He told me He would write me a letter of recomendation and get the Troop Officers to write the other two. O.K. unh? Then all I will have to do is pass (
the) stiff the “stiffest” physical exams in the Army and then pass a mental exam—Did I say that was all. Tsk, Tsk! So if this worries you don’t worry! as I probably won’t pass it anyway—I don’t expect to but tho’t I would get it off my mind once and for all.
If I could ever get to be a 2nd Lieutenant we both would be better off. I always imagined a girl would rather walk down the street with an officer then a Private anyway and on the other side of the page is the situation after this is over—it would probably mean a good job.—
Just a lot of “Smoke Dreams” Honey I would will never be lucky enough to make it—But I guess if it wasn’t for dreams nobody would get anyplace—unh?
I sure hope Honey—That I “make it.” Wouldn’t that be swell? If I should by a lucky (
chanc) chance “make it” I would get a furlough immediately, right now, ( pronto) pronto or sompin.
Well—Fields didn’t get his furlough—All furloughs are cancelled indefinitely—why we don’t know before—but I’ll tell you my conclusions.
f) 1st. Sgt. told us today that we would start on maneuvers Sept 4. So I think that between now and then we will be going out on small problems to prepare us for it and they probably think everybody should be here. I felt sorry for Fields as I know he wanted to go home and was planning on it. Thats tough on a guy when he thinks he is going home and doesn’t.
I think maybe it’s worse
when he sees his girl leaving tho—Maybe Honey, Somebody that is more powerful then we knows what He is doing—(
So) I hope so for I can’t figure it out. (Well) (Honey) Ha—
Well Honey—Pierce said for you to send him a kiss—but you forget it and send me two. I can use them. O.K?—K.O.
[illegible cross out] Honey
I Love You
x Walt x
x xxxx xxx
– –––– –––