Perhaps the most important thing to guard against in the writing of telegrams is a choice of words which, when run together, may be read two ways. As there should be no punctuation (and telegraph companies do not hold themselves responsible for punctuation) the sentences must be perfectly clear. There are instances where the use of punctuation has caused trouble.
In cases where punctuation is absolutely necessary, as for instance when more than one subject must be covered in the same message, the word "stop" is employed to divide the sentences, as:
Will arrive eight-thirty Wednesday stop telephone Gaines am coming stop will be at Hotel Pennsylvania
Therefore write sentences so that when they are run together there is only one interpretation.
Use no salutation or complimentary closing. Leave out all words that are not necessary to the meaning. Omit first-person pronouns where they are sure to be understood. Do not divide words in a telegram. Compound words are accepted as one word. Numbers should be spelled out, principally because it is more likely to insure correct transmission, and secondly because it costs less. For example, in the ordinal 24th the suffix th is counted as another word.
The minimum charge for telegrams is the cost of ten words, not counting the name, address, and signature. Nothing is saved by cutting the message to less than ten words. There is a certain fixed rate of charge for every word over ten.
In counting the words, count as one word the following:
|Every word in the name of an individual or a concern as: Clive and Meyer Co. (four words) DeForest and Washburn Co. (four words also, as DeForest is counted as one word).|
|Every dictionary word. In the case of cablegrams, words of over fifteen letters are counted as two words.|
|Every separate letter as the "M" in "George M. Sykes" (three words).|
|Every figure in a number as 598 (three words).|
|Names of states, territories, counties, cities, and villages.|
|Weights and measures, decimal points, punctuation marks within the sentence.|
To save expense in long messages codes can be used in which one word stands for several words. The Western Union has an established code—or private codes can be arranged. Five letters are allowed as one code word. A word of six or seven letters will thus count as two words.
In cablegrams the use of codes is common on account of the higher rate for cablegrams. Since the name, address, date, and signature are all counted, code words are frequently used for the name and address. Code language is allowed only in the first class of cable messages.
A graceful, concise, pertinent, and well-worded "occasional" telegram is frequently not easy to write. The following forms are suggested for the composition of some of these telegrams. The longer forms can be sent most cheaply as Night Letters or Day Letters. A Night Letter of fifty words can be sent for the cost of a ten-word full-rate telegram, i.e., from 30 cents to $1.20, depending on the distance. A Day Letter of fifty words can be sent for one and one half the cost of a ten-word full-rate message, i.e., from 45 cents to $1.80, depending on the distance.
New Year greetings
Best wishes for the New Year. May it bring to you and your family health, happiness, peace, and prosperity. May it see your hopes fulfilled and may it be rich in the successful accomplishment of your highest aims.
Best wishes for a Happy New Year.
May peace and happiness be yours in the New Year. May fortune smile upon you and favor you with many blessings.
I (We) wish you a Happy New Year, a year big with success and achievement, a year rich with the affection of those who are dear to you, a year mellow with happiness and contentment.
What the coming year may hold we can none of us foresee. It is my (our) earnest wish that for you it may bring forth a generous harvest of happiness and good fortune.
May the coming year and all that succeed it deal lightly and kindly with you.
May the coming year bring you happiness in fullest measure.
We think of you with the affection born of our long friendship which the recurring year only strengthens.
May the New Year bring you health, happiness, and all other good things.
Health, happiness, and contentment, may these be yours in the New Year.
May health, happiness, and prosperity be yours in bountiful measure in the year to come.
May the New Year be a good year to you and yours—full of health and happiness.
May each of the three hundred and sixty-five days of the New Year be a happy one for you.
The happiest of New Years to you and yours.
May the New Year find you in the enjoyment of health and happiness.
Our thoughts turn to you with affection and best wishes at this Easter season with the hope that peace, prosperity, and plenty may attend your life to-day and through all your days to come.
Easter Greeting from a friend who thinks of you with constant affection.
This Easter Greeting carries to you the affection of an old friend.
May this Easter Day find you in the enjoyment of health and happiness.
Best wishes for a happy Easter.
Best wishes for a happy Easter Day. May your future ever be as bright as the Springtime.
Just a message to a friend, to convey to you my wish that this Easter may bring you happiness and good fortune.
May Easter gladness fill your heart to-day and may all good attend you.
I (We) Wish you joy and happiness at this Eastertide.
May happiness and health be yours on this Easter Day and in the days to come.
We all join in best wishes for a happy Easter Day to you and your family.
Easter Greetings to you and yours.
May your Easter be a bright and happy one.
We all wish you and yours a happy Easter.
Love and best wishes for a happy Easter.
My (Our) Easter Greetings go to you. May the day be a joyful one for you.
Thanksgiving Day greetings
Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving Day.
Good cheer and plenty, the love of your dear ones, the affection of your friends, may all these contribute to a happy Thanksgiving Day.
May your Thanksgiving Day be a day of happiness and contentment.
May your Thanksgiving Day be full of happiness and all good cheer.
That I am (we are) not at home to-day to join in the festivities is a great sorrow to me (us). Love to all the dear family.
I never forget the joy of this day at home. Love from one far away.
Although I (we) cannot be with you to-day I (we) have the memory of past Thanksgiving Days at home. God bless you all.
Think of me (us) as being with you in spirit. My (Our) love to you all.
Let us never fail to be thankful that the years only increase the strength of our long friendship.
It is with great thanksgiving that I (we) think of my (our) dear ones at home.
My (Our) one wish this Thanksgiving Day is that I (we) might be with you. Affectionate wishes for your happiness.
Though I (we) cannot be with you at the Thanksgiving Day board, my (our) thoughts are with you to-day.
Around the family table think of me (us) as I (we) absent, shall think of you. My (Our) love to all.
I (We) can picture you all at home. How I (we) long to be with you. My (Our) love to all the family.
Every good wish for a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. I need not tell you with what affection we are thinking of you and yours at this Christmas season. God bless you all.
Every good wish for a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
My (Our) very best wishes for a Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
May your Christmas be a very happy one.
Merry Christmas to you and all the family.
We all join in wishing you a Merry Christmas.
All affection and good wishes for a Merry Christmas to you and yours.
That your Christmas be a very happy one is the wish of your sincere friend.
May Christmas bring you joy and happiness.
You are constantly in my (our) thoughts which carry to you to-day all affectionate wishes for a Happy Christmas.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Love and a Merry Christmas to you all.
May your Christmas be a merry one and the New Year full of happiness.
Affectionate greetings for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May this Christmas find you well and happy. Love and best wishes to you and yours.
May Christmas bring you naught but joy and banish all care and sorrow.
—— joins me in very best wishes for a Merry Christmas.
A Merry Christmas to all the dear ones at home.
It is my (our) dearest wish that I (we) might be with you at this season of happiness and good-will—Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Many happy returns of the day. My (Our) affectionate thoughts and every good wish go to you on this your birthday.
May each succeeding year bring to you the best satisfaction which life holds.
Many happy returns of the day.
Best wishes for a happy birthday.
Best wishes for your birthday. May all your ways be pleasant ways and all your days be happy days.
Birthday greetings. I (We) wish you a long life and everything that makes a long life worth living.
Best wishes for your birthday. May you live long and prosper.
My (Our) thoughts are with you on your birthday. May all your days be happy days.
I (We) wish you many happy years blessed with health, success, and friendship and filled with all the best that life can hold.
We all join in best wishes for a very happy birthday and many years of health and prosperity.
We all join in best wishes for a very happy birthday.
May your birthday mark the dawn of a year of health, happiness, and good fortune.
Sincerest congratulations to the bride and groom from an old friend who wishes you both years of health, happiness, and prosperity. May the future hold only the best for you that this world can give.
Heartiest congratulations. I (We) wish you many years of happiness.
Mrs. —— and I join in heartiest congratulations.
Hearty congratulations. May your years be many and happy ones.
My (Our) sincerest and best wishes for your happiness.
We all join in hearty congratulations and best wishes.
May happiness, health, and prosperity be with you through the years to come.
May all good fortune attend you, may your sky ever be bright, may no clouds of sorrow or trouble shadow it, and may your path be long and filled with joy.
Every happiness be yours dear —— on this your Wedding Day.
Let an old family friend send his (her) love and congratulations to the bride and groom.
May all good fairies watch over you. May they keep far from you all care and sorrow and brighten your path with sunshine and happiness.
To the bride and groom, love and congratulations from an old friend.
May this day be the beginning of a long, happy, and prosperous life for you both.
On the birth of a child
Love to the dear mother and her little son (daughter).
Heartiest congratulations and love to mother and son (daughter).
We rejoice with you in the happiness that has come into your lives. Love to mother and son (daughter).
My best wishes to the newly arrived son (daughter) and to his (her) mother.
We are all (I am) delighted to hear the news. Hearty congratulations.
A warm welcome to the new arrival and best wishes for his (her) health and happiness.
To the dear mother and her little son (daughter) love and every good wish.
Hearty congratulations on the arrival of the new son (daughter).
Messages of condolence
You have my heartfelt sympathy in this hour of your bereavement. I wish I might find words in which to express my sorrow at your loss which is also mine. May you have the strength to bear this great affliction.
You have my (our) heartfelt sympathy.
My (Our) heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow.
I (We) want you to know with what tender sympathy I am (We are) thinking of you in these days of your bereavement.
My (Our) sincere and heartfelt sympathy.
I (We) have just heard of your great affliction. Let me (us) send to you my (our) heartfelt sympathy.
My (Our) sincere sympathy.
In the death of your dear father (mother—wife—sister—brother) I (we) have lost one whom it was my (our) privilege to call my (our) friend. My (our) heartfelt sympathy goes out to you in your sorrow.
—— joins me in the expression of our deepest sympathy.
My (Our) love and sympathy go out to you in your great sorrow.
I (We) share your sorrow for I (we) have lost a dear friend. All love and sympathy to you and yours.
I (We) send you my (our) heartfelt sympathy. To have enjoyed the friendship of your father (husband—brother) I (we) hold one of the greatest privileges of my life (our lives).
My (Our) sincere sympathy goes out to you in your heavy affliction.
My (Our) love and sympathy in your sudden affliction.
I am (We are) greatly shocked at the sad news. You have my (our) deepest sympathy.
My (Our) deepest sympathy in your great loss. If there is anything I (we) can do, do not hesitate to let me (us) know.
Congratulation to a school or college graduate
May your future be as successful as have been your school (college) days. Heartiest congratulations upon your graduation.
I am (We are) proud of your success. May the future grant you opportunity and the fulfillment of your hopes.
I (We) hear that you have taken class honors. Sincerest congratulations and best wishes.
May your Class Day be favored with sunny skies and your life be full of happiness and success.
Sincerest congratulations upon your graduation.
Congratulations upon your school (college) success, so happily terminated to-day.
I (We) regret that I (we) cannot be with you to-day to see you take your new honors. Sincerest congratulations.
Congratulation to a public man
Heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
We have just heard of your success. Sincere congratulations and best wishes for the future.
Heartiest congratulations on your nomination (election).
Your nomination (election) testifies to the esteem in which you are held by your fellow citizens. Heartiest congratulations.
Congratulations on your victory, a hard fight, well won by the best man.
Your splendid majority must be a great satisfaction to you. Sincerest congratulations on your election.
Congratulations upon your nomination. You will have the support of the best element in the community and your election should be a foregone conclusion. I wish you every success.
You fought a good fight in a good cause. Heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Nothing in your career should fill you with greater satisfaction than your successful election. I congratulate you with all my heart.
No man deserves success more than you. You have worked hard for your constituents and they appreciate it. Heartiest congratulations.
Your nomination (election) is received with the greatest enthusiasm by your friends here and by none more than myself. Heartiest congratulations.
I congratulate you upon your new honors won by distinguished services to your fellow citizens.
Your campaign was vigorous and fine. Your victory testifies to the people's confidence in you and your cause. Warmest congratulations.
Congratulations upon your well-won victory and best wishes for your future success.
You deserve your splendid success. Sincerest congratulations.
I cannot refrain from expressing my personal appreciation of your eloquent address. Warmest congratulations.
Your address last night was splendid. What a gift you have. Sincerest congratulations.
Heartiest congratulations on your splendid speech of last night. Everybody is praising it.
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