The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.
(Image credit: Flickr user Kristina Alexanderson)
An application of current communications technique
by Joshua Lederman
Special Instructor of Writing Department of English, Emmanuel College, Boston, Massachusetts
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Professor Lederman has tried, for many years, to teach college students how to write. He got to thinking about what it would be like if his students wrote love letters in the same style as they write their essays.]
ASSIGNMENT: Write a love letter to someone you love. Make sure you include and support three specific reasons why you love him or her.
MINIMUM LENGTH: 3 typed, double-spaced pages.
Love. What can be said about love that hasn’t been said hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands
and thousands, of times? Love may be one of the most important factors in our society today. It is a well known fact that many inspiring writer and authors have written extensively about love, whether it be a poem on the one they love, or even a novel about love and its trials and tribulations. As an inspiring writer myself, I would now like to write about love, e.g., the love I have for you. I love you. You are funny, smart, and cute.
One reason I love you so much is because you are so funny. I love funny people more than perhaps any other personality type or “archetype.” Since you are so funny, and since I love to laugh so much, I really love you because you’re so funny. And that is one of the main reasons why I love you. Because you are so funny. Ever since the dawn of time, man has sought laughter in all that he ascribed to be and to do. He sought it in his paintings on the wall of his caves; and he sought it in the palaces where kings laughed mightily at the court jesters of yore. Even to this day, laughter remains a quality that many seek in their daily lives. Webster’s Dictionary defines “humor” as, “The quality that makes ￼something laughable or amusing; funniness,” and that is you, to me. You are always doing laughable and/or amusing and funny things. Therefore, you are so funny.
In addition to being funny, you are also very smart. Smart people are perhaps the second most lovable type of person in our modern world, and I would like to now show you how smart you are, so that you can see that you truly do belong to this elusive type of personality, being both funny and so very, very smart. I often sit and wish sometimes that I were as smart as you. The way you just know things is something that just amazes me. I think about all those things you always know when I think about you and how smart you are, and how I love smart people only second to funny people. Will you ever cease amazing me? If they are right in Science that the human brain and its capabilities are the only thing that keep us safe from the dangerous jungle that we would live in if we weren’t smart enough to build houses and live in those, then you are definitely a great person, great because of your intelligence. And if we don’t love great people, who are we to love? I know that I love greatness, and therefore, as has been shown, I love you. I love all those things about you, like your taste in music and the way you dress. Those little things that other people take for granted, but those are the things to me that aren’t little, they are love. My love for you. This is not little, even though some may argue that it is. No, it is very large.
Finally, you are also very cute, and that is something lovable in every society known to man.* (*Since I wrote this, I actually learned about a tribe in Africa where this is not the case, but please read this letter as if these people didn’t exist.) I could go on and on all day about how cute you are, but that would be telling, not showing, and every good writer knows that it is far, far better to show than to tell.
In conclusion, you are funny, smart, and cute, and I think the past three pages have invariably proven this to you. I love you because of those things.
(Additional images coutesy of The NeatoShop)
This article is republished with permission from the September-October 2005 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can purchase back issues of the magazine or subscribe to receive future issues, in printed or in ebook form. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift! Visit their website for more research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK.