Movies Way Back When: A Bad Influence?
By Betsy J. Green
The silent movies with their one-sentence subtitles (intertitles) were having a bad influence on written communication, according to an opinion piece in the local paper penned by Santa Barbara writer Sarah Redington in January 1917.
“The movies have ruined the gentle art of letter writing. How in the world will the rising generation (boys and girls who get all their ideas of life from the doings of film favorites) have any opportunity of learning how to keep up a friendly correspondence? . . . When it comes to the writing on the screen, the shorter the better, is the rule . . . Why write real letters when our film favorites get on perfectly well by writing telegraphese? . . . Let us not allow the movies to kill correspondence.”