Dear Bart of Springfield, son of Homer, friend of Flanders and Master to Santa’s Little Helper

Pattie Crider

WRT 305

Response 11

October 4, 2013


It’s About Who You Know


            What struck me the most in the assigned reading was the importance of “who” the writer or speaker will address. In the Principles of Letter Writing the “who” is the addressee of the letter, or in some instances of addressees, to “whom” the message is intended.  In the text Forma Praedicandi,a group is being addressed as a congregation. In this setting, the speaker must know their audience in order for the sermon to properly move them.

In this time period, letter writing was an important part of communication. It was an art form performed by the educated, for the educated; common people were not written letters. Because of this, the salutation, “an expression of greeting conveying a friendly sentiment” was important. The author was expected to properly greet the recipient with a title, give a mention of their location, drop names of associated friends, and even bestow blessing and praise. The examples of salutations and circumstances of their use were plentiful, but the main point was to secure the goodwill of the recipient first, so the remainder of the letter is read. The section on writing to an “enemy” or “against the recipient” was fascinating, perhaps a plan to piss them off into reading the remainder of the letter.

The importance of a preacher knowing their audience in order to write a sermon that will instruct and move a congregation is the focus of Forma Praedicandi. The sermons were written to address the congregation and instruct in Biblical text and proper morality. A preacher who knows the members of his (her) congregation will be prepared to write and present a sermon that will connect to the audience and produce the desire outcome. Both of the texts present the importance of addressing the person(s) in which the letter or speech is intended.

Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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