What is a letter?
A letter is a message that one person writes to another. Letters can be of several types, with formal and informal being the main kind. The other types of letters usually fall under one of these two categories. For example, cover letter or business letter are types of formal letters, while love letter is an informal letter.
Ways in which a letter can be sent
A letter can either be sent by post or through email. The letter sent via email is also called an e-letter. The format of an e-letter is the same as a paper letter, with the only difference being that a paper letter needs to be sent or given physically, while an e-letter is sent via the electronic mode.
A physical letter is required to be put in an envelope before sending it to the person for whom the letter has been written. The envelope needs to carry the receiver as well as the sender’s name and address. A postage stamp needs to be affixed on the right top corner of the envelope before being put into a post box. It takes 3 to 7 days for a letter to reach its destination depending on the distance the letter has to travel.
For sending an e-letter, you need to create an account with an email service provider like Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail. You also need to know the email address of the receiver in order to send the letter. For sending the e-letter, you will need to put the receiver’s email address in the ‘To’ row, and write the letter in the blank space given below. After completing the letter, you just need click on the ‘Send’ button. The letter reaches the receiver’s email account immediately.
Advantages of physical letters
Despite the advancement of technology and the advent of email, physical letters continue to be a popular mode of communication. Following are the advantages of letters:
- You do not need any device to send or receive a letter, your postal address is enough for the purpose.
- Letters are a permanent form of physical communication with a person or organisation.
- It is very difficult to copy a letter as it is either hand written or carries a signature, while e-letters just carry a copy of the signature, which can be easily falsified.
- Letters give a personal touch to any communication, while emails do not give that feel.
- Email accounts can be hacked or can carry malware or virus that can harm your device, while no such thing can happen with letters.
- Envelopes of letters can carry small objects unlike emails.
Before the technological advancement, the art of writing a letter held tremendous importance. A lot of thought goes into writing a letter, like the purpose of the letter; length of the letter; and kind of language to be used; among others. Identifying the type of letter is the first step. Depending on whether the letter will be formal or informal, the language gets decided. A formal letter always needs to be courteous and polite, even if the letter is making a complaint. The language of an informal letter can be more open and friendly. If it is a formal letter, you need to decide on its purpose and get to it as soon as possible. Formal letters are written for a reason and should get to the point in the first sentence itself, while informal letters can talk about health and whether before mentioning the purpose.