A letter is a message written by a person to convey a message to another. Letters represent mutual friendship and a type of humanly communication, especially on a regular letter exchange between two people.
Letters had been existent through humanity since ancient history. Letters existed during the time of ancient Egypt, Sumer, and ancient India, through Greece, Rome, and China up to now. Furthermore, letters make up some of the books found on the bible. Archives of letters whether for diplomatic, business reasons or for personal purposes are apparent, making all servings as the primary source for historians.
The 19th century is the height of writing letters in paper because of increased businesses and social interaction among people.
Due to the advent of technology however, wherein telephones, mobile phones and computers were produced, letters have become a less important routine for communication. The development of fax, telegraph, Internet, telephones, and other high tech communication gadgets posed a huge impact on the sending and writing of letters.
The art of exchanging letters became less common in modern industrialized countries and were replaced by e-mail. In addition, the invention of the cassette tape had encouraged people to send tape letters during the time when CDs were not yet available.
The term letter is often used in e-mail messages that follow the basic format of a rudimentary letter. Instead of papers, these messages are read on the monitor or screen of the computer.
Types of Letters
One type is the Letter of Inquiry. It is a general term used for different kinds of business letters. For instance, applicants send this kind of letter along with their curriculum vitae to employers of the companies where they would like to work. On the other hand, companies send this type of letter in their business partners whenever they need the necessary information about the products or raw materials that they have to order. This letter is usually written short and direct to the point. It only contains a short introduction with a phone number, address, and e-mail address of the sender. It also contains a simple and short introduction.
A Poison Pen Letter is a note that generally contains anything unpleasant, malicious, abusive accusations or statements about a third party or the recipient. This is typically sent anonymously. These are written with the intention to offend the recipient. It can be traced back to the days of Beethoven. He would constantly write poison pen letters to express is anger and as a release of his temper.
During the advent and popularity of e-mails, poison pen letters have now been considered as rare and probably an obsolete form of writing. This is also synonymous with hate mails or hate letters.
A Business Letter is formally written and used among two parties having business relations. This can also be writing as a form of correspondence between organizations and their clients, customers as well as external parties. The style of a business letter depends on the relationship of the concerned parties. It enforces a stricter and respectful tone and language.
A Personal Letter is the most common type, and also the most prevalent. These are written communication exchanges between friends, family members or any two people with close ties. It uses a more informal tone. It can be written just to say hello, to woo an important person, or express other personal matters.