The Letter


Is a letter between just two people?

> A letter may not always be between two people. If a letter is addressed to an entire family then that’s between the person writing the letter and the family reading it. However, a letter is generally between two parties, the party writing the letter and the party receiving the letter.


Always made of paper?

> A letter may not always be made only of paper. It could be made of animal skin, such as the times before paper was created. Generally, letters are predominantly made of paper.


Delivered in an envelope?

> Again, generally. Envelopes are the standard now a days. If the letter is hand delivered then it may not be delivered in an envelope because there is not any need to protect the letter from the elements or for an address to be printed on it.


Could a letter be communicated any other way?

> A spoken letter. If electronic communication is included, where an email is looked at as another type of letter, then a letter can be communicated electronically, but personally, I don’t view electronic communication as the same as a hard copy letter.


Should a letter only be written in the letter writer’s hand?

> That depends on how legible the letter writer’s hand is. If their hand writing is illegible then the letter may be typed, but I feel that typing something like a letter makes it less personal.


Can a letter be dictated to somebody else?

> Yes. A blind person has to be able to write letters to their seeing friends.


Are letters composed in the mind or by speaking them out loud?

> Both. Personally, I compose my letters in my mind before writing them down, but if a sentence isn’t making any sense in my mind then I’ll say it out loud so that I know whether the sentence actually does make sense.


Can letters be handwritten, typed or printed or even an audio cassette?

> Yes. Letters can come in all different forms. I feel that a hand-written letter is more personal and holds more meaning behind it. Whereas I associate typed and printed letters to be from formal companies or people who have some other agenda. Or they understand that their handwriting is illegible. I also think that letters can be recorded on audio cassette, though I believe a spoken letter to be different than one that is purely written, as spoken language tends to be more informal just because of the patterns of Australian speech.


Should a personal letter be drafted, rewritten, corrected and delivered clean of crossings out?

> I don’t think so. When I write letters to my friend Annie, I never draft or re-write them. This is because I think it’s nice to see all the mistakes and thought that goes into a personal letter. If it’s drafted, then yes there is a lot of effort that has gone into it, but the other person may not necessarily see that. Plus, if the letter is personal, then isn’t it nice to know that the writer has flaws too?


What is more authentic, a letter posted or hand delivered?

> Both are equally authentic. It is the feeling and meaning behind the written words themselves that hold authenticity.


Is an unposted letter still a letter?

> Yes. Just because it hasn’t been posted or delivered doesn’t make the intention behind writing the letter any different. If the writer wrote it intending for it to be read as a letter, then it is a letter.


When received, should a letter be read silently or out loud?

> Both. I like to read my letters silently, but that is a personal preference. A child receiving a letter may read it out loud because they haven’t learnt how to read in their head yet, or someone may just like to read it out loud. It’s all about personal preference.


Is the content of a letter kept private or shared?

> This depends on the context of the letter. If the letter is of a very personal nature or the letter-writer has expressed that they do not wish for the contents to be shared, then of course the letter should be kept private.


Once read is the letter filed, or placed in a shoe box, thrown away, burned or dropped to the pavement now that it’s message has been received?

> This depends on the person. All the letters that I receive from Annie I stick to my wall with blue tack, as a sort of collage. Letters that I receive from formal institutions like my school, bank, or super are generally filed.


About evy

I'm studying a bachelors of writing and publishing and this is a blog about various things I read and write.
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