Terms Used in Letter Writing

Terms Used in Letter Writing :

Here we use certain descriptive words or terms which might differ from your normal, everyday use or understanding of them. So note the following matters carefully.

We refer to the originator of a letter as its writer, even though he or she might not physically write it by hand. He or she might dictate the letter to a shorthand-typist or to a stenographer or into a dictating / recording machine or simply give notes or pointers to another person – a secretary or personal assistant (PA) for instance - from which a full letter will be constructed and written, typed or word-processed. Increasingly, today, many writers of letters type or input - their texts directly to computer via a keyboard for display on a visual display unit (VDU).

The person or organization to which a letter is written - to which it is addressed - is called its addressee. The addressee is not necessarily the same person who will read the letter and / or reply or respond to it.

The person by whom or the organization on behalf of which a letter is written is called its addressor or its sender.

We refer to a letter as being typed whether it is produced on a typewriter or by a printer connected to or under the control of a word-processor or a computer. Alternatively, as stated above, the text of a letter might be input or typed on a keyboard for display on a visual display unit (VDU).

We use the words send and sent to refer to the despatch or transmission of a letter to its addressee. Some letters are delivered by hand. But the main methods of transmitting letters are by post or mail, fax and email. Sometimes a combination of two or more methods is used for the same letter. For example, a letter might be faxed or emailed and then followed-up by an original - and probably signed - version sent by post or mail.

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