Letter - Term Overview

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A letter is a paper that carries a written message and that, in general, is usually placed inside an envelope to protect its content. Letters are sent by one individual to another with the intention of conveying a message. For example: "My mother told me that she sent me a letter from USA but I still haven't received anything", "I'm going to send a letter to my uncle who lives in the United States to tell him the good news", "I just read the hard letter that the father sent the murderer of his son ".

The person who sends the letter is known as the sender, while the person who receives it's called the recipient or receiver. Typically, the recipient's details and postal address are included on the front of the envelope, while the sender's information appears on the back. This makes it easier for the postal service to identify and deliver letters.

There are several parts that any document of this type must have to be considered as such. Thus, for example, it has to have a header, with a series of basic data (date, place, name and address); a greeting, the corresponding statement of the matter on which the letter deals, the farewell and finally the signature of the person who writes and sends said letter.

Among the various types of existing letters (personal, formal, commercial...) one must especially highlight one that is called the pastoral letter. In this case, it's characterized by being the speech or interpellation that the religious authority makes to communicate it to its faithful. This document incorporates, among other things, a series of principles and actions that the prelate considers that they must comply with.

With the development of new technologies and digital communications, the notion of letter expanded to include e-mails and other types of communications. The essence, however, is the same: send a message to another recipient, although in this case it's possible to include multimedia content (videos, audios, etc.).

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