In the last three decades, there has been a technological evolution in the means of communication. Today many people prefer using electronic means to letters. Letter writing is a traditional means of communication that transmit hand-written, typed, or printed messages from one individual to another, from one company to another, from an organization to an individual, or from an individual to an organization.
A study on child interaction behavior found that one in ten children has never written a letter. The gap continues to widen as letters lose popularity to electronic communication. However, some people have held on to the art of letter writer with love to the extent that it is becoming fashionable and trendy. To many, letter writing is a thing of the sentimental and the nostalgic kinds of people.
Other than the sentimental aspect, a few other elements in letter writing that make it a vogue idea amidst the trendy social media and email. Writing different types of letters requires a personal stance, a style that lacks in any other forms of writing. The essence of what letters are and the reason for writing them: for family, close friends and other loved ones, and for formal functions, gives letters a kind of magic that is hard to express when texting or emailing the same message. Indeed, writing a letter creates a different feeling than writing an email. In the letter, the feeling is more intense than in the latter.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, a German poet and novelist, once said, "Letters are one of the most significant memorials you can leave behind." This is because of the sentimental value that comes with a letter. Through written correspondence, people know about you and you may learn about other people such as your ancestors. So, why not create your legacy through letter writing? When you put your pen on paper, the letter that you create becomes your legacy. Most of the time leaving a legacy gives you a purpose, the reason to create an impression. In a way, letter writing makes you an artist. Because of their importance to us, we do not delete the letters or throw them away in the trash. Instead, we keep them in safe boxes where we can always find them for rereading. Writers use letters in short stories and novels as a powerful device of emotional connectors. Through this style, they can move the audience from one emotional level to another.
Different types of letters use different writing styles. Business or official letters use a professional style of writing because they serve as a selling point of your skills and competencies to potential employers. You prepare a business letter when you are writing to an organization, or when an organization is communicating with you, their clients, or with other organizations. It has the sender's and the recipient's address a salutation, body, conclusion and a signature at the end of the letter. The business letters have a formal writing style that has a prescribed format such as block or indented. The most common example is a job application letter. On the other hand, Friendly letters use an informal style to deliver a message.
There are different reasons that you may write a friendly letter. It may be congratulatory, condolence, thank you, regret, invitation or a love letter. Whatever the situation, the letter should include five parts: heading, greetings, body, closing, and signature. A friendly has just the sender's address placed at the top-right hand corner. It is always good to include a salutation, inquiries about their well-being, talking about yourself, your motive for writing and then an appropriate closing. Written to friends and relatives, letters are a sure way of putting a smile on someone's face.
The next time you want to show someone that you care, you can write them a letter. You will leave a more lasting impression in your loved ones because a letter touches more than the mind; it touches the heart! Show them that you have time to design a personal message in a letter, a relic they can use to remember you and feel your presence whenever you are away. Indeed, letter writing is an old style that is still fashionable.
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Communicating the traditional style vs. the modern style
The difference between letters and emails is great. First, letters were initially handwritten but today, letters can be sent electronically as emails. The use of letters gives you a chance to see the sender's handwriting. On the other hand, emails give you an opportunity to see the sender's choice of graphics or fonts. However, it may as well lack the personal touch and a sense of connection between the sender and the receiver. Additionally, you cannot use emails to send physical items as in letters. Letters give the message a personal touch in which you can express your feelings at a more personal level and even attach physical items along with the message in the letter.
A notable advantage of email over the letters is that you can quickly prepare, send and receive the message instantly. On the other hand, letters take a time to prepare, send and receive feedback. Besides, emails are cheaper as compared to letters because they do not need extra charges such as stamp fees that apply to letters. Emails are free to use once you are online. It is easy to store and organize emails rather than papers. Emails are globally used meaning that no matter where you are you can always access them. However, for letters, you have to be at the area where the letter is addressed to. Emails, on the other hand, are environmentally friendly. Emails are more vulnerable to damages as compared to letters due to factors such as the crush of the computer's hard-drive.
When you send a letter to a post office, the confidentiality of the letter is preserved until it is delivered to the intended recipient. Additionally, you can express your personal feeling in the letter. It also makes a stronger impression when you go the extra mile to put your thoughts and feelings down in a handwritten letter. It appears to be a greater sacrifice than merely composing an email. On the other hand, an email is not so confidential since it can be hacked. The safety of the message in an email may not be guaranteed because emails are saved on a computer or a computer network that is potentially unsafe. It is also almost impossible to access the information once you delete it from the inbox.
Letters and emails are similar in that:
- They both require a sender and a receiver. However, you can send an email to more than one receiver.
- Letters and emails are both non-verbal forms of communication.
- They both require a system routing to travel through.
- They are both cheaper means of telecommunication compared to moving or calling.
- Both letters and email can send conversations, salutations, and notifications about events, greetings, and information about your business or family.
- You can also attach pictures and cards in both letters and emails. However, in letters, you can put money but in emails, you cannot. In emails, you can also add a gift card and voucher codes as well.
- Also, both letters and emails always contain junk mail from time to time. They also have a mailbox of a sort.
- They both have brought about developments in task completion and development of civilization.
- Also, the emails and letters have brought about the development and protection of relationships between groups, institutions, and individuals.
- In case the end address of the receiver is wrong, both the email and the letter are usually sent back to the sender of the information.
From all indications, it would be right for you to say that emails are better than letters because of the outstanding advantages. The circumstances of the information you want to send dictates whether you should send a letter or an email to the recipient. For example, it is still popular to send business documents in the form of a letter, especially when they need to be signed. In case the paper requires a particular style and formatting you are not familiar with, it is better to have it edited or rewritten by a professional. It's good to bear in mind that you cannot send an email to a recipient who does not have an internet connection. In this case, it would be wise for you to send a letter regardless of how urgent your message is. However, if the recipient can access both emails and letters, it would be wise for you to use emails if the message is urgent.