What is Letter? Letter Definition, Types of Letter, Definition of Letter – A letter is a written message sent by one person to another. In other words, a letter is a piece of conversation by post. So, when we transfer any written message through mail, it can be termed as letter.
What is Letter?
According to Oxford Dictionary, “A letter is a message that is written down or printed on paper and usually put in an envelope and sent to somebody.”
From the above discussion, it can be said that a letter is a written message, printed or hand written, that is sent to someone by other through post or mail or in some other way.
Types of Letter
Letter is an important symbol of human civilization. It has been used as a media of exchanging information from the primitive age. Letter can be categorized into different types based on formalities maintained, information contained, purpose of use etc. A comprehensive classification of letter is shown below- A detailed description of the above mentioned letters is given below successively-
- Formal Letter: The letter which is written according to the formal rules and regulations of an organization is called formal letter. This type of letter always maintains the formalities of the office strictly. Institutional and business letter fall in this category.
- Informal or Personal Letter: The letter which does not follow any formal rule and contains personal information is known as informal or personal letter. This type of letter is written to relatives and friends for exchanging news or feelings or to seek favors. The basis of writing personal letter is personal relationship.
- Business Letter: The letter which contains commercial information and is written among business people is called business letter or commercial letter. Business letters are formal, structured and non-personal. Commercial letter contains information relating to trade inquiry, circular, order, complaint, claims, adjustment, collection relating to trade inquiry, circular, order, complaint, claims, adjustment, collection etc.
- Official Letter: When letter is written containing the official information like rules, regulations, facts and figures, activities, system, procedure etc. it is called official letter. In other word, when a letter is written following the official decorum, it is known as official letter. Officials use this type of letter to send official message to other branches and offices. Official letter strictly follows the prescribed rules, regulations, structure and style of the office.
- Social Letter: Letter that is written on any social occasion or purpose is called social letter. Invitation letters for different programs, thanks letter, condolence letter, congratulation letter etc. fall in the category of social letter. It is actually one kind of personal letter.
- Report Letter: Letter that is prepared in the form of report or investigation and is sent to the person, who has assigned it, is called report letter. In real sense, it is a short report in the form of letter. The letter sent to the sales manager by the sales man on every day’s sales volume in an example of report letter.
- Notice Letter: Notice letter is a letter that is sent to a person notifying or informing him about any special topic.
- Circular Letter: A letter that circulates or announces the same information or message to a large number of people at a time is called a circular letter or a circular. Announce of new product, change of business address, retirement or admission of partner etc. requires circulating the certain message. For this purpose circular letter is written.
- Order Letter: When the quotation of the seller satisfies the queries of the prospective buyer, he places order through an order letter. So, after granting the quotation, the letter which the buyer writes to the supplier or seller, requesting him to deliver the prescribed amount of goods is called an order letter.
- Complaint Letter: However efficient an organization may be in running a business, everything does not go all the time according to plan. There will be some mistakes and some accidents. Letters written to bring these mistakes to the notice of those who must own the responsibility for them are called claim or complaint letters.
- Employment Letter: Letters which are written in case of employment are considered as employment letter. Job application letter, appointment letter, joining letter, promotion letter etc are examples of employment letters.
Beyond the above mentioned categories there are some other letters also such as bank letter, public letter, level letter, increment letter, permission letter etc.