Why are there letters

letter

In poor countries like India, many people still cannot write or read. In the picture you can see a man whose job it is to write letters for others. This profession was previously called "letter writer" in German.

A letter is a certain type of writing. Usually you want to tell someone else something. The writer of the letter writes the letter on paper and sends it to the recipient, the person addressed or the addressee. A letter does not necessarily have to be short, even if it takes its name from this: The Latin word “brevis” means “short”.

Even in ancient times people sent letters to each other. However, it was expensive, at least if the recipient lived far away. The post office as we know it today was not created until the 19th century.

You put the letter in an envelope and write on it who should get it. You stick stamps on it that you bought beforehand. This is how Swiss Post knows that you have paid to send it. In the past, the recipient had to pay for it. You put the letter in a mailbox or hand it over to the Post Office staff. The Post then ensure that the letter gets to the recipient, where a postman delivers it.

A letter also depends on how it is written and what is in it. There are rules for this so that the person addressed immediately knows what he has received. The writer should first write who he is and what address he has. Some people have their own stationery for this, on which it is already preprinted. In addition, when and where you write. The addressee is addressed with a salutation such as “Dear Ms. Müller” or “Dear Felix”. A greeting and your own signature are placed under the text of the letter.

Nowadays, a lot of people write emails instead of letters. But some people prefer to send letters on paper when it comes to something very important or special. This can be a love letter, a birthday greeting or a consolation after a bad event. Letters are very important to those in history research. Much is known about people from earlier times only because letters have been preserved.

  • “The letter to my loved one”, a painting from 1869

  • Letters used to be put into compartments by hand, here at the American Air Force

  • Letters that were carried on the “Hindenburg” airship


There are also more search results for “Letter” from Blind Cow and Ask Finn.

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