Open letter

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J'Accuse...! is an influential open letter written by Emile Zola in 1898 over the Dreyfus Affair. J'accuse.jpg
J'Accuse…! is an influential open letter written by Émile Zola in 1898 over the Dreyfus Affair.
Bill Gates's Open Letter to Hobbyists from the Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter, January 1976 Bill Gates Letter to Hobbyists.jpg
Bill Gates's Open Letter to Hobbyists from the Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter, January 1976

An open letter is a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally. [1]

Letter (message) written message containing information from one party to another

A letter is one person's written message to another pertaining to some matter of common concern. Letters have several different types: Formal letters and informal letters. Besides performing as a medium of human communication, letters have contributed towards the protection and conservation of literacy in society. Letters have been sent since antiquity and are mentioned in the Iliad. Historians Herodotus and Thucydides mention and utilize letters in their writings.

Contents

Open letters usually take the form of a letter addressed to an individual but provided to the public through newspapers and other media, such as a letter to the editor or blog. [2] Especially common are critical open letters addressed to political leaders.

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

Letter to the editor letter sent to a publication

A letter to the editor is a letter sent to a publication about issues of concern from its readers. Usually, letters are intended for publication. In many publications, letters to the editor may be sent either through conventional mail or electronic mail.

A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, "multi-author blogs" (MABs) emerged, featuring the writing of multiple authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Currently there are very few sites solely specialising in publishing open letters. However, there are community sites where visitors can publish their own letters and promote them to a wider audience. [3] Sociological or historical research on open letters are also not found, although sociologists, anthropologists and historians have written open letters. [4] [5] Letters patent are another form of open letter in which a legal document is both mailed to a person by the government and publicized so that all are made aware of it. Open letters can also be addressed directly to a group rather than any individual.

Letters patent type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order

Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, president, or other head of state, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation. Letters patent can be used for the creation of corporations or government offices, or for the granting of city status or a coat of arms. Letters patent are issued for the appointment of representatives of the Crown, such as governors and governors-general of Commonwealth realms, as well as appointing a Royal Commission. In the United Kingdom they are also issued for the creation of peers of the realm. A particular form of letters patent has evolved into the modern patent granting exclusive rights in an invention. In this case it is essential that the written grant should be in the form of a public document so other inventors can consult it to avoid infringement and also to understand how to "practice" the invention, i.e., put it into practical use. In the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, imperial patent was also the highest form of generally binding legal regulations, e. g. Patent of Toleration, Serfdom Patent etc.

Motivations for writing

There are a number of reasons why an individual would choose the form of an open letter, including the following reasons:

A formality is an established procedure or set of specific behaviors and utterances, conceptually similar to a ritual although typically secular and less involved. A formality may be as simple as a handshake upon making new acquaintances in Western culture to the carefully defined procedure of bows, handshakes, formal greetings, and business card exchanges that may mark two businessmen being introduced in Japan. In legal and diplomatic circles, formalities include such matters as greeting an arriving head of state with the appropriate national anthem.

Examples

Bible Collection of religious texts in Judaism and Christianity

The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.

Pauline epistles New Testament books

The Pauline epistles, also called Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament, composed of letters which are largely attributed to Paul the Apostle, although authorship of some is in dispute. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents. They provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity. As part of the canon of the New Testament, they are foundational texts for both Christian theology and ethics. The Epistle to the Hebrews, although it does not bear his name, was traditionally considered Pauline for a thousand years, but from the 16th century onwards opinion steadily moved against Pauline authorship and few scholars now ascribe it to Paul, mostly because it does not read like any of his other epistles in style and content. Most scholars agree that Paul really wrote seven of the Pauline epistles, but that four of the epistles in Paul's name are pseudepigraphic ; scholars are divided on the authenticity of two of the epistles.

An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Roman Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop. The word comes from Late Latin encyclios.

See also

An epistolary poem, also called a verse letter or letter poem, is a poem in the form of an epistle or letter.

A polemic is contentious rhetoric that is intended to support a specific position by aggressive claims and undermining of the opposing position. Polemics are mostly seen in arguments about controversial topics. The practice of such argumentation is called polemics. A person who often writes polemics, or who speaks polemically, is called a polemicist. The word is derived from Ancient Greek πολεμικός (polemikos), meaning 'warlike, hostile', from πόλεμος (polemos), meaning 'war'.

A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.

Related Research Articles

Epistolary novel novel written as a series of documents

An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic "documents" such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. The word epistolary is derived from Latin from the Greek word ἐπιστολή epistolē, meaning a letter.

Epistle The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians are usually referred to as epistles

An epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Egypt as part of the scribal-school writing curriculum. The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians are usually referred to as epistles. Those traditionally attributed to Paul are known as Pauline epistles and the others as catholic epistles.

Audre Lorde writer and activist

Audre Lorde was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, and the exploration of black female identity.

The Laodicean Church was a Christian community established in the ancient city of Laodicea. The church was established in the Apostolic Age, the earliest period of Christianity, and is probably best known for being one of the Seven churches of Asia addressed by name in the Book of Revelation.

<i>Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium</i> collection of letters by Seneca

The Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, also known as the Moral Epistles and Letters from a Stoic, is a collection of 124 letters that Seneca the Younger wrote at the end of his life, during his retirement, after he had worked for the Emperor Nero for more than ten years. They are addressed to Lucilius, the then procurator of Sicily, who is known only through Seneca's writings. Regardless of how Seneca and Lucilius actually corresponded, it is clear that Seneca crafted the letters with a broad readership in mind.

In the United States, net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate, has been an issue of contention between network users and access providers since the 1990s. To elucidate the term "net neutrality", one can apply a metaphor that was given and illustrated by Michael Goodwin: In his illustration, he illustrates ISPs as the driveway that connects a home to the vast network of destinations on the internet, and net neutrality is the principle that prevents ISPs from slowing some traffic or charging a premium fee for other traffic.

Audre Lorde Project

The Audre Lorde Project is a Brooklyn, New York-based organization for LGBT people of color. The organization concentrates on community organizing and radical nonviolent activism around progressive issues within New York City, especially relating to LGBT communities, AIDS and HIV activism, pro-immigrant activism, prison reform and organizing among youth of color. It is named for the lesbian-feminist poet and activist Audre Lorde and was founded in 1994.

Tom Wrigglesworth is an English comedian. He was born and raised in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. In 2009 he was nominated for the main Edinburgh Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

<i>The Cancer Journals</i> novel by Audre Lorde

The Cancer Journals is a 1980 book of non-fiction by Audre Lorde. It deals with her struggle with breast cancer.

Make Money Fast

Make Money Fast is a title of an electronically forwarded chain letter which became so infamous that the term is now used to describe all sorts of chain letters forwarded over the Internet, by e-mail spam or Usenet newsgroups. In anti-spammer slang, the name is often abbreviated "MMF".

The Letter to the Romans by Ignatius, an early-second-century Bishop of Antioch, was written during his transport from Antioch, Syria, to his execution in Rome. One of seven extant epistles written by Ignatius, Romans is Ignatius’ most detailed explanation of his views on martyrdom.

Michelle Parkerson filmmaker, academic

Michelle Parkerson is an American filmmaker and academic. She is an assistant professor in Film and Media Arts at Temple University and has been an independent film/video maker since the 1980s, focusing particularly on feminist, LGBT and political activism and issues.

<i>Sister Outsider</i> book by Audre Lorde

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is a collection of essential essays and speeches written by Audre Lorde, a woman who wrote from the particulars of her identity: Black woman, lesbian, poet, activist, cancer survivor, mother, and feminist writer. This collection, now considered a classic volume, of Lorde's most influential works of non-fiction prose has had a groundbreaking impact in the development of contemporary feminist theories. In fifteen essays and speeches dating from 1976 to 1984, Lorde explores the complexities of intersectional identity, while explicitly drawing from her personal experiences of oppression to include: sexism, heterosexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and ageism. The book examines a broad range of topics, including love, self-love, war, imperialism, police brutality, coalition building, violence against women, Black feminism, and movements towards equality that recognize and embrace differences as a vehicle for change. With meditative conscious reasoning, Lorde explores her misgivings for the widespread marginalization deeply-rooted in the United States’ white patriarchal system, all the while, offering messages of hope. The essays in this landmark collection are extensively taught and have become a widespread area of academic analysis. Lorde's philosophical reasoning that recognizes oppressions as complex and interlocking designates her work as a significant contribution to critical social theory.

Transracial (identity) cultural identity

Transracial people are individuals who assert a racial identity for themselves which differs from their birth race.

<i>Your Silence Will Not Protect You</i>

Your Silence Will Not Protect You is a 2017 posthumous collection of essays, speeches, and poems by African American author and poet Audre Lorde. It is the first time a British publisher collected Lorde's work into one volume. The collection focuses on key themes such as: shifting language into action, silence as a form of violence, and the importance of history. Lorde describes herself as a "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet", and addresses the difficulties in communication between Black and white women.

Epicurus' Epistle to Menoeceus is a summary of the ethical teachings of Epicurean philosophy written in the epistolary literary style, and addressed to a student. It addresses theology, the hierarchies of desires, how to carry choices and avoidances in order to achieve net pleasure, and other aspects of Epicurean ethics. It is the most important of the three surviving letters of Epicurus.

References

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  2. "Macmillan Online Dictionary". Macmillandictionary.com. 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  3. "Opnlttr community site for people to publish open letters". Opnlttr.com. 2014-07-04. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  4. http://burawoy.berkeley.edu/PS/Open%20Letter%20to%20Mills.pdf
  5. "An Open Letter to Emile Durkheim". opnlttr.com. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  6. https://vidyasagar.academia.edu/AbhijitGuha/OPEN-LETTERS
  7. Audre Lorde (1979). "An Open Letter to Mary Daly". HistoryIsAWeapon.com.
  8. "Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy". Bobanddavid.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  9. "Open Letter to the Kansas School Board". Venganza.org. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  10. "website on Net Neutrality". Google.com. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  11. http://barisicinakademisyenler.net/node/38.html
  12. "The Times: 29 April 2010: Lib-Lab coalition would be 'disastrous for British business'". Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  13. "open letters". www.openletters-online.com. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  14. "Dear Chris Rock, Here's How You Can Get More Black People to Watch Baseball". Village Voice. May 13, 2015. pp. 1, 9–10. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  15. http://barisicinakademisyenler.net/node/63.html
  16. "An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders - The Boston Globe". bostonglobe.com. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  17. Rogers Brubaker (18 May 2017). "The Uproar Over ‘Transracialism’", The New York Times.
  18. Jesse Singal (2 May 2017). "This Is What a Modern-Day Witch Hunt Looks Like", New York magazine.