Chapter 23

LETTER-WRITING Icon

January 31, 2022

Letters are of 3 types:

  1. private or personal
  2. organizational, commercial, official, gubernatorial (or “governmental”)
  3. demi-official (D.O.)

Private Letters

In the case of private or personal letters, Mr. is generally not written before the name or surname of a person, although it can be written in the case of a less-known addressee. If Mr. Basu is a close friend or a relative of yours, you may write My dear Basu. If you do not know him well you may address him as Dear Mr. Basu. The letter ends with Yours sincerely, or Yours affectionately, or Yours lovingly, etc., according to the relationship.

Official Letters

In the case of governmental or official letters, the letter should start with Sir or Madame as the case may be, and should end with Yours faithfully.

Demi-Official Letters

Demi-official letters and/or official letters written in a personal capacity should be written like private or personal letters. The salutation should be written according to the personal relationship, and the letter should end with Yours sincerely. However, no personal or private matters should be included in such a letter.

CHAPTER 24: PRÉCIS-WRITING

A précis is the shortened form of an idea. Generally précis are of two types: para-précis and letter-précis.

Para-précis: A para-précis is the condensed substantial form of many paragraphs and cantos. The entire Rámáyańa, with seven cantos, may be written like this in a single paragraph:

Raja Dasharatha was the king of Ayodhya in North India. He had three queens – Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra – and four sons – Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Dasharatha, being goaded by the evil advice of the second queen Kaikeyi, sent Rama into exile in the forest for fourteen years. Rama’s devoted wife, Sita, and his affectionate brother, Lakshmana, accompanied him. One day during the short absence of Rama and Lakshmana, Ravana, the King of Lanka, kidnapped Sita from their cottage in the forest. After a long fight between Rama and Ravana, Ravana was defeated and killed by Rama. Rama came back to Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshmana. Dasharatha had died during the absence of Rama. Thus, just after Rama’s return to Ayodhya, he was coronated.

Letter-précis: A letter-précis is the gist form of a long correspondence. For instance, in letter No. 1, Praviira wrote to Suviira that he would be going to Calcutta and not Lucknow during the summer vacation. In letter No.2, Suviira requested [that Praviira, instead of] going to Lucknow, come to Digha, where the sea beach is of a super-excellent standard. In response to Suviira’s letter, Praviira wrote in letter No. 3 that he wanted to visit Bakkhali. Finally, Suviira wrote in letter No. 4 that yes, he [Praviira] might come to Bakkhali, and said that he (Suviira) would also remain present there. The letter-précis should be as follows:

After a long correspondence between Praviira and Suviira, they finally decided to visit Bakkhali together during the summer vacation.

AFTERWORD

The Latinic group of languages has 3 branches:

  1. Continental Latin which led to:
  • German
  • Czech
  • Hungarian
  • Polish
  • Flemish
  1. Occido-Demi-Latin which led to:
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Basque a demi or half-language which is a mixture of Spanish and French
  1. Oriento-Demi-Latin
  • French
  • Italian

This group retains all the prefixes of the Latin language.

There are two pairs of languages in the world which can be said to be the closest to one another:

  • Spanish and Portuguese
    • These are prevalent in South America. This is why South America is also known as Latin America.
  • Bengali and Oriya.

The first two [sub-]branches of the [Occido-Demi-]Latin language

The modern English language evolved about 1100 years ago. 2000 years ago old English2 was a mixture of the Britons’ and Angles’ tongues. But modern English is a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and Norman. Saxon is of Scandinavian origin, and Norman is of French origin. There are two styles of pronunciation side by side – the Anglo-Saxon style and the Norman style.

About 2000 years ago English did not have its own script. The present script is Roman script with a little modification. The origin of Roman script is Greek script, and the origin of Greek script is Old Hebrew (Semitic) script. Semitic script is written from right to left, but Roman script is written from left to right.

(1) Though many consider it to be unrelated to other languages. –Eds.

(2) This is not the “Old English” of scholarly terminology. “Old English” as used by scholars would include the first centuries of what the author calls “modern English” (i.e., would include two centuries of Norman influence before the Norman conquest). –Eds. 1987