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.
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. Especially common are critical open letters addressed to political leaders.
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.
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.
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Famous quotes containing the words letters and/or open:
“Deafness produces bizarre effects, reversing the natural order of things; the interchange of letters is the conversation of the deaf, and the only link with society. I would be in despair, for instance, over seeing you speak, but, instead, I am only too happy to hear you write.”
—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (16941773)
“Let a man learn to look for the permanent in the mutable and fleeting; let him learn to bear the disappearance of things he was wont to reverence; without losing his reverence; let him learn that he is here, not to work, but to be worked upon; and that, though abyss open under abyss, and opinion displace opinion, all are at last contained in the Eternal Cause.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)