letter


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letter:

see alphabetalphabet
[Gr. alpha-beta, like Eng. ABC], system of writing, theoretically having a one-for-one relation between character (or letter) and phoneme (see phonetics). Few alphabets have achieved the ideal exactness.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Letter

 

(1) A graphic sign, or type.

(2) a grapheme, or unit of an alphabet. In an ordinary text a letter signifies not a sound but a phoneme. More precisely, a letter segment of a written word may, in an ideal situation, coincide with a phonemic segment of the corresponding word when sounded. In actuality, however, such a coincidence almost never occurs. A letter may also not have a sound equivalent if it is used only in a certain graphic combination or in a digraph (a graphic symbol consisting of two letters); thus, in the German othography the letter q can only occur in the combination qu.

REFERENCES

Boduen-de-Kurtene, I. A. “Neskol’ko slov po povodu ’obshche-slavianskoi azbuki.’” Zhurnal Ministerstva narodnogo prosveshcheniia, 1871, no. 5, pp. 149-95.
Boduen-de-Kurtene, I. A. Ob otnoshenii russkogo pis’ma k russkomu iazyku. St. Petersburg, 1912.
Shcherba, L. V. “Teoriia russkogo pis’ma.” In his book Izbrannye raboty po russkomu iazyku. Moscow, 1957.
Gelb, I. J. Study of Writing. London, 1952.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a letter?

Dreaming about receiving and reading a letter can indicate either our intuitions or our fantasies about what the sender thinks about us. We send letters in a dream when we want to tell someone something. A dream letter can also be an allusion to certain idioms, from doing something “to the letter” to receiving a rejection “Dear John letter.”

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

letter

[′led·ər]
(communications)
A character used in an alphabet generally representing one or more sounds of a spoken language.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Letter

(dreams)
Dreaming about receiving letters, just as in daily life, usually represents receiving news, information, or messages from someone specific, from your unconscious, or from the world at large. If you look forward to mail, this dream may have positive connotations for you. However, if you dread the envelopes that hold the monthly bills, then this dream may have negative and anxiety-provoking meaning. Typically, however, dreaming about receiving letters has positive and, at times, spiritual connotations. You may be coming into greater awareness about some aspect of your life, having new realizations, increasing your self-understanding, or getting to the truth of things that concern you. Some believe that seeing many unopened letters in your dreams may represent missed opportunities.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Nicholas' letter was read over hundreds of times, and those who were considered worthy to hear it had to come to the countess, for she did not let it out of her hands.
How charmingly he describes!" said she, reading the descriptive part of the letter. "And what a soul!
Mordaunt, one of my secretaries, will remit this letter of introduction to His Eminence, the Cardinal Mazarin, in Paris.
Emma felt the bad taste of her friend, but let it pass with a "very true; and it would be a small consolation to her, for the clownish manner which might be offending her every hour of the day, to know that her husband could write a good letter."
Sir Patrick re-directed Anne Silvester's letter to Arnold, at the Poste Restante, Baden.
I think I know you well enough, my child, to be sure that you will do this; and I need only add one word of caution, before I close my letter. Avoid all reference, not only to the Trial
I rose and gave her the letter once more--with the postscript added, in her own words.
He sank into his seat, and hastily turning over the packet, drew forth the fatal letter, at which he glanced with an expression of terror.
With this intimation, and with the customary messages, the letter, abruptly and confusedly, came to an end.
The envelope contained a letter: and this, in its turn, contained a slip of paper.
But, in no long time after the physician's death, the wearer of the scarlet letter disappeared, and Pearl along with her.
"Monsieur," said the gentleman, "here is a letter for his eminence."