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There have been letters ended with the phrase:

Dictated, not read,

This means that the secretary printed and distributed it without review from the author. But, when this is emphasized in literature I fail to see the author's (proper) intent. Is it telling of something? Was it the case that it is so urgent or that I couldn't care less about your response?

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closed as off topic by FumbleFingers, Daniel, Matt Эллен, Gnawme, nohat Feb 16 '12 at 5:47

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Looks like lit crit to me –  FumbleFingers Feb 15 '12 at 1:45
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Do you have an example of the use of this phrase in a literary sense? I don't think the expression is typically used outside of the sense that you described in your question. In a literary sense it could conceivably be used literally or it could be used with some irony that would have to be gleaned from context. –  Joel Brown Feb 15 '12 at 2:21
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@Joel Brown: I imagine the normal reason for appending these words is to give the "writer" some "wiggle room" if he's subsequently called to account for some error, omission, or other problem with what he "wrote". But if it was used in a literary context it might be intended to convey that the "writer" didn't much care whether everything expressed exactly what he'd intended (i.e. - was treating the addressee with some disdain). –  FumbleFingers Feb 15 '12 at 2:41
    
As FF said, it is apparently a legal thing -- sort of caveat emptor . –  Kris Feb 15 '12 at 5:39

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