Could you please advise is it okay to use the word "letter" instead of "e-mail" regarding to e-mail correspondence?

For example, is it okay to use the word "letter" in the following phrase if we are talking about e-mail correspondence: "thank you for your letter".

Best wishes, Anton

  • 3
    It's not common, but anyone who read it would understand what you meant from context. More commonly, I see "note", as in "thanks for your note", but this is typically only applied to short emails (congratulatory, conciliatory, or condolences, usually). So the real question is: why do you want to use "letter" instead of "email" or "mail" or "message" etc?
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 8:47
  • 1
    Stick to: "Thank you for your email" to avoid any possible misunderstanding. People still send letters via mail or post (snail mail) and the recipient might ask himself "When did I post a letter?" Unlikely, but the term email or e-mail (if you're old school) is no longer considered informal or "chatty".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 9:23
  • @Mari-LouA I have seen the term e-letter used for a formal item of correspondence. One problem with e-mail, when it comes to legal correspondence, is that you have no proof of delivery. An old fashioned letter can be sent by Recorded Delivery or a Certificate of Posting obtained from the Post Office. Hence there have been occasions when I have sent a letter in the post, but for speed of transmission attached a copy to an email at the same time.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 9:53
  • 2
    I would say use "note" or "email". "Letter" could be confusing.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


It is best to reserve the term "letter" for actual paper letters sent by "snail mail" (post).

Call an instance of email a "message". (If you simply say "your email" you are not specifying which message; there may have been several.) "Thank you for your message {sent/which I received} on Friday."

Or mangle the language and pretend it's AN email. (The majority of Americans do, though they don't call a letter "a mail".)

"thank you for your latest email" (actually you have no idea whether it was her latest email; she might have sent and received several other messages since sending that message to you)

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