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Thread: form letters

  1. keannu's Avatar
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    form letters

    Does "form letters" mean "printed letters with the same content" by dictionary definition? But I guess this must be handwritten not printed as each author may have not printed it. What do you think?

    ex)There once was a boy who loved stories. One day The Boy tried to write a story, but it wasn't as good as the stories he read so he tried again and again. After a while he realized he wasn't getting anywhere so he went his story to ten of his favorite authors so they could offer advice. In the coming weeks he received nine form letters apologizing about how busy the authors were and one very helpful letter from Gabriel Winters,...

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: form letters

    I've never heard the phrase but I think you're partly right. I don't think the nine letters all had the same content though. I think probably it was clear from each individual letter that it was simply an impersonal response, a letter which was printed over and over again and simply sent out to lots of different people.

    In BrE, we call them "stock letters" or "stock responses". You formulate a rather bland response to a commonly asked question or request and whenever such a request is received you can just add "Dear Mr XXX" at the top of the standardised letter and send it out. It requires no thought or effort.

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    Re: form letters

    "Form letter" is the AmE expression.

    The hunks of text used in this type of writing can be called "boilerplate," see definitions 3 and 4.

    Boilerplate | Define Boilerplate at

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