A letter is a character, which is commonly used in a human, alphabetic written language. The whole of the letters of a phoneme -based written language gives an alphabet, the sounds (phonemes ) in the form of characters ( graphemes ) are fixed.
The word probably originated from the Germanic, specific to Los rune sticks (* Boks ). These designated as runic characters were then often scratched by Hallmarking in weapons but also sticks out of the hard and heavy wood of the beech. The rods thus described the Germans used as an oracle for important decisions and for a theory therefore derives the word "letter" of this cult significant beech rods from. According to another theory, the term " staff " is due to the strong central line of runes, by which they are formed in each case. The connection between " book" and "letter" is thereby challenged by objective reasons, because the term " letter" had been used for Latin characters used in the book, but not for the Germanic runes, which in Old Norse, for example, " stafr " and " rūnastafr " were called.
In the spelling of difficult words or proper names, especially in radio and telephone communications, then either to avoid false submissions to the aid of Buchstabiertafel back: words whose first letter is the letter referred to, replace individual letters here.