The elements currently available to encode
correspondence are insufficient and require workarounds
that make the encoding of a simple postscript a major
The ways in which letters are written vary fairly
significantly over time and across cultures. Modern
business letters require the ability to encode letterhead,
addresses, attention lines, subjects, reference lines,
persons copied, and enclosures (this list come off the
top of my head, if it were developed systematically it
might be quite a bit longer).
I am currently working on a 19th century book of
anecdotes that incorporates letters quite frequently as
part of an ongoing narrative. I would appreciate
elements that would isolate the addressee in an opening
<salute> and that would indicate the sender in the
closing one. I would like a way to indicate the position
held by either of these parties, without getting involved
in the depths of names&dates.
Memoranda are also rather difficult to encode. I used to
work with United Nations human rights documents that
included large amounts of memoranda in the immense
bureaucratic morasses they called reports.