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Forum nameMain Community Discussion Board
Topic subjectWhat is this thing?
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=17&topic_id=90996
90996, What is this thing?
Posted by worthywoman, Sun Jun-24-12 08:23 PM
I'm looking for a particular word/phrase that I ran across years ago and filed in my gray matter. Apparently, I'm having "retrieval issues"…

I want to associate it with Amish women, but I don't know why.

For some reason the phrase, "chain letter" keeps bobbing to the surface of my brain, BUT THAT ISN'T IT!

A woman writes a letter and mails it. Her recipient reads it and adds her own pages, mailing everything. The third recipient reads everything, and adds her own bit. The third or fourth recipient returns it to the first letter writer. She removes the original letter, but adds a new one… And sends it to the second recipient.

And so on…

This isn't a chain letter, I don't think it was called a "loop-de-loop letter, but it should've been.

Do you know what this is?


Lisa S – Beginning Again!
91002, RE: What is this thing?
Posted by magic seeker, Mon Jun-25-12 02:11 PM
Hmmm. My mom and my aunt used to do something like that with Christmas cards - or rather, the same card they sent back and forth, as a joke. I'll ask her if they had a name for it.
91004, RE: What is this thing?
Posted by worthywoman, Mon Jun-25-12 03:20 PM
Thank you!

The odd thing is, I'm 97% sure that there is a specific term that I'm looking for. It would be useful for one of the papers I am writing…


Lisa S – Beginning Again!
91005, RE: What is this thing?
Posted by zette, Mon Jun-25-12 03:45 PM
I keep thinking this should be a circular letter, but the term is used differently these days.
91006, RE: What is this thing?
Posted by bonniers, Mon Jun-25-12 04:35 PM
I'm ninety percent positive that my grandmother and her sisters called it a chain letter. That would have been before the fraudulent ones co-opted the meaning.

The other ten percent thinks maybe she called it a circular letter. It's been a long time...
91015, RE: What is this thing?
Posted by worthywoman, Mon Jun-25-12 04:47 PM
>I'm ninety percent positive that my
>grandmother and her sisters called it a
>chain letter. That would have been before
>the fraudulent ones co-opted the meaning.


The timeframe would be about right and words DO change meanings ever so often. Maybe that is what it is… It just does not seem to fit in my slot in my brain.

Now I'm going to keep looking… Thanks, all! I knew I would at least find encouragement to keep looking in this place!


Lisa S – Beginning Again!
91016, RE: What is this thing?
Posted by bonniers, Tue Jun-26-12 08:42 AM
I would expect that different families and different regions of the country might have different terms for it. I was still in early grade school when they stopped doing it (after their mother died).

I remember it used to be not just a letter, but they'd put in photos, article clippings, recipes, all kinds of things as well. Grandma would always save it until our next visit so we could see it.

Come to think of it, it was a lot like a pre-computer version of a family blog :D
91014, RE: What is this thing?
Posted by worthywoman, Mon Jun-25-12 04:43 PM
>I keep thinking this should be a circular
>letter, but the term is used differently
>these days.


That almost seems like it fits in that slot, thanks! I'm going to go see if I can find some more support for that.


Lisa S – Beginning Again!
91051, RE: What is this thing?
Posted by Dreamerscove, Sat Jun-30-12 08:22 PM
In fandom, we would call this a Round-Robin. I'm not sure if that's what you are thinking of, but thought I would throw it out there.