Once the fastest and the most reliable source of sending information i.e. A Telegram is a very short and to the point message sent by telegraph from one place to another and then usually delivered to the receiver in written form. In this age of cellular telephones and other electronic devices like fax, telegrams may not be fastest and most favoured means of sending messages (true only for the advance countries and urban areas in the other developing countries like India), still hundreds and thousands of telegrams are booked and delivered by the telegraph office in the rural and remote areas of the developing countries. Most of these telegrams carry very urgent messages like the birth of a baby, interview call or selection for a job, serious illness or death of a relative/native, booking instructions or details, cancellation, confirmation or supply of orders, greetings and news dispatches etc to name a few of them.
A telegraphic message is fast but expensive because every word in the message is charged. Therefore very brief and precise messages are written sacrificing the niceties of grammar. Another reason for telegraphic messages to be brief and to the point is that at any given time thousands and thousands of telegrams are required to be sent urgently. So, the messages are kept brief to save on time and to accommodate more and more telegrams.
A telegraphic message is written on a specifically designed Performa which has three distinct parts:-
Address of the Addressee;
Message and Sender’s name, and
Details of the Sender’s name (Signature and Address).
There is a special column for official use to note down booking details like the type of the telegram. Booking time and date office of origin, charges and service instructions etc
In the space where Addressee’s name and address are written, there are columns for telegraph office and telephone number of the addressee.
Important Points to keep in mind while writing telegram are :-
Always write the telegram in capital letters.
To make a telegram short and terse words like Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives and Adverbs are included in the message and grammatical words like Articles, Prepositions etc are omitted as they do not carry meaning in themselves. However, if the clarity of the message necessitates it, any type of word can be included.
Figures and numerals, particularly while writing date, time and sums of money are preferably written in words to avoid any typographical mistakes.
The address must be complete. There are certain concessions in the counting of the number of words in the address: all the words written as the destination of the telegram i.e. the place which it has to reach will be treated as one word; so you do not gain anything by cutting down the number of words in the address.
No punctuation marks are used. A full stop is indicated by any of the following (.), AAA or STOP. These are counted as words for evaluating the charges. Use the word STOP in preference to the other two options.
Do not use too many STOPS. There is no need to write STOP after the message and before the sender’s name.
If the date is mentioned, the day of the week need not be mentioned.
In reducing the length of a message, you should not take it vague or ambiguous.
Stick to the prescribed standard word limit (i.e. 25 words inclusive of the message, receiver’s name and address, sender’s name and the word STOP)