Learn English – “Enclosure” vs. “attachment”


If I understand it correctly, one usually uses the term enclosure when referring to extra documents to e.g. a letter. But what if these extra items are not other documents and papers?

Say I have written a report discussing some of my developed software. It could be a school paper, and the paper and the files in union make up the final product handed in.

What is the right term for the software files belonging to this report? The dictionary definition of the words above don't quite seem to fit.

Best Answer

The major difference between attachments and enclosures in traditional media is really as slight as a staple or other mechanism of close placement physically binding the two documents together, and the terms tell the reader of the main document where to find the mentioned additional article. Enclosed tells me to look in the envelope, where attachment tells me to expect it to be bound to the main document.

What you describe is probably best termed enclosure if you are handing in a package containing a disk or jump drive, or attachment if it is printed source code stapled to the document.

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