Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Frankly, my dear....

I grew up with the Wren and Martin grammar book. And the dog-eared copy I owned, had small print too. Hard to read, even harder to digest. If you followed the grammar rules, you could get close to 60 per cent in your English examination paper. Which, by the way, was excellent in our time.

The chapter on Letter Writing was as important as the rest.   And we were taught that business communications started with a ‘Dear’ or Sir/madam as the case may be.  But like all things, this too seems to be changing.  The salutations are vanishing.

An article in WSJ aptly titled ‘For a Dearly Departed Salutation’, deals with these issues. It quotes a spokeswoman for a Democrat in the US, who says ‘dear’, is just too intimate and connotes a personal relationship. And she wants to keep her business communications with the press at the utmost and highest level of professionalism. So to communicate an important message from her boss, starts off her  letter with a ‘Hey Folks’

Maybe I am just too old fashioned , but to start off an official communication with a Hey Folks, is not acceptable. I would use Hey to someone I know well enough to be informal!

As it is, letter writing has undergone some changes.  The address at the top of the letter has moved from the right to the left. That is fine by me, but to drop the dear?

Hey, that does not seem right! I wonder if I am in the minority.

(picture - twitter.com)
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