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I need to respond to an e-mail sent to me by a committee (e.g. ABCD Organizing Committee). In the distant past, I would use something like "Respected Sirs" but that seems archaic now. How would I address such a committee now?

Context:

The committee's e-mail to me started of as "Dear FirstName LastName, " and then proceeded to extend a formal invitation.

Also, I decided to go for "Dear ABCD Organizing Committee"

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I don't know how formal you want to be, but you could either say, "Dear Members of ABCD Organizing Committee," or "Committee members,". Sometimes, if I'm addressing more than one person less formally in an e-mail, I will just say, "Hello, all." –  JLG Oct 5 '12 at 21:09
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Just ditch the (definitely archaic/servile!) "Respected", and head up your email with "Sirs". –  FumbleFingers Oct 5 '12 at 21:10
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Sirs may offend female committeepersons. Let them set the convention. Who actually signed the email you received? Respond to him or her, using the same salutation, Dear or whatever, employed toward you; or if it's signed by the Committee, [Salutation] Committee. –  StoneyB Oct 5 '12 at 22:06
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What exactly about this question do the four close-voters consider off-topic or not constructive? –  coleopterist Oct 6 '12 at 11:56
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Check the e-mail that you needed to respond to. Reciprocate the level of formality and tone. If they said 'Hi ...', reply to them with a 'Hi ...' -- there's nothing uncivil about it. –  Kris Oct 6 '12 at 12:15
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closed as off topic by MετάEd, Carlo_R., tchrist, Cameron, Daniel Oct 8 '12 at 18:05

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1 Answer

Address them in context to their members. If it is an all-male committee, you can in good etiquette use the address

Sirs,

if the committee is women, you may feel you can use the intelligent & obscure

Mesdames,

(this this was primarily has the usage "Mesdames Gordon, Foxworth, Gilchrist and Stein,")

In a mixed context, there is nothing wrong, or even 'dated' about

Ladies and Gentleman of the committee,

if the committee is small enough, you may consider the very-formal

To Mr. Thompson, Ms. Brown, and Mr. Woodrow, Esq., members of the ABCD Organizing Committee,

but, if you can reference them by their function or duty, consider doing so:

Judges Thompson, Brown, and Woodrow,

Committee Members Thompson, Brown, and Woodrow,

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