Questions about writing letters.

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30
votes
6answers
108k views

Is it “Yours faithfully” or “Yours sincerely”?

When should one sign a letter with "Yours faithfully" or "Yours sincerely"?
25
votes
2answers
229k views

“Dear Sir or Madam” versus “To whom it may concern”

When is it appropriate to use the terms Dear Sir or Madam and To whom it may concern? The rules I was taught state that Dear Sir or Madam should be used when you're writing a letter to a person about ...
14
votes
3answers
58k views

Is “I am writing to inform you” awkward or outdated?

I was writing an email, and I started off with I am writing to inform you of certain errors... However, is this use outdated or awkward in emails (assuming that I don't know the recipient)? What ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the best salutation to use in cover letter when I don't have contact information?

I prepare to write a cover letter to several banks. The application is online and I need to submit it to each employer. So how could I write in the salutation of the cover letter. I don't have the ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Opposite word for “cursive”, as related to writing

I looked up the etymology entry at etymonline.com for cursive, which reads: 1784, from French cursif (18c.), from Medieval Latin cursivus “running,” from Latin cursus “a running,” from past ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it appropriate to add a postscript to an email?

Wikipedia says: A postscript may be a sentence, a paragraph, or occasionally many paragraphs added to, often hastily and incidentally, after the signature of a letter or (sometimes) the main body ...
10
votes
5answers
13k views

Should I capitalize the starting sentence after a greeting that ends in a comma (e.g. “Hello,”)?

Should I open the starting sentence after comma in adressing "Hi," ("Hello,") with capital letter? Hi, Xxxl, Dear Xxx L, let me ... vs. Dear Xxx L, Let me ... In Russian it ...
9
votes
5answers
120k views

What is the best way to express interest in a job in a cover letter?

It is for a cover letter, where I want to express my interest in the position and also to indicate that my profile matches the requirement. I find the proposed job interesting and matched by my ...
9
votes
3answers
132k views

Is it acceptable to use “Much Appreciated” as the closing for a letter or email?

When I send an email requesting assistance from someone, I am tempted to close the email with the phrase “Much Appreciated”. Is it acceptable to use that phrase outside of a sentence?
8
votes
5answers
44k views

How to end a letter beginning with “To whom it may concern”

How should one end - ie, sign-off - a letter that begins with "To whom it may concern"?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Difference between using Hi and Hey?

I am not a native speaker. I really want to know what's the difference between Hi and Hey in writing an email? In daily conversation? Is it too girlish or childish for a man to say hey in his email? ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How should I greet a close friend from the United States?

I (male) have a very good (female) friend over in the south-western United States that I met one year ago and we're exchanging mails or messages from time to time. We're both not older than 22 and I ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

What does the “yours” in “yours sincerely” mean?

"Yours" is usually a possessive pronoun with an implicit noun. What is the implicit noun in the case of "yours sincerely"?
7
votes
2answers
924 views

How does a signature develop?

In English, unlike in many other languages, signatures are typically very different from ordinary handwriting. A signature will often display all kinds of wild flourishes and elision of forms and what ...
7
votes
1answer
701 views

Word for descriptive complimentary closes in letters

I've tasked myself with writing more letters (of the dead tree variety); because of this, I was intrigued by a certain take on complimentary closes, whilst enjoying a re-read of Dracula: Your loving ...
6
votes
2answers
10k views

What term is used for the closing of a letter?

Salutation is the term used to describe the beginning of a letter or other correspondence. What is the term used for the closing of a letter? Here are some examples: Yours truly, Sincerely, Best ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Expressing contentment about receiving a letter

Someone wrote to me. I'm writing him back. I want to say, in formal speech, that I'm glad that he wrote to me. How do I do that? I guess I can just say "I'm glad to hear from you" but maybe you could ...
5
votes
5answers
11k views

“Dear Professor” vs “Dear Mr”: differences between British and American usage

In British English, is it acceptable to address a professor as "Dear Professor X" when writing a formal or informal letter? Does it sound natural? Why I am asking this question: I was looking ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

A ligature “og”

I met a ligature "og" in one of the manuscripts. It is hard to see this ligature there (look at the word "logicae". Have you met anything similar? Is there a better manuscript with this ligature or ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Is there a name for the final section of a letter?

When writing a letter it typically starts out "Dear..." and then has the content, then before you sign it you might have a formal or informal (depending on who you're writing to) sign off, for ...
3
votes
5answers
319 views

Short expression for “If you are not 100% convinced yet, this last thing will seal the deal”

I'm writing a LinkedIn recommendation for a colleague of mine. I praised his abilities far and wide; now I would like to throw in one last (ironic and informal) punch line to top it all off. Here is ...
3
votes
5answers
10k views

What does “shine on” mean?

I've seen some use "shine on" to close a letter. What does this mean?
3
votes
3answers
181 views

Is it wrong to use “All” when there are only two?

If there are two of something, can you say "all of" instead of "both of"? For example, if an email is addressed to two people, and you start off with: All, This is to inform you, etc., etc. ...
3
votes
1answer
722 views

Punctuation after valediction [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should you use a comma/period after “Thanks”/“Regards” in email signatures? When writing a letter, do we put a comma or a period after the ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

Salutation punctuation: is “Hi!,” okay? [closed]

A friend of mine uses both an exclamation mark and a comma in his letter salutations, like so: Hi George!, I have never seen this before, and was wondering if it's grammatically kosher. ...
3
votes
2answers
15k views

Title in a letter to an unknown person

Many times when writing a letter asking to a department of my university, I'm hesitating for the appropriate title. Say I want to email "Student Insurance Office" to ask about insurance coverage. ...
3
votes
2answers
142 views

“Is there a way you could/would accept?” [duplicate]

Is it correct to write this in a formal letter: My certificate is not valid anymore. Is there a way you could accept my expired certificate?" Or should I use would instead of could? And what is ...
3
votes
3answers
20k views

Does it sound weird to say “ I hope I can be of any use (help) to you” in a cover letter?

Which one is better? Are they acceptable or do they sound weird in English?
3
votes
2answers
623 views

How to express a group suggestion? “I would like for us all to …”

I am writing an email to my work colleagues regarding a current project. I am the lead for the project, and also one of the workers. I want to describe an activity that I think the whole group should ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the correct way to greet a specific person when only their business title is known?

I need to write a letter to a specific person, who I only know by title. I do not know their name or gender. I can think of a couple ways to greet this individual in a letter, however I can not ...
2
votes
3answers
662 views

Salutation for two doctors (not married)

Does use of the salutation Dear Drs. Apple and Banana, imply that Dr. Apple is married to Dr. Banana? That is, would it be better form to use: Dear Dr. Apple and Dr. Banana, when Dr. ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

When to use double “L”?

First of all, English is not my first language, so please excuse me if my question sounds dumb. Secondly, I've seen this question but I don't believe it applies, tho I've been wrong before :P. For ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Letter opening with name only--what does it convey?

I sometimes get emails (e.g. from professional contacts or people I don't know well) which simply start with FirstName, [ ... letter body ... ] They don't use "Dear FirstName," or "Hello ...
2
votes
1answer
9k views

Sincerely [comma?] name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should you use a comma/period after “Thanks”/“Regards” in email signatures? I see answers on how to end a letter putting a comma after for example sincerely, like: ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Starting a cover letter with “By this letter,…”: correct?

In a cover letter (for a job application), is it correct to start the letter with "By this letter,…" (and then introduce the purpose of the letter)? this sounds a little strange to me, but there are ...
2
votes
3answers
14k views

“Dear Sir (or Madam)” when gender unknown? [duplicate]

When writing a formal letter addressed to someone whose gender is unknown, how important is it to use "Dear Sir or Madam", instead of "Dear Sir"? I was taught that "Dear Sir" is an acceptable ...
2
votes
2answers
549 views

How does one address a blended family in which the members have different surnames?

I am confused about how to address a family in which all the members have kept their original surname. What is the proper way to address such a family in a note to a family which consists of a single ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

How to correctly express a successful job (where others failed) in a cover letter [closed]

I was working on a project where the two other person before me failed to get the job done as expected. Basically that was the reason they hired me, and fortunately I did it better than expected. How ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

What is the name of this line in a letter . e.g we have subject etc? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it appropriate to use the salutation “Dear All” in a work email? Dear Mr.Dandy Rabbit, <----------------- What is the name of this line I ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

When did the valediction 'best regards' come into use?

Best regards seems to be quite a popular valediction used in business emails, along with variants kind regards, or just regards. The spoken expression "give him my regards" would appear to be a ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Posting a letter and sending it via e-mail

I am sending a formal letter to a recipient by registered post and e-mail. Is it convention to include within the e-mail/PDF such text like: "As sent via post on " or something similar to inform the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Use of conjuncts in formal communication via email, letters etc

How much should we use the conjuncts (words like besides, however, nevertheless, otherwise, so, therefore, still, yet, though) in formally communicating via email, verbally etc? Any suggestions in ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Is usage of “Yours sincerely” still appropriate?

I am currently in the process of writing a cover letter for an application for a PhD position. Upon proofreading it, my girlfriend, who has had training as a European secretary, told me that her ...
2
votes
3answers
492 views

Is there any alternative phrase or sentence to -with reference to the subject above-while stating an official communication?

I have been using the sentence -with reference to the subject above- for all my official communication. Is there any better sentence to start a official note with?
2
votes
2answers
257 views

Formal personal introduction to a letter

I've received an e-mail of a colleague that I meet once. He wrote as introduction, "I hope you're doing well" and then he continued directly with the matter of the mail. I would like to use some ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Addressing religious authorities

I want to write letters with the same content but addressed to religious authorities of different religions and levels, from the local Christian priest to the Dalai Lama. Is there a greeting I can use ...
2
votes
2answers
637 views

“Dear Sir” or “Dear John” if you are addressing the VP of a company

How to address the VP of a company or department? I have been told that addressing by name was not polite. Any clues?
2
votes
1answer
404 views

… regarding the advertised position of a researcher in the … department [closed]

Which of the following should I use: I'm writing to you regarding the advertised position of a researcher in the ... department I'm writing to you regarding the advertised position for a ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Proper apostrophe usage? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the proper way to write the plural of a single letter? (another apostrophe question) Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not? Take for ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Is it acceptable to write “Best Regards” with a capital “R” and not followed by a comma? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: 'Thanks and Regards,' or 'Thanks and regards,'? Should you use a comma/period after "Thanks"/"Regards" in email signatures? In my ...