I am not a native speaker. I would really like to know how you address someone with the same name as you have.

Like my name is Daniel. I met a colleague who is also called Daniel. By the way, we don’t have middle names!! I feel awkward every time I email him.

Should I address him as "Hi Another Daniel", or what?

I need both a formal business solution and an informal casual solution.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Chenmunka, RegDwigнt Aug 21 '15 at 8:40

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  • 4
    You call people by their names, no matter whether that should be the same name as your own. This has nothing to do with English. – tchrist Aug 21 '15 at 1:51
  • Yes, it does have something to do with "English Usage". We have our own approach in dealing with "common names" in my language at least. – Daniel Aug 21 '15 at 5:19
  • Please, say what that convention may be in your country. Anyway, a lot depends on your rapport with the person, how friendly you are etc. If there are two men called John, friends might call the younger John, Johnny, or pick out a distinguishing feature such as height, and say: Little John it could refer to lack of stature or it might be an obvious misnomer-think of Robin Hood,one of his merry men was called "Little John" and he was anything but that. But if you're not friends, then just call him by his first name, as you would with any other person. – Mari-Lou A Aug 21 '15 at 6:47
  • Case by case. Thanks for asking though. In China, having both same Surname and given name is rare. Note, formally we address someone with his family name mostly even to today. Which is different from the English I think. To give an example, say I and a person both called ZHANG Wei, Zhang is the family name, family name goes first in Chinese. I will in mail call him "Older brother Zhang", this is to differ each other the age. By doing this, we avoid the awkwardness! – Daniel Aug 21 '15 at 7:07
  • It is extremely unnatural to “defer” to someone like that in our culture. To us it is demeaning and repulsive. We have pejorative terms for it, starting with kowtowing and ending far worse. Even honorifics are increasingly rare. – tchrist Aug 21 '15 at 10:30

Traditionally, emails shouldn't have salutations anyway. The salutation's purpose in snail-mail is performed by the email's "to:" header. Putting it in again manually is really just redundant.

So if it seems awkward, I'd suggest just leaving it off.

  • I disagree. The "To:" header maps to the address on the envelope of a letter. And emails without a salutation -- certainly at the start of a conversation, or after not having heard from that person for a while -- look rude to me. – Martin McCallion Aug 21 '15 at 16:03
  • @MartinMcCallion -They aren't the same at all, because letter envelopes tend to get separated from the contents, while email headers cannot. Email and snail mail, due in part to the drastic difference in interactivity, are in fact completely different media. Its a fact that traditionally emails do not have salutations (or "yours" trailing signatures). I can't argue what it "looks like" to you personally, but if individual anecdotes are being used as evidence, I can tell you that to me anything containing one looks like spam (and in my experience almost certainly is). – T.E.D. Aug 21 '15 at 19:49
  • Intriguing. We obviously have very different experiences of using email. But let me change my comparison of the "To:" header to be to the "To" address that is generally included on a business letter (and which, with window envlopes and proper folding, also addresses the envelope). But I'm amused by your use of "traditionally". I've been using email since 1985, and always include a salutation and a signature (the latter is what sigfiles were invented for, after all) unless I'm in the middle of a quick exchange. – Martin McCallion Aug 24 '15 at 9:38
  • My email use dates back to at least '85 as well (when I started on my CS degree). I was using BBS's and CompuServe before that, both of which had email facilities, but I can't recall making use of them. – T.E.D. Aug 24 '15 at 12:47

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