I wondered if there might be another word to use besides 'Dear' in a formal letter for business purposes. Many of the letters that I write to address people concerning social, economic, business or political issues require some polite form of address. However, 'Dear' seems a bit too affectionate to me when I might dislike the person actually.
I know that English is influenced greatly by many foreign languages including German, French, Italian, Gaelic, Danish, Swedish, Latin, Greek, Spanish and various other languages to a lesser degree such as the various Amerindian, Indian, and African languages.
Surely one of these languages has a formal term of address that is one word though it lacks any connotation of affection?