What is the best abbreviation for supervisor, if I were to write a letter to one in Britain?

e.g. a supervisor who works in UK Visas and Immigration.

If there is no such abbreviation, would saying something like "Dear Supervisor Blair" instead of "Dear Ms. Blair" sound awkward? It is unclear if the hypothetical supervisor is married or not, but she is a woman in this example.

  • Why don't you want to use "Dear Ms. Blair"? – Juhasz Dec 31 '18 at 16:53
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    I would say that "supervisor" is never a formal job title; it's a relative position indicating that the post holder supervises staff. That is, someone might refer to their supervisor, but that person's title will not actually be "supervisor". – Andrew Leach Dec 31 '18 at 17:05
  • @Juhasz, would saying Ms. Blair be appropriate if she is married? I am not familiar with the British custom regarding Ms. versurs Mrs. – user199747 Jan 3 '19 at 18:52
  • The title Ms. is used to avoid precisely this question. Mrs. is a title for a married woman, Miss is a title for an unmarried woman and Ms. is a title for either. Because many people now think it's inappropriate to label a woman based on her marital status, we use Ms. as a title for everyone (even if we know her marital status). Perhaps you were thinking that Ms. is the abbreviated form of Miss. This is not true. It's a separate title, which is pronounced miz. – Juhasz Jan 3 '19 at 19:07
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    Gotcha. Apparently, it's (often? always?) Ms with no period in British English. – Juhasz Jan 3 '19 at 19:28

I am not aware of an honorific abbreviation for 'supervisor'. We don't have them for most job titles.

If you know this person's job title is 'supervisor' then I suggest.

Dear Supervisor

If you know her name and she is definitely a woman then:

Dear Ms. Blair

If you want both then I suggest:

Dear Supervisor, Ms. Blair

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    Dear Supervisor, Ms Blair is quite eccentric to my mind, and not part of the everyday mainstream of communication. Of course, if it's a formal letter it would be conventional to put the recipient's name and address at the top left. At that position you could write Ms Anthea Blair (Supervisor), The Chocolate Federation, 54 King Street, Exeter" and then begin Dear Ms Blair. Supervisor does not have to go in brackets, but could be on the line below. – WS2 Dec 31 '18 at 22:59

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