Can you sign off a letter with the following:

Dear Joe,

I appreciated the cake you sent me.

Thank you,


But doesn't the above sound like you're thanking yourself (Bob) instead of Joe? "Thank you, Bob"

Another one:

Dear Joe,

See you after the new year.

Merry Christmas,


Again, doesn't the above sound like you're saying merry Christmas to yourself (Bob) instead of Joe? "Merry Christmas, Bob"

  • 2
    Not at all. They both sound like you are addressing Joe.
    – Lambie
    Dec 16, 2021 at 20:29
  • If you follow the OP's suggestion, every sign-off to a letter would be interpreted incorrectly. Yours sincerely, Bob. I remain your obedient servant, Bob. All addressed to Bob.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 16, 2021 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


No. You are writing

Merry Christmas,



Merry Christmas, Bob.

The first form follows the conventional form of an epistolatory valediction, and would be read in the same way as

Yours faithfully,


But even if you had written the second form, all on one line, convention takes over.

  • Why is a comma used instead of any other punctuation like a period?
    – NoName
    Dec 17, 2021 at 3:00
  • @NoName 1: It's not a sentence. 2: It's convention.
    – Andrew Leach
    Dec 17, 2021 at 5:54

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