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#112161 09/15/03 01:54 PM
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vika Offline OP
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How many letters today start with Dear Sir or Madam?

well, at least letters that I write, I am afraid. the question how to start a letter if you know that there will be a person (a secretary, an officer, a scientist) who will open it but you don't know his/her name. we were taught this "Dear Sir/Madam" formula, which I know is awfully formal but would "to whom it may concern" be better?


#112162 09/15/03 02:01 PM
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I get around that by writing "Greetings." But that's just me....


#112163 09/15/03 02:12 PM
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Greetings was the standard opening to a WWII draft notice. Family lore has it that my grandmother always wondered what they were weeping about.

Greet was Scots for weep


#112164 09/17/03 09:50 PM
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This may sound a little anal but, if I'm sending a letter, I always get the name of the person I need to send it to.

It is extremely easy for the recipient of a letter to throw it away when it is addressed to Sir or Madame difficult if it starts, Dear Mr. Burns.


#112165 09/18/03 12:51 PM
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but if an ad says "send your CV to Human Personel Department"? where do I get the name of the officer who happens to open my letter?


#112166 09/18/03 12:55 PM
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In that case, I would still go with "greetings."


#112167 09/18/03 01:26 PM
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but if an ad says "send your CV to Human Personel Department"? where do I get the name of the officer who happens to open my letter?
Well, you could call the company and ask. Failing that, I'd put Dear Sir or Madam. Or Dear Madam or Sir. But I'm old-fashioned; there's always "Yo!".


#112168 09/18/03 02:18 PM
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greetings it is then. but I'm surprised that everybody uses the same form of address...


#112169 09/18/03 04:03 PM
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OK, here's from someone who occasionally works in the mail room at my place of employment. First of all, the envelope generally gets tossed. The HR person is not an officer, and she may or may not look at a CV or resume right away - it is given to a secretary and filed somewhere unless there is an active search for new personnel at that time.
I also play receptionist for a short time each day, and when we get questions about HR we tell the name of the correct person - spell it - give the address - whatever it takes. My guess is that the HR person likes being addressed by her name better that Sir/Madam, but if the CV looked good it probably wouldn't matter too much. But, that's one job I don't get to do - they NEVER ask me about hiring or firing (and I have big opinions about it, too!).



What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy? -Ursula K. Le Guin, author (1929- )
#112170 09/18/03 04:22 PM
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I have big opinions about it, too!).
Overlooking their hidden treasure, are they?



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