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salutation for email, snail mail, etc

salutation for email, snail mail, etc

salutation for email, snail mail, etc

(OP)
Last week I needed to professionally contact some folks from links on the i-net. Some in Canada, UK, USA.
First names do not always or maybe never reveal gender. We know a waitress named Brett and that is fine -- just never heard it before tagged onto a female. And once upon a time there was a guy named Sue -- "how do you do?."

I googled and found out that 32% say we should be politcally correct in addressing folks genderwise as in Dear Ms etc. 68% said we should use the old male refrain Dear Sir or Gentlemen rather than try to be politically correct -- blah blah blah.

I gave up and used: Greetings,

in my salutation because I had no clue as to gender.

Design for RELIABILITY, manufacturability, and maintainability

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

I can appreciate your dilemma as I have two granddaughters named Tyler and Ryan, and for the opposite case, years ago I worked with a guy named Bev, which was short for Beverly.

If being informal, that is simply using their names, first only or first and last, with no gender specific salutation whatsoever, is not acceptable, then play it safe and use 'Greetings' or the horribly trite 'To whom it may concern'...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Dear Madam/Sir:

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Met,
If first name only is too informal, just use the full name as the greeting.

Dear Met Man,
If you are talking to Germans, put "Dear" in front so they don't get offended.



Dear Sir or Madam,
I know this sounds like junk mail but trust me it isn't.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Do your homework and find out if their men or women. If you don't have the time to find out, then how do expect the recipient to have time to care what you have to say? First stop would be Linkedin. And, if you can't find out, then go the old fassion route and pick up the phone. If it's not important enough to use the phone, then the person probably won't respond anyway, so it won't matter if you insult them.

Off topic, my pet peeve is ending a letter/email with "Thanks", when I'm not being asked to do anything.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Perhaps they're simply thanking you for "having time to care" enough to actually read what they wrote winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

@ 1gibson:
"If you are talking to Germans, put "Dear" in front so they don't get offended."

I communicate with our Santiago (Chile) office quite a bit, and we use English as an almost-common language. (Their English is a heck of a lot better than our Spanish!) A few of them prefix their e-mails to multiple recipients with "Dears" (rather than "Dear Sirs / Madams" or whatever). I haven't corrected them, because I find it quite endearing!

@ JohnRBake:
Don't forget that John Wayne's real name was Marion Morrison.

http://julianh72.blogspot.com

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Perhaps, but as a kid he went by Duke Morrison, hence his later-in-life nickname, 'The Duke', had nothing at all to do with his movie career. Also the first time his name appeared in the casting list for a movie it was as 'Duke Morrison'. The name 'John Wayne' was 'chosen' for him by a couple of studio executives without ever asking him for his opinion on the subject.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Occasionally, someone on this site will start a post with "Dear," or "Dears,". I am always tempted to say "Don't call me dear". Offense goes both ways.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Better then calling you 'Shirley'...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

You can't be serious!

NX 7.5.5.4 with Teamcenter 8 on win7 64
Intel Xeon @3.2GHz
8GB RAM
Nvidia Quadro 2000

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Try to not split infinitive either (joking).

- Steve

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

As a Brit, I was taught that 'Dear Sirs' (plural) covered both genders when addressing a letter and this is what I continue to use for formal emails where the address is, for example, 'information@...' and/or the gender of the recipient is unknown.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

Debaser, I think that is the way we all were taught in the days before gender correctness became such a big thing. I still stubbornly use 'Dear Sirs' or 'Gentlemen".

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

I close my emails with "Thanks." If you got to the end, I appreciate the time you took to read it.

There is not much worse than getting bad news in an emal that ends with "Cheers!"

Your castings are delayed by 3 months.
Cheers!

We need you to work Saturdays for the rest of the year.
Cheers!

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

But in the second example you are actually being asked for something so it's only proper to be thanked in advance...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

(OP)
Contrary to one respondent who assumed that I did not do my homework:
• I did call first but no answer so I left voice mail.
• Just because you are on Linkedin does not mean that everyone else in the world is. I am not on Linkedin – a little too old fashioned.
• I took the time to do a google search for possibly a consensus of acceptable protocol for salutation – you saw the results in the OP.
• I took the trouble to post it here just for giggles – we did get a few. Actually I am interested in your opinions and most folks on this forum strive to give responsible answers.
• I considered just using the full names without Dear, or Ms. or Mr. or Sirs but it just seemed a little cold.
• Some of the area codes were in different time zones so good morning or good afternoon did not quite fit. Could have written, “good day First name Last name” but that seems really dry.
• At least one respondent agreed that Greetings was OK.
• We receive email from one vendor who always uses “Dear whoever” but it seemed a little formal or maybe too informal (personal) depending on individual personalities. However, now that I see the responses here and especially that it is poor form to not use “Dear” in Germany, maybe this is the best salutation. Even given the following because we can’t please everybody.
• ““I am always tempted to say "Don't call me dear". Offense goes both ways.””

I close my emails with, “Best Regards” because that is exactly what I mean and I will continue to do so unless a superior tells me different.

Too many stupid faux pas have been committed by me on this website and elsewhere so I am just trying to grow a little.

Thank everybody for your help.

Design for RELIABILITY, manufacturability, and maintainability

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

metman,
My comment was not about the general use of 'Dear', but rather when it is used sometimes by itself without anything following it. For instance, advice is given to someone, and they come back with "Dear, what do you mean?" It happens sometimes on this site, and I don't think by Germans.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

I always use "Sehr geehrter". But I'm not American so I actually make an effort learning other languages :p

NX 7.5.5.4 with Teamcenter 8 on win7 64
Intel Xeon @3.2GHz
8GB RAM
Nvidia Quadro 2000

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

(OP)
hokie66
Thanks I see what you mean and that is good to know. So far, no respondents here are offended with "Dear" used in the traditional sense.

Design for RELIABILITY, manufacturability, and maintainability

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

What gets my goat is the use of my full name at the beginning of a letter: Dear Mr Graham Bennett. (I've even received letters starting with my full name including my second initial. mad) What is wrong with plain old Dear Mr Bennett?

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

(OP)
nothing

Design for RELIABILITY, manufacturability, and maintainability

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

When I'm in the South, I like to go to Waffle House where all the servers call you "Dear" and "Sweety." I think it's nice.

RE: salutation for email, snail mail, etc

JohnRBaker & Walterke,

I let go with a good old "Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!"
I think the guy in the next cube thinks I've lost it.

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