Greetings and salutations

Greetings and salutations

Dear Readers,

When writing an email or other message, or even a letter or postcard, how do you start it and sign off?

When replying to emails, I usually echo the greetings and sign offs used by my correspondents. If they start with “Dear Mr Ager” or “Dear Simon”, I will reply with something simliar, although I often just use “Hi [name] … “Regards”. If we have already exchanged emails, I might dispense with the greetings and the sign offs.

I have also been greeted in emails with “Dear Professor Ager” and “Dear Dr Ager” – I’m neither a professor nor a doctor, so these amuse me.

How about in other languages? Are there standard ways of starting and finishing emails? If not, what do you use?

There was an interesting discussion about this on the latest episode of the BCC Radio 4 programme Word of Mouth, which inspired this post.

That’s all for now.

May your hovercraft always be full of eels.


One thought on “Greetings and salutations

  1. I generally start my emails in Swedish with the word Hej possible followed by the name of the recipient.
    When replying to an email I might leave off the greeting especially if it’s to someone I know.

    I almost always sign my emails with just my first name. No titles, “Regards” or anything like that.

    On a side note: I find it frustrating when I have to pick a title, for example when booking a hotel in the UK or booking a flight with British Airways. I’d rather just leave the field empty.

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