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    #1

    Formal Business Letters & Open Punctuation

    In formal business letters, I'm noticing a trend in reduced punctuation, ie no comma after the salutation/greeting and complimentary closing. Is this correct?


    Dear Mr Jones


    (Text of letter)


    Thank you (or 'Thanks' - no punctuation to follow)


    Sincerely


    Brad Johnson

    -------

    Also in emails:

    Hi Joe
    or
    Hi, Joe

    <Text of email>

    Thanks

    Zoey

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Formal Business Letters & Open Punctuation

    Americans will still use punctuation after the salutation.
    In a formal business letter, we would not use "Thanks" as a closing.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Formal Business Letters & Open Punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Americans will still use punctuation after the salutation.
    In a formal business letter, we would not use "Thanks" as a closing.
    The same in BrE.

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    #4

    Re: Formal Business Letters & Open Punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by frogboxer View Post
    In formal business letters, I'm noticing a trend in reduced punctuation, ie no comma after the salutation/greeting and complimentary closing. Is this correct?

    By 'Is this correct?' do you mean 'Is there a general trend to reduce punctuation...?' If so, yes, there is, especially in BE.

    If you mean 'Is it acceptable to do this?' I would say that the example you quote is a rather extreme case of punctuation omission and has not yet gained universal acceptance.

    However, there are no syntax police to impose penalties for comma omission, and the worst that can happen is that the recipients will take a dim view of the modern fashion and maybe send their business elsewhere.

    Personally, like many other people, I write addresses on envelopes with no punctuation whatever. Like this:

    Mr I P Freely
    4 Silencin Ct
    LAUREL CUM HARDY
    Wilts
    SW4 4NJ

    My sister-in-law, a former legal clerk in the traditional mould, still punctiliously writes

    Mr. I. P. Freely,
    4, Silencin Ct.,
    LAUREL-CUM-HARDY,
    Wilts.,
    SW4 4NJ.


    The above goes for formal writing which has been evolving for centuries. The relatively new emails, SMSs, blogs and tweets have virtually no rules and seemingly anything goes.

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 24-Feb-2013 at 00:05.

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