Not usually - and it makes it more difficult to read.
- For Teachers
When using a formal letter, can you use double spacing?
Not usually - and it makes it more difficult to read.
PLEASE!!!! Forget the concept of 'formal letters'.....anyone who thinks they are important are (or should be) retired by now.
Write the way you feel. Modern people appreciate honesty!
1.5 is OK to me.
No worries, you really couldn't afford me!What an odd idea! Remind me not to hire you. And why, exactly, do you think that honesty is precluded in a letter that acknolwedged the niceties through proper formatting, closings, etc.?
The concept of a 'formal letter' implies that you are trying to be something that you are not, and therefore the content can be taken with a pinch of salt since you are seen to be following formal rules, not being yourself. What exactly IS the point of a 'formal letter' as opposed to a 'personal letter from you'?
I regularly employ people (mainly the very highest level students who go on to gain PhDs and beyond) and I very much prefer them to write as they are, not in some artificial manner that they've been taught on the totally false premise that it might influence the reader by them being artificial instead of normal. Any 'formal' letter I receive is instantly put on the "doesn't understand the reality of business" pile - it tells me very little about the person, except that they've been sadly misled by very obsolete teaching, but that they haven't the intelligence to realise that what was being taught was wrong for today's environment.
'Formality' always hides one's own personality - that is precisely what is is designed to do. Therefore it is a lie and dishonest. Get rid of the concept now! It adds absolutely NOTHING to anything except the fact that someone has learned how not to be themselves. What use is that?
It is so very unfortunate that way too many academics have never actually worked outside of schools and colleges (most go to school, go to college/university, then go straight back to school/college/university), and they thus continue to propagate what they've been taught by people who have done exactly the same thing in a relatively closed world, rather than embrace modern day business realities. This is just one reason why businesses and employers continue to complain about schools not teaching students things that they really need to know.
I believe this archaic philosophy has been referred to as the 'donkey clubbing syndrome'....the story goes....."Why do you club donkeys to death? We've always clubbed donkeys, that's what we do!...but why?....I dunno, that's just what we do, we've always done that, my grandfather did it, my father did it, so I do it."
Hmmm. The modern voice of business speaking?
Formal letters for formal matters seems good sense to me. And for those learners who are struggling with the language, it is better to follow formal structures until they are able to use informal ones.
Rather than using carriage returns between paragraphs, it looks better if you set Format | Paragraph | Spacing | After to e.g. 6pt.
All the best,
I like the way you employ people and you are right formality hides personality. However not only formality hides personality but also politeness. Does that mean always speak your mind? What about the ettiquette? Isn't it too direct? Still I hope there are more employers around like you who prefer to find out the true personality of their applicants than "lies" but I am really not sure whehter this is obsolete. Our world is based on lies in general and will go on preferring lies to honesty. But I know the degree of formality is decreasing in business as well. In Germany you still need to stick to formality if you applied for a job but it varies from job to job.
Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 28-May-2007 at 01:54.
Yes... always be yourself.
Write what is in your mind. If you're angry, be angry, if you're asking for information, then just ask for it, if you're complimenting someone, be complimentary.
Polite people naturally write in a polite manner so one can identify them as being polite from their writing, even if they're angry. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Rude people naturally write in a rude manner so one can identify that that they are naturally rude, even if they are trying to be complimentary. However, some may consider that to be a positive point for them if they are employing someone for the customer complaints department!
'Formal' letters give nothing away about the writer. One cannot tell anything about the person, if they don't want you to know who they are or how they think, why bother with them?
The bottom line is that the recipient of the letter should in all cases act on the CONTENT of the letter, not on the style, however, before someone comments that this statement negates my previous assertion that formal letters I receive go on a different pile: if the letter is 'Formal', that says that the person isn't giving the full information about themselves and is hiding behind 'formality', therefore that in itself is therefore part of the content and can be taken into account!
As for formal styles, they differ between Countries. In France, for instance, they have really archaic multi-line meaningless statements at the end of each letter, saying how much they esteem you and your business and how much they wish to see your continued prosperity....despite the letter actually telling you that they are closing your bank account and initiating legal proceedings against you!
Basically, please ditch formality. It is well past the sell-by date.
Last edited by pedant; 28-May-2007 at 02:11.