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Thread: double spacing

  1. #11
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: double spacing

    Much depends on the context.

    I know now that if I send a job application to Tdol, I had better 1.5-space my CV; while if I write a business letter to Anglika or Barb, I should probably make sure it looks business-like.

    Then too, if the good Doctor approaches me for some professional advice, he will not be offended by a little polite informality on my part.

    On the other hand, if a prospective supplier decides to tell me exactly what he has in mind for me, his refreshingly frank email may well end up in my "doesn't understand the realities of business" deleted bin.

    MrP
    Last edited by MrPedantic; 28-May-2007 at 02:43.

  2. #12
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: double spacing

    True, in addition we lose a lot of time an energy with nonesense things like:
    double space or not, write the date on the right or left, the salutation line must match the complimentry close, use open or closed punctuation, indented or in block format, the subject line must come after the salutation line........ I agree sometimes because of style problems content becomes secondary. In fact some polite styles when telling you they are litigating you or increasing your rent make your blood boil. But I still believe hobnobing and telling lies is part of human nature and you won't find so many people around who are always themselves.
    all the best
    Jamshid
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 28-May-2007 at 04:49.

  3. #13
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: double spacing

    Following a standard format for a formal letter makes it easier to read, for one thing. If you instead dash off a scribbled handwritten note full of slang and local colloquialisms (because that's the way you talk, darnit), your meaning might not be clear to the recipient. In cases like resumes and CVs, many companies use optical scanners to read them, and as a result they must be typed a certain way, using a particular font, type of paper, and format.

    What exactly IS the point of a 'formal letter' as opposed to a 'personal letter from you'?

    "Formal" doesn't automatically mean "impersonal." Maybe I'm in the minority, but I really can't envision sending a letter to a potential employer that starts out "Yo, dawg!" instead of "Dear Sir or Madam."

  4. #14
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: double spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by pedant View Post
    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!
    As a piece of advice to another member in the context of this site & forum, it is inaccurate and will only lead other members into trouble.

    Formal letters still, and will always, have their place. In fact, writing informal letters (and emails) when formal ones are necessary can be looked upon as rude, lazy and showing a lack of respect.
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  5. #15
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: double spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Following a standard format for a formal letter makes it easier to read, for one thing. If you instead dash off a scribbled handwritten note full of slang and local colloquialisms (because that's the way you talk, darnit), your meaning might not be clear to the recipient. In cases like resumes and CVs, many companies use optical scanners to read them, and as a result they must be typed a certain way, using a particular font, type of paper, and format.

    What exactly IS the point of a 'formal letter' as opposed to a 'personal letter from you'?

    "Formal" doesn't automatically mean "impersonal." Maybe I'm in the minority, but I really can't envision sending a letter to a potential employer that starts out "Yo, dawg!" instead of "Dear Sir or Madam."
    I understand your point and I do agree nowadays companies need to deal with a flood of applications but the question is still: how can you find out about people's personalities when CVs are optically scanned? As far as I know modern companies often want to find out more about applicants personalities by asking provacative questions (who is the boss in your house? Are you in debt?). I mean after all you are employing human beings and not machines or only qualifications. Personalities are more complex and interviews cannot simply do the job. On the other hand formalities are misleading and say nothing about a person's true nature. You might receive a perfect application but the personality behind it be completely different. This is a kind of self-deception. What type of salutation you accept remains a matter of convention after all. Are companies really that naive? I also believe that email communication has increased the degree of informality dramatically. Customs are subject to change. Yours faithfully and sincerely might soon be history.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 28-May-2007 at 12:04.

  6. #16
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: double spacing

    as with all conventions, there are conventions of writing too. So, either abide by them, or break them - and take the consequences. I don't think that formal situations per definition are meant to disclose someone's personality or true nature, nor do they hide it. Interviews, references and so on are better suited to come to terms with that. Informal situations can be deceiving as well, one can easily mask one's own intentions just to get there.
    bianca
    Last edited by bianca; 28-May-2007 at 11:09.

  7. #17
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: double spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    I understand your point and I do agree nowadays companies need to deal with a flood of applications but the question is still: how can you find out about people's personalities when CVs are optically scanned? As far as I know modern companies often want to find out more about applicants personalities by asking provacative questions (who is the boss in your house? Are you in debt?). I mean after all you are employing human beings and not machines or only qualifications. Personalities are more complex and interviews cannot simply do the job. On the other hand formalities are misleading and say nothing about a person's true nature. You might receive a perfect application but the personality behind it be completely different. This is a kind of self-deception. What type of salutation you accept remains a matter of convention after all. Are companies really that naive? I also believe that email communication has increased the degree of informality dramatically. Customs are subject to change. Yours faithfully and sincerely might soon be history.

    You can learn more from a personal interview than from a letter. Besides the actual responses to questions, a skilled interviewer will watch for body language as well. And in the US, it is illegal to ask such questions as are you in debt, or who runs your household (you can't even ask the applicant if they are married) during a job interview.

  8. #18
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: double spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    You can learn more from a personal interview than from a letter. Besides the actual responses to questions, a skilled interviewer will watch for body language as well. And in the US, it is illegal to ask such questions as are you in debt, or who runs your household (you can't even ask the applicant if they are married) during a job interview.
    True body language plays an important role but don't forget body language can be misleading as well ie misinterpreted. The American interview maybe as you said but oddly an American writer wrote that specifically the Americans are more interested in personality issues than Europeans. He made a big list of all (provocative) possible questions and gave sample answers for the sake of preparation. I mean interviewees have no chance even if they had a right not to answer such questions because the interviewers always hold the whip hand.
    Jamshid

  9. #19
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: double spacing

    Job applications represent only a very small proportion of the emails/letters most of us are likely to send or receive in an ordinary working day, I would have thought.

    By "formal letters", I would understand letters with certain kinds of content to your bank, solicitor, children's school, suppliers, clients, etc.

    MrP

  10. #20
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: double spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    By "formal letters", I would understand letters with certain kinds of content to your bank, solicitor, children's school, suppliers, clients, etc.
    That's how I understood it.
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

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