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  1. #1
    dave the gaffer Guest

    Default Please settle an argument

    If a letter is addressed to Dear Deputy Prime Minister, and ended with Yours sincerely, is this correct English usage?

    I would have thought as the letter is adressed to an officer but not naming him as Mr Prescott, then it should be yours faithfully

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd use 'faithfully'. I have searched the parliamentary website and not found any indication. I do know that the Prime Minister uses 'sincerely' in letters addressed without a name, butI see that as a little informal.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Please settle an argument

    In BE, 'Yours sincerely' would be correct if you have addressed the person by name, 'Yours faithfully' if you have begun the letter Dear Sir/Madam, etc.

    To end formal letters in AE you use:
    Sincerely
    Sincerely Yours
    Yours Truly

    :D [/b]

  4. #4
    dave the gaffer Guest

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    Thanks very much....This is now developing into world war 3 as on the message board I use for my local football team Brighton, we have university professors and teachers arguing with each other about the correct usage.

    The consensus is that although the name was not used, as the letter is directed at the Deputy himself and not the Office of the Deputy, then it is "sincerely"

    It hasn't come to fisticuffs but I can see it getting there!

    ))

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Please settle an argument

    Quote Originally Posted by dave the gaffer
    If a letter is addressed to Dear Deputy Prime Minister, and ended with Yours sincerely, is this correct English usage?

    I would have thought as the letter is adressed to an officer but not naming him as Mr Prescott, then it should be yours faithfully
    Quote Originally Posted by Oxford Dictionary of Current English

    yours sincerely adv. formula for ending an informal letter ('informal' means, you know the specific person you're addressing the letter to).

    yours faithfully adv. formula for ending a formal letter when in begins 'Dear Sir/Madam'. ('formal' means, when you don't know the specific person you're addressing the letter to.)
    The title 'Deputy Prime Minister' refers to a specific person, and therefore yours sincerely would be the correct formula for ending the letter.

    All the best,

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Are you addressing a person or a position?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Are you addressing a person or a position?
    I was addressing 'Dave the Gaffer'. :D

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    In his capacity as a person or a gaffer?

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