I am being plagued by this question to which I cannot find an answer to hence this posting.
I have always understood that after the salutation the opening sentence of the first paragraph should begin with a capital letter, regardless of what the word is. However a friend of mine from the UK but living in New Zealand keeps telling me that I'm wrong because the salutation is followed by a commar. According to him the the next word should therefore start in lower case!
Example of mine:
How are you doing at . . ."
Example of his:
how are . . ."
Both the above then raise further queries because either way it seems to me that rules are broken so is it more convention rather than correctness?
Please help, its driving me crazy.
It's a matter of convention.
It is usual to start the first sentence with a capital letter, but it is not completely wrong to start it with a small letter. Furthermore, it is now increasingly common to omit the commas after the salutation, as well as in the sender's and recipient's addresses and the close of the letter.
The use of a capital letter for the first sentence in a letter is especially recommended when a subject line is included, as this comes between the salutation and the main body of the letter.
This is true of British business letters. American conventions may differ; in particular, it is considered correct to use a colon after the salutation.