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    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Question Dear Sir or Madam

    Hello! In some formal occasions, I often hear people say, "Ladies and Gentlemen, blah, blah...." I suppose it is related to a phrase- "Lady first" according to the etiquette of gentlemen's.

    I just wonder why "Sir" is put before "Madam" in a formal letter's salutation- Dear Sir or Madam. Why not "Dear Madam or Sir"? Is it explainable? Thanks!

  2. #2
    SUDHKAMP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dear Sir or Madam

    "Ladies and gentleman" is the most common and accepted form of addressing an assembly of men and women, and ladies are shown respect by addressing them first.

    But in the earlier times, say some four hundres years ago, when the formal official or court letters started getting their present form, there were practically no women holding the post of an officer or were proprietress of any business. Thus the salutations started with "Dear Sir". And as the women participation in Office and business started expanding, so did the salutations to them in office correspondence and it was obvious that a typist/letter write would use "Dear Sir/Madam" if it was not known to him that the recipient was a man or a woman. Thus it is more due to custom that Sir comes first than Madam in formal official letters.

  3. #3
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dear Sir or Madam

    Hello SUDHKAMP,

    Thank you very much for your help.

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