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    #1

    Question about business correspondence to a female

    This content of this question could be interpreted as violating the usage rules; however, the question is important and needs to be asked.

    Business correspondence: The female person to whom I am addressing a letter is a lesbian. She abhors the salutation prefixes "Ms." "Miss" and "Mrs."; she also despises the salutations "Mam" and "Madam". She tosses letters that are addressed "To whom it may concern" on the logic that she does not want to deal with people if they do not know her name. Even though she is the butch in her relationships, I would not stoop so low as to address her as "Mr."

    Do I merely write her name, i.e., Jane Doe, or do I use something clever such as "BusinessPerson Jane Doe" ?

    Thank-you, in advance, for your assistance.

    Mr. Good

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Question about business correspondence to a female

    Hi, and welcome to Using English.

    If you know her well enough to know her sexual orientation and personal foibles, you probably know her well enough to write "Dear Jane:"

    Her expectations are unrealistic. Salutations are part of a business letter. She can choose whether she wants to be Ms. or Miss, but to insist there be nothing is an unfair requirement. (I would toss the "to whom it may concern" ones out too; if you know my name, use it.) Does she refuse to write "Dear Mr. Smith" on her outgoing correspondence?

    I had to work with someone who thought that using a lower-case first letter for her name showed that she was being humble. In fact, every time we typed her name, we had to go back and over-ride the auto-correct feature. Every time we had her name in print, we had to make the effort to tell the editor "she spells is that way." We knew that others reading it would assume we'd made a typographical error, and since few people can resist the urge to tell you about your mistakes, we had to tell all of them that too. So, in the end, her "humbleness" required a great deal more work to accommodate than if she'd used a capital letter like everyone else. In my opinion, people with these issues, like your friend here, have ego issues that they address by requiring the rest of society to jump through hoops to come up with alternatives that suit them.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Question about business correspondence to a female

    Whilst I agree that you clearly know her very well, and therefore it would probably be perfectly acceptable to address her as "Dear Jane" in personal correspondence, you have specified that it is a business letter. I wonder if you are having to write this business letter on behalf of a company or something, therefore it would be inappropriate to use the informal, friendly salutation that you would use in a personal letter.

    If that is the case, I would address the envelope "J Doe" and the letter "Dear J Doe".

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    #4

    Re: Question about business correspondence to a female

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Good View Post
    This content of this question could be interpreted as violating the usage rules; however, the question is important and needs to be asked.

    Business correspondence: The female person to whom I am addressing a letter is a lesbian. She abhors the salutation prefixes "Ms." "Miss" and "Mrs."; she also despises the salutations "Mam" and "Madam". She tosses letters that are addressed "To whom it may concern" on the logic that she does not want to deal with people if they do not know her name. Even though she is the butch in her relationships, I would not stoop so low as to address her as "Mr."

    Do I merely write her name, i.e., Jane Doe, or do I use something clever such as "BusinessPerson Jane Doe" ?

    Thank-you, in advance, for your assistance.

    Mr. Good
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good afternoon, Mr. Good.

    (1) I suggest that you use no salutation.

    (a) Just start the business letter as if it had a salutation.

    (b) She might respect you for that.

    (2) I also suggest that you ask your boss to transfer her account to

    someone else in your office.

    Have a nice day!

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