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    #1

    Wink On 'yours sincerely, yours faithfully...'

    I have a few questions about the phrases (captioned) you use to end a letter. Hope you guys don't mind sparing a few minutes.

    1) We call "Dear ABC or Hello, ABC" salutations, what about these phrases "yours faithfully..." which we use to end a letter?

    2) How would you distinguish between the three: Best Regards, Kind Regards, and Warmest Regards.

    3) I've seen somebody writing Faithfully Yours instead of yours faithfully and standing from a literary's point of view, does it or is it trying to emphasize 'faithfully' by 'fronting' so that it sounds more polite? What do you think if you have to state some differences between the two?

    THANKS

  1. Tullia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: On 'yours sincerely, yours faithfully...'

    1) Valedictions. Both terms are from the Latin.

    2) I don't think I would distinguish, I find all of them a little fake and insincere.

    3) Honestly, unless it was an old-fashioned love letter, it sounds very odd indeed to my native BrE ear.

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    #3

    Re: On 'yours sincerely, yours faithfully...'

    I am not a teacher but I write many formal letters. And:
    1. If you state the name of a person you write to (Dear Ms. Smith) you use 'yours sincerely'. If you write to a person whose name you do not know (Dear Sirs, Dear Madam, etc.) you use 'yours faithfully' at the end. Both are formal.
    2. Kind, Best, Warmest Regards - for me the difference is the same as in verbs like, love, worship
    3. I wouldn't seek any significant difference.

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    #4

    Re: On 'yours sincerely, yours faithfully...'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    I have a few questions about the phrases (captioned) you use to end a letter. Hope you guys don't mind sparing a few minutes.

    1) We call "Dear ABC or Hello, ABC" salutations, what about these phrases "yours faithfully..." which we use to end a letter? Personally, I have never used nor would I ever use this closing statement. It seems rather pompous, artificial and overly solicitious to me.

    2) How would you distinguish between the three: Best Regards, Kind Regards, and Warmest Regards. I don't see much difference among the three, but I would reserve its use for a person who might be an acquaintance but not necessarily a close friend. I tend to use "Sincerely yours" most frequently.

    3) I've seen somebody writing Faithfully Yours instead of yours faithfully and standing from a literary's point of view, does it or is it trying to emphasize 'faithfully' by 'fronting' so that it sounds more polite? What do you think if you have to state some differences between the two? I have no idea why some use either one of the two forms. I mentioned my aversion to the use of "faithfully" above.
    THANKS
    b.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: On 'yours sincerely, yours faithfully...'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    I have a few questions about the phrases (captioned) you use to end a letter. Hope you guys don't mind sparing a few minutes.

    1) We call "Dear ABC or Hello, ABC" salutations, what about these phrases "yours faithfully..." which we use to end a letter?
    As has been said, they're called "valedictions" although most people would probably just say "closing phrases" or something similar. In formal communication (banks, lawyers, insurance companies etc) I always stick to "Dear Sir/Madam --- Yours faithfully" and "Dear Mr/Mrs + Surname --- Yours sincerely" as I was taught at school some 30 years ago!

    2) How would you distinguish between the three: Best Regards, Kind Regards, and Warmest Regards.
    I wouldn't distinguish much between them but then I wouldn't use any of them at the end of a letter. They're just not phrases I've ever used. I think I used to use "Regards" on its own sometimes when I lived in Spain because that seemed to be the accepted phrase used by the Spanish when writing in English so I copied it.

    3) I've seen somebody writing Faithfully Yours instead of yours faithfully and standing from a literary's point of view, does it or is it trying to emphasize 'faithfully' by 'fronting' so that it sounds more polite? What do you think if you have to state some differences between the two?
    I wouldn't use "Faithfully yours" - as someone else pointed out, that sounds almost romantic.

    THANKS
    See above for my opinions.

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    #6

    Re: On 'yours sincerely, yours faithfully...'

    Much Obliged to all of you!

    I'm now even more intrigued why faithfully yours sounds more romantic than yours faithfully.
    [ps. I am a student majoring in Linguistics and literature and it is very important for me to understand these interesting hunches only Native speakers have] PLEASE, I'm dying to hear your explanations =]

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: On 'yours sincerely, yours faithfully...'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    I'm now even more intrigued why faithfully yours sounds more romantic than yours faithfully.
    [...] PLEASE, I'm dying to hear your explanations =]
    Possibly because 'yours faithfully' has become a set phrase, with no real meaning. It may sound pompous, artificial and overly solicitious to billmcd, but in BrE it is used formulaically.

    When it's turn round to'Faithfully yours', it seems to bring to prominence the word 'faithfully'; instead of being part of a meaningless formula, it now has its 'faithful' meaning.

  4. Tullia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: On 'yours sincerely, yours faithfully...'

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Possibly because 'yours faithfully' has become a set phrase, with no real meaning. It may sound pompous, artificial and overly solicitious to billmcd, but in BrE it is used formulaically.

    When it's turn round to'Faithfully yours', it seems to bring to prominence the word 'faithfully'; instead of being part of a meaningless formula, it now has its 'faithful' meaning.
    I agree with 5jj (no surprise there, really!) but I'd also add that pretty much any inversion of a normal set phrase or word order in English tends to have a poetic tone. I'm not talking about situations where the grammar requires inversion (e.g. questions) but where the word order resulting from the inversion is unnatural in some way. There was actually another example on a recent thread you could look at: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/g...-know-not.html

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