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  1. #1
    JustAnEngineer is offline Newbie
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    Post What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    I have a colleague who performed several tasks for a client. She is writing a formal, technical letter to an agency having jurisdiction over our client's project. My colleague is the person signing the letter on behalf of our company while representing our client.

    How should my colleague refer to herself throughout the letter, in particular when she is stating that she did a specific task? Would referring to herself as, "Ms. So And So," be appropriate? Or should she refer to herself in the first person using, "I?"

    Please forgive my grammar and need for assistance. I am only a mere engineer.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    Welcome to the forum.

    Without further context, I can't see why she wouldn't refer to herself as "I" as long as her name appears at the end of the letter.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    You have somehow found three ways to say you are only an engineer. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, but that may be some sort of a record (at least here on UE).
    Not a professional teacher

  4. #4
    JustAnEngineer is offline Newbie
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    What's your point?

    Not Helpful, @Tarheel!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    You have somehow found three ways to say you are only an engineer. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, but that may be some sort of a record (at least here on UE).

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    Quote Originally Posted by JustAnEngineer View Post
    I have a colleague who performed several tasks for a client. She is writing a formal, technical letter to an agency having that has jurisdiction over our client's project. My colleague is the person signing the letter on behalf of our company, while also representing our client.

    How should my colleague refer to herself throughout the letter, in particular when she is stating that she did a specific task? Would referring to herself as no comma here "Ms. So And So no comma here" be appropriate, or should she refer to herself in the first person using no comma here "I?"

    Please forgive my grammar and need for assistance. Unnecessary. If you didn't need help, you wouldn't be here.

    I am only an mere engineer. As shown below, there is no need for this information but, if you must use it, use either "only" or "mere", not both.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustAnEngineer View Post
    What's your point?

    That is not helpful, @Tarheel! There is no need for the @ symbol. This isn't Twitter.
    JustAnEngineer, your second post is unnecessarily impolite. Tarheel has a point that your job has absolutely no bearing on anything involved in this thread. It doesn't matter what someone on the forum does for a living. The learners are all here to learn English (or to improve their current level) and the volunteers are here to help them in that endeavour. We can all tell what you do for a living from your username.

    I am interested, though, in why you are asking this question on behalf of Ms So-and-so. Perhaps you could suggest to her that she join the forum herself.

    My corrections in both posts at the top will help you to improve too.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    I was making an attempt at humor.

    Also, I was, I think, saying there is no need to put yourself down.
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    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    Since your colleague feels uneasy about using "I" and she is writing the letter on behalf of the company, she could use "we". Another possibility is using "the undersigned" but it's a bit formal and old-fashioned to me.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  8. #8
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    Since the letter is from her, when she talks about herself she should use the first person: I, me, my, mine, and myself.

    The fact that it's a formal and technical letter doesn't change basic grammar practices. Far from it. It makes good grammar more important than in casual writing. Using the third person would be confusing and pointless.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 07-Mar-2021 at 15:11.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    Does she have particular powers, like power of attorney?

  10. #10
    JustAnEngineer is offline Newbie
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    Re: What is the appropriate way to refer to oneself in a formal, technical letter?

    Thank you for your reply, Charlie Bernstein. It was very helpful. That was my thought. I just needed a little reassurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Since the letter is from her, when she talks about herself she should use the first person: I, me, my, mine, and myself.

    The fact that it's a formal and technical letter doesn't change basic grammar practices. Far from it. It makes good grammar more important than in casual writing. Using the third person would be confusing and pointless.

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