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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    double spacing

    When using a formal letter, can you use double spacing?


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    #2

    Re: double spacing

    Not usually - and it makes it more difficult to read.


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    #3

    Re: double spacing

    PLEASE!!!! Forget the concept of 'formal letters'.....anyone who thinks they are important are (or should be) retired by now.

    Write the way you feel. Modern people appreciate honesty!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: double spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by pedant View Post
    PLEASE!!!! Forget the concept of 'formal letters'.....anyone who thinks they are important are (or should be) retired by now.

    Write the way you feel. Modern people appreciate honesty!
    What an odd idea! Remind me not to hire you. And why, exactly, do you think that honesty is precluded in a letter that acknolwedged the niceties through proper formatting, closings, etc.?

    Meanwhile, I add my vote to - No, don't double space!

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: double spacing

    1.5 is OK to me.


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    #6

    Re: double spacing

    What an odd idea! Remind me not to hire you. And why, exactly, do you think that honesty is precluded in a letter that acknolwedged the niceties through proper formatting, closings, etc.?
    No worries, you really couldn't afford me!

    The concept of a 'formal letter' implies that you are trying to be something that you are not, and therefore the content can be taken with a pinch of salt since you are seen to be following formal rules, not being yourself. What exactly IS the point of a 'formal letter' as opposed to a 'personal letter from you'?

    I regularly employ people (mainly the very highest level students who go on to gain PhDs and beyond) and I very much prefer them to write as they are, not in some artificial manner that they've been taught on the totally false premise that it might influence the reader by them being artificial instead of normal. Any 'formal' letter I receive is instantly put on the "doesn't understand the reality of business" pile - it tells me very little about the person, except that they've been sadly misled by very obsolete teaching, but that they haven't the intelligence to realise that what was being taught was wrong for today's environment.

    'Formality' always hides one's own personality - that is precisely what is is designed to do. Therefore it is a lie and dishonest. Get rid of the concept now! It adds absolutely NOTHING to anything except the fact that someone has learned how not to be themselves. What use is that?

    It is so very unfortunate that way too many academics have never actually worked outside of schools and colleges (most go to school, go to college/university, then go straight back to school/college/university), and they thus continue to propagate what they've been taught by people who have done exactly the same thing in a relatively closed world, rather than embrace modern day business realities. This is just one reason why businesses and employers continue to complain about schools not teaching students things that they really need to know.

    I believe this archaic philosophy has been referred to as the 'donkey clubbing syndrome'....the story goes....."Why do you club donkeys to death? We've always clubbed donkeys, that's what we do!...but why?....I dunno, that's just what we do, we've always done that, my grandfather did it, my father did it, so I do it."


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    #7

    Re: double spacing

    Hmmm. The modern voice of business speaking?

    Formal letters for formal matters seems good sense to me. And for those learners who are struggling with the language, it is better to follow formal structures until they are able to use informal ones.

  4. Senior Member
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    #8

    Re: double spacing

    I like the way you employ people and you are right formality hides personality. However not only formality hides personality but also politeness. Does that mean always speak your mind? What about the ettiquette? Isn't it too direct? Still I hope there are more employers around like you who prefer to find out the true personality of their applicants than "lies" but I am really not sure whehter this is obsolete. Our world is based on lies in general and will go on preferring lies to honesty. But I know the degree of formality is decreasing in business as well. In Germany you still need to stick to formality if you applied for a job but it varies from job to job.

    Jamshid
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 28-May-2007 at 00:54.

  5. Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    #9

    Re: double spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by pedant View Post
    PLEASE!!!! Forget the concept of 'formal letters'.....anyone who thinks they are important are (or should be) retired by now.

    Write the way you feel. Modern people appreciate honesty!
    As a piece of advice to another member in the context of this site & forum, it is inaccurate and will only lead other members into trouble.

    Formal letters still, and will always, have their place. In fact, writing informal letters (and emails) when formal ones are necessary can be looked upon as rude, lazy and showing a lack of respect.
    I'm not a teacher, so please consider any advice I give in that context.

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    #10

    Re: double spacing

    as with all conventions, there are conventions of writing too. So, either abide by them, or break them - and take the consequences. I don't think that formal situations per definition are meant to disclose someone's personality or true nature, nor do they hide it. Interviews, references and so on are better suited to come to terms with that. Informal situations can be deceiving as well, one can easily mask one's own intentions just to get there.
    bianca
    Last edited by bianca; 28-May-2007 at 11:09.

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