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Thread: Colon or coma?

  1. Heather Pennington

    Colon or coma?

    My husband, who is also my boss, insists that it is correct when you write a letter to put a colon after the person to whom it is addressed. I alway put a coma, which is correct?

    For example:

    Dear James: (his way)

    Dear James, (my way)

  2. IvanV's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 574

    Re: Colon or coma?

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,398

    Re: Colon or coma?

    This seems to be an increasing change between British and American writing style. In all my working years I never received a letter with a colon following the greeting, even from American correspondents.

    However, increasingly American instruction is to put a colon instead of a comma.

    Personally, I would do what I find most comfortable. It won't stop a man on a galloping horse

  3. IvanV's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 574

    Re: Colon or coma?

    I'd agree on what Anglika said. Not once have I received a letter with a colon following 'Dear'.
    We've all been taught to use a comma, and now, all of a sudden(to me, at least), we have a differentiation (AmE, BrE).
    Seemingly flawless usually gets full of flaws by inquiring closely one state which was due to the moment of observing, so do as you think you should...

  4. Banned
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 4,087

    Re: Colon or coma?

    In Canada, a long time ago, we were taught to use a colon after the greeting. I checked 4 recent letters and they all still had a colon there.

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