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  1. Unregistered

    salutation question

    Twenty five years ago, I was taught when using To Whom It May Concern: we were supposed to capitalize all words and use a colon. Is this still the correct form?

  2. IvanV's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    Re: salutation question

    As it's formal, you might want to use a colon. As for capitalisation, only To should be capitalised.


  3. Key Member
    Interested in Language
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    Re: salutation question

    To Whom It May Concern
    You find this on testimonials and medicate certificates.
    I notice all the words are capitalized and sometimes underlined as well.
    I didn't know you need a colon at the end.
    I am wondering there a proper/correct way of doing?

  4. SUDHKAMP's Avatar
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    Re: salutation question

    Not a teacher.

    The usage has come into existence by the typists, who had instructions to type the subject matter, reference and the addressee in capital letters and underline them.
    Since, in the beginning of my career 25 years ago, I also worked as a typist on a manual typewriter, I had standing instructions to type all the first three lines, i.e., subject, reference and the adressee name etc. in capital letters and underline, to make it easier for the reciever to easily understand the subject matter of the letter.
    The usage perhaps became standard in later years and followed in the age of coloured fonts of emails also.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: salutation question

    I feel that these "standards" relate to the specific place in which someone has been trained. So far as I am concerned, "For Whom It May Concern" was used only on general reference letters which were held by a person to show to anyone to whom they applied for a job.

    It was usually capitalized, sometimes underlined, sometimes all in capital letters. There was never any punctuation.

    My take on this is keep to what you are asked to do in your job - companies often have their own rules.

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