dear sirs+gentlemen+dear madams+?

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chrysanthemum

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In a book I read instead of using dear sirs in letter writing in American usage gentlemen is used. I want to know whether for dear madams there is another word or not.
 

trippo

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I'm not english and i'm not a teacher, but i'm guessing ladies?

ladies and gentlemen
sir and madam
 

englishhobby

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Really, how should one address a women's audience? Ladies? Dear Ladies?
 

BobK

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Certinly not 'Dear madams' - which implies that you think they run a brothel! ;-)

'Ladies' works for me, although some women think that's a loaded term.
 
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