The writing culture has been around for a very long time. At a time when modern e-mail was a fantasy phenomenon, letters were written by hand, took a long time to reach the addressee, each word was worth its weight in gold. Neither paper nor ink was wasted just like that. No wonder the correspondence of some famous philosophers, thinkers and writers has survived to this day and is studied as literary works.
What to do now, when outdated letters of appeal seem to be inappropriate? But you have to apply, and every day and for different reasons. How to start a business letter to immediately set the interlocutor on the right wave?
Hello or goodbye? How not to get into trouble
Let's start right away with the "viral" phrase "good day". The very case when "with good intentions …" A comic appeal instantly entered business (and not only) correspondence. Many, apparently, think that by such an appeal they respect the right of the correspondent to read the letter at any convenient time.him time. However, such pseudo-respect is fundamentally wrong.
Even by ear, the phrase is cumbersome and uncomfortable. From a grammatical point of view, it is also incorrect. The genitive case in Russian is traditionally used when saying goodbye: "all the best", "have a nice day", while the verb "I wish" is omitted.
When meeting (even virtual) constructions in the nominative case are used: "good evening", "good morning".
What do you do when you're not sure if the person you're talking to is morning or night?
The universal address in business letters is "hello" or "good afternoon". An interesting nuance - the words "morning" and "evening" have a message for the time of day, while the neutral "good afternoon" according to etiquette can be used at any time of the day or night. Still hurting your ears? Write "hello"!
"Dear, I beg you": archaisms today
The emergence of appeals is a topic with a long history. At a time when class division was recognized, the hierarchy was clear and understandable. In accordance with the Table of Ranks, the interlocutor was addressed as "your honor", "your excellency", more simply - "dear sir", "sir". A mistake could be fatal. Yes, there are many options, but they were all clearly spelled out and did not allow for double interpretations.
It is interesting that even now such words can offend the interlocutor, as they soundsarcastically, belittle his status and dignity.
Soviet times destroyed the class system and greatly simplified the form of address. Actually, there were only two of them: "comrade" and "citizen (citizen)". Both words are universal, applied to all persons, regardless of age, gender, position. However, there was a nuance. "Comrade" was called trustworthy people, the word carries a touch of personal disposition. The "citizen", while being neutral, has rather a hint of a negative attitude, some doubt as to whether a person is a comrade.
Business correspondence today. Communication as equals
The current written business etiquette is a wild mixture of returned pre-revolutionary word forms. Alas, a single standard of treatment in our country has not yet taken root, but the process is underway, the excess is eliminated.
Visualization is a powerful thing. If you met with the interlocutor in person, then behind the words of the appeal, he will see you and your manner of speaking. If there was no meeting, then it is a written appeal that will create the first impression: pleasant or not very - it depends on you.
The main rule is not to belittle yourself by elevating the interlocutor too much (with a small exception, which we will talk about later). We do not have a feudal system, people are equal, this is exactly what should be felt in the letter. "Dear" is overkill. And behind the bust, a mockery seems to be.
Neutral handling. We do not go too far
"Dear" is a great way to address a stranger. But behind this shouldfollow the name and patronymic. For example, "dear Akaky Akakievich".
Simply mentioning the last name in this case looks impolite. In this case, the phrase must be supplemented either with the word "sir", or the name of the academic degree, position. "Dear Bashmachkin" does not sound very good, but "dear Mr. Bashmachkin" - according to all the canons of business communication.
Which is better? If you know the degree of the interlocutor, use it in your appeal. This is a sign of well-deserved respect without a drop of subservience.
If you don't know, contact "dear sir".
For a group of people united on some basis, career or social, the beginning of the letter "dear colleagues, partners, residents, visitors …" is a win-win option.
"Mr" is another appeal that came back from pre-revolutionary times. Today, it is perhaps the most common. Together with the surname, it forms a completely appropriate form. Nowadays, the word "master" does not imply class, only respect for an equal. However, groups of people who are clearly lower in the social ladder should not be treated like that. Agree, "gentlemen poor" sounds mocking.
Diplomatic correspondence. Conversion Secrets
The only, perhaps, case in our time when the difference in position needs to be emphasized is the appeal to state officials and the clergy.
Name-patronymic, even flavored with the words "dear sir", will be badtone.
Be sure to mention the position or dignity of the person. "Dear Mr. Ambassador" - the correct address (we substitute "minister", "president", "authorized representative", etc.).
"Your Excellency the King of Sweden" is also appropriate these days. Far from daily communication with members of the royal family, a person is unlikely to know all the subtleties of communication with top officials. In this case, it is better to bend the stick.