Principles of Letter Writing - Forms - Notes
In writing to the President the superscription on the envelope should be
To the President,
Washington, D. C.
Professional men such as doctors and lawyers as well as those having
legitimately earned College Degrees may be addressed on the envelopes by
their titles, as
Jonathan Janeway, M. D.
Hubert Houston, B. L.
Matthew Marks, M. A., etc.
The residence of the person addressed should be plainly written out in
full. The street and numbers should be given and the city or town written
very legibly. If the abbreviation of the State is liable to be confounded
or confused with that of another then the full name of the State should
be written. In writing the residence on the envelope, instead of putting
it all in one line as is done at the head of a letter, each item of the
residence forms a separate line. Thus,
215 Minna St.,
There should be left a space for the postage stamp in the upper right
hand corner. The name and title should occupy a line that is about
central between the top of the envelope and the bottom. The name should
neither be too much to right or left but located in the centre, the
beginning and end at equal distances from either end.
In writing to large business concerns which are well known or to public
or city officials it is sometimes customary to leave out number and street.
Messrs. Seigel, Cooper Co.,
New York City,
Hon. William J. Gaynor,
New York City.
Notes may be regarded as letters in miniature confined chiefly to
invitations, acceptances, regrets and introductions, and modern etiquette
tends towards informality in their composition. Card etiquette, in fact,
has taken the place of ceremonious correspondence and informal notes are
now the rule. Invitations to dinner and receptions are now mostly written
on cards. "Regrets" are sent back on visiting cards with just the one
word "Regrets" plainly written thereon. Often on cards and notes of
invitation we find the letters R. S. V. P. at the bottom. These letters
stand for the French repondez s'il vous plait, which means "Reply, if
you please," but there is no necessity to put this on an invitation card
as every well-bred person knows that a reply is expected. In writing
notes to young ladies of the same family it should be noted that the
eldest daughter of the house is entitled to the designation Miss without
any Christian name, only the surname appended. Thus if there are three
daughters in the Thompson family Martha, the eldest, Susan and Jemina,
Martha is addressed as Miss Thompson and the other two as Miss Susan
Thompson and Miss Jemina Thompson respectively.
Don't write the word addressed on the envelope of a note.
Don't seal a note delivered by a friend.
Don't write a note on a postal card.
Here are a few common forms:--
Next: FORMAL INVITATIONS