The Subscription or ending of a letter consists of the term of respect

or affection and the signature. The term depends upon the relation of the

person addressed. Letters of friendship can close with such expressions


Yours lovingly,

Yours affectionately,

Devotedly yours,

Ever yours, etc.

as between husbands and wives or between lovers. Such gushing

terminations as Your Own Darling, Your own Dovey and other pet and silly

endings should be avoided, as they denote shallowness. Love can be

strongly expressed without dipping into the nonsensical and the farcical.

Formal expressions of Subscription are:

Yours Sincerely,

Yours truly,

Respectfully yours,

and the like, and these may be varied to denote the exact bearing or

attitude the writer wishes to assume to the person addressed: as,

Very sincerely yours,

Very respectfully yours,

With deep respect yours,

Yours very truly, etc.

Such elaborate endings as

"In the meantime with the highest respect, I am yours to command,"

"I have the honor to be, Sir, Your humble Servant,"

"With great expression of esteem, I am Sincerely yours,"

"Believe me, my dear Sir, Ever faithfully yours,"

are condemned as savoring too much of affectation.

It is better to finish formal letters without any such qualifying

remarks. If you are writing to Mr. Ryan to tell him that you have a house

for sale, after describing the house and stating the terms simply sign


Your obedient Servant

Yours very truly,

Yours with respect,

James Wilson.

Don't say you have the honor to be anything or ask him to believe

anything, all you want to tell him is that you have a house for sale and

that you are sincere, or hold him in respect as a prospective customer.

Don't abbreviate the signature as: Y'rs Resp'fly and always make

your sex obvious. Write plainly

Yours truly,

John Field

and not J. Field, so that the person to whom you send it may not take

you for Jane Field.

It is always best to write the first name in full. Married women should

prefix Mrs. to their names, as

Very sincerely yours,

Mrs. Theodore Watson.

If you are sending a letter acknowledging a compliment or some kindness

done you may say, Yours gratefully, or Yours very gratefully, in

proportion to the act of kindness received.

It is not customary to sign letters of degrees or titles after your name,

except you are a lord, earl or duke and only known by the title, but as

we have no such titles in America it is unnecessary to bring this matter

into consideration. Don't sign yourself,

Sincerely yours,

Obadiah Jackson, M.A. or L.L. D.

If you're an M. A. or an L.L. D. people generally know it without your

sounding your own trumpet. Many people, and especially clergymen, are

fond of flaunting after their names degrees they have received honoris

causa, that is, degrees as a mark of honor, without examination. Such

degrees should be kept in the background. Many a deadhead has these

degrees which he could never have earned by brain work.

Married women whose husbands are alive may sign the husband's name with

the prefix Mrs: thus,

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. William Southey.

but when the husband is dead the signature should be--

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Sarah Southey.

So when we receive a letter from a woman we are enabled to tell whether

she has a husband living or is a widow. A woman separated from her

husband but not a divorcee should not sign his name.

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