The Heading has three parts, viz., the name of the place, the date of

writing and the designation of the person or persons addressed; thus:

73 New Street,

Newark, N. J.,

February 1st, 1910.

Messr. Ginn and Co.,

New York


The name of the place should never be omitted; in cities, street and

number should always be given, and except when the city is large and very

conspicuous, so that there can be no question as to its identity with

another of the same or similar name, the abbreviation of the State should

be appended, as in the above, Newark, N. J. There is another Newark in

the State of Ohio. Owing to failure to comply with this rule many letters

go astray. The date should be on every letter, especially business

letters. The date should never be put at the bottom in a business letter,

but in friendly letters this may be done. The designation of the

person or persons addressed differs according to the relations of the

correspondents. Letters of friendship may begin in many ways according to

the degrees of friendship or intimacy. Thus:

My dear Wife:

My dear Husband:

My dear Friend:

My darling Mother:

My dearest Love:

Dear Aunt:

Dear Uncle:

Dear George: etc.

To mark a lesser degree of intimacy such formal designations as the

following may be employed:

Dear Sir:

My dear Sir:

Dear Mr. Smith:

Dear Madam: etc.

For clergymen who have the degree of Doctor of Divinity, the designation

is as follows:

Rev. Alban Johnson, D. D.

My dear Sir: or Rev. and dear Sir: or more familiarly

Dear Dr. Johnson:

Bishops of the Roman and Anglican Communions are addressed as

Right Reverend.

The Rt. Rev., the Bishop of Long Island. or

The Rt. Rev. Frederick Burgess, Bishop of Long Island.

Rt. Rev. and dear Sir:

Archbishops of the Roman Church are addressed as Most Reverend and

Cardinals as Eminence. Thus:

The Most Rev. Archbishop Katzer.

Most Rev. and dear Sir:

His Eminence, James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore.

May it please your Eminence:

The title of the Governor of a State or territory and of the President of

the United States is Excellency. However, Honorable is more commonly

applied to Governors:--

His Excellency, William Howard Taft,

President of the United States.


His Excellency, Charles Evans Hughes,

Governor of the State of New York.


Honorable Franklin Fort,

Governor of New Jersey.


The general salutation for Officers of the Army and Navy is Sir. The

rank and station should be indicated in full at the head of the letter,


General Joseph Thompson,

Commanding the Seventh Infantry.


Rear Admiral Robert Atkinson,

Commanding the Atlantic Squadron.


The title of officers of the Civil Government is Honorable and they are

addressed as Sir.

Hon. Nelson Duncan,

Senator from Ohio.


Hon. Norman Wingfield,

Secretary of the Treasury.


Hon. Rupert Gresham,

Mayor of New York.


Presidents and Professors of Colleges and Universities are generally

addressed as Sir or Dear Sir.

Professor Ferguson Jenks,

President of .......... University.

Sir: or Dear Sir:

Presidents of Societies and Associations are treated as business men and

addressed as Sir or Dear Sir.

Mr. Joseph Banks,

President of the Night Owls.

Dear Sir: or Sir:

Doctors of Medicine are addressed as Sir: My dear Sir: Dear Sir:

and more familiarly My dear Dr: or Dear Dr: as

Ryerson Pitkin, M. D.


Dear Sir:

My dear Dr:

Ordinary people with no degrees or titles are addressed as Mr. and Mrs.

and are designed Dear Sir: Dear Madam: and an unmarried woman of any age

is addressed on the envelope as Miss So-and-so, but always designed in

the letter as

Dear Madam:

The plural of Mr. as in addressing a firm is Messrs, and the

corresponding salutation is Dear Sirs: or Gentlemen:

In England Esq. is used for Mr. as a mark of slight superiority and

in this country it is sometimes used, but it is practically obsolete.

Custom is against it and American sentiment as well. If it is used it

should be only applied to lawyers and justices of the peace.

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN A NUTSHELL THE PARAGRAPH facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail