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Yo Dude, Milord

July 17, 2013 10 comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the GapEmails –¬†Where do you stand on the grand salutation question?

Dear Sir/Madam. Hey man! Hi Frank!

Which to use and when? A knotty question. In the age of email, does it even matter? This isn’t a letter, after all.

However, emails are used as a faster form of letter. Standard post has been dubbed “snail mail” as it’s slower, but faster delivery should not necessarily mean one may be lax during composition.

Here is my handy guide. I find it’s often easiest to learn by example, so let’s look at some scenarios.

An email of complaint

In this scenario, we have bought defective goods. Maybe we should write a letter, but who has the time? Such an email needs to be fairly formal – “Hi Mr Managing Director” will not do. Take a look at a model example below.

email of complaint

Notice the formal wording and the polite salutation. However, this email contains an error. The sign-off should read “Yours sincerely”, as you have used the recipient’s name! Shocking. This one’s going straight into the digital trash. Be more careful!

An email to a friend

Of course, not all emails need to be quite so formal. You could be composing an invitation to a good friend, inviting them round to your abode for tea and biscuits, or some other healthy pursuit. For example:

email to a friend

As you can see, the content of this email is much less formal than in our previous example. As it is written to a close acquaintance it is still perfectly acceptable, of course!

An email to your boss

Often-times you may find yourself needing to write an email to your boss. Some formality is required here, of course – your career may be at stake. However, the chances are you know your boss quite well, so it need not be as formal as our “complaint” example. It also couldn’t hurt to pay said boss some compliments – maybe it could help win you that promotion!

email to the bossNote that the author is not afraid to blow his own trumpet, and has signed off in such a way as to show all due respect – that promotion is in the bag!

Conclusion

I hope you have seen, through the examples presented here, the different and various ways one may compose one’s email depending on the situation. Please feel free to use any of these examples as a template for your own use.

Happy emailing!

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