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How To End A Letter

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The way we end a letter says much about us than we realise. It reveals to the recipient a considerable amount about our background and education, which can be important when approaching a potential business outlet, or applying for a job. For example:
Strictly speaking, a letter that begins ‘Dear (Name)’ should end ‘Yours sincerely’ and one that begins ‘Dear Sir’ should end ‘Yours faithfully’.
The close ‘Yours truly’ is rarely used these days, except when writing to shops or the bank, advises Debrett.
Although emails have removed much of the formality surrounding letter writing, it is still advisable to observe the correct form when writing to a person for the first time.
Letters and emails sent to friends can end with whatever sentiment you choose - ‘Yours ever’, With best wishes’, ‘With kindest regards’ or simple ‘Regards’ – and often evolve depending on the level of familiarity, i.e. ‘Yours in the sport’ or ‘Yours in the craft’ are used in many instances, and are only incorrect if a misjudgement is made about the degree of familiarity that is acceptable between the two parties.
When sending a printed business/official letter it is a courtesy to write the opening and closing of all letters where the recipient is addressed by name.
In the rare instance where it is impossible to find out a name and title ‘Dear Sir’ is still the best alternative.
The correct form of letter writing is a dying art in the 21st century computer age but there are still set rules of etiquette to be observed, if only as a courtesy.
For the correct opening and ending of letters to people with a rank or title, consult Debrett’s ‘Etiquette & Modern Manners’ or Debrett’s ‘Correct Form’.
Despite the familiarity of today’s world, a large number of people still find it offensive to be addressed by their first, or Christian name by a complete stranger, making contact for the first time.


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