Salutations

September 10, 2007

Susan,

I have purged the salutation “dear” as in “Dear Susan,” and have replaced it with the more to the point “Susan” as I would if I called Susan on the phone. Usually she can tell it’s me by the timbre in my voice. For someone who doesn’t know or recognize my voice, I would say “Susan, this is Roger Bourland…” In an email, in that the reader can see who the note is from, this extra identification is unnecessary.

“Dear” seems to be from a different era. A very different era. I mean, the only people I can think of that say “dear” to each other these days are old ladies and queeny men. I find it so amusing when some of my more virile, straight male friends write me an email that says “Dear Roger,” — it just sounds so GAY!

And when you are going back and forth about something as you would in an instant message situation, there is no need to have a salutation at all. Just start typing.

Email has afforded new closing lines. The old business standard is “Sincerely yours,” which sounds kinda corny these days. The one I see the most is “Best,” or “All best” which both are short for “All best wishes,” which sounds like a New Years Eve toast. Many of my close friends will give me a textual smack on the lips and hug by typing “xoxoxo” followed by their name.

My favorite closing is taken from James Merrill Ouija board “inspired” epic poem “The Changing Light at Sandover.” He has many eccentric spellings that were obviously short cuts for the Ouija transcription. It’s the word “yrs,” short for “Yours,” which is itself short for “Sincerely yours,”. So if this were an email, I like the quirky close of

yrs,

Roger

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine September 10, 2007 at 4:35 am

Dear Roger,

Call me an old lady, but I love the idea of an endearing salutation. It makes the idea of correspondence special.

Yours truly,

Elaine

Roger Bourland September 11, 2007 at 4:57 am

Dear Elaine.

That’s because you are a dear gal,

Yours most sincerely, with big hugs

Roger (who can be an old lady from time to time)

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