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When I was in school back in the stone age (1950's),
all business correspondence was considered "formal,"
and personal correspondence could be either, depending
on the circumstances.
For example, writing to one of your father's college
classmates to request or express thanks for a letter
of reference to the college in support of your
application would be personal, not business, but
even if your dad addressed the person in question
as "Willy, you bastard" on a daily basis and you had
been calling him "Uncle Billy" since you were four,
he still got the "Dear Mr. Jones:" treatment when
you wrote to him in this situation.
Nowadays, of course, the average college applicant
has probably been calling Dad's buddy Willy the
Bastard (or worse) since childhood, and will be
making the arrangements for that letter of reference
via cellphone text message.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
> Dear Mr. Kim-Eng:
> Would you say that your view of colon use suggests that whether to use a
> comma or colon depends on the tone the correspondence is intended to convey?
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