RE: Salutation Question: Hi Fred, or Hi, Fred ?

Subject: RE: Salutation Question: Hi Fred, or Hi, Fred ?
From: "Greg Holmes" <greg -dot- holmes -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 05:31:37 -0500

Hi Fred,

Fred Ridder wrote:

>The "Hi" and "Hello" salutations are *not* parallel
>to the "Dear" constructions.

But in the usage that we are talking about, they are
*precisely* parallel to the "Dear" constructions. Because
they *are* in fact being used as the salutation :)

Dear Joe,

Esteemed colleague,

Most excellent Theophilus,

Hi Bob,

>"Hi" and "Hello" are each a short message directly
>addressed to someone, which is why they are subject
>to the "direct address" punctuation rule.

They're just an informal word substituted for "dear".

As for *why* folks (including me) are writing like that ...
I think it's from all that "authenticity" that actually started in
the 60s. We may be a hundred times as mendacious about
everything that actually matters (wedding vows, etc.) but we'll
be darned if we're going to pretend that our colleagues are
"dear" to us ;)

I'm as guilty as anybody else ... I always felt kind of silly
writing "dear" in paper letters to people who weren't dear to
me. But at least I had the weight of tradition behind me. In
email, we have no such weight of tradition, so off goes the

Yours sincerely,

Greg Holmes

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