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Subject:Re: Greetings and Salutations From:"Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com Date:Tue, 21 Dec 99 12:19:00 -0500
The earlier post (deleted, I don't recall who sent it) that suggested Dear Susan Smith gets my vote. It has ample traditional precedent among groups that eschew titles on principle, and it avoids the awkwardness that arises when we do not know the sex of the recipient (or, often, which is the surname and which the given name). This arises more and more frequently as our contacts become global and as we encounter a larger number of foreign-born individuals in this country (some of whom retain their birth names in the original order and some of whom Americanize their names by reversing the order).
I always use courtesy titles and last names when writing formal letters.
When in doubt, it's always best to be too courteous. As others have
mentioned, Ms. is the acceptable form when addressing women.