Posted by: Jack Henry | July 9, 2019

Editor’s Corner: Hello, dear!

Hello, my fellow language lovers!

Today we’re going to talk about greetings and salutations in email and other places. Yes, we’ve discussed them before, but of all the requests I received recently, this was the topic asked about most.

Let’s look at the punctuation. According the Chicago Manual of Style:

In correspondence, a comma typically follows the greeting, though a colon may be used instead (especially in formal correspondence).

  • Dear Kara, . . .
  • Hello, Kara, . . .
  • To Ms. Diedre Star:
  • Dear Kara:

If the greeting itself consists of a direct address, two marks of punctuation are needed (i.e., the comma in the direct address and the colon or comma following the greeting). [KC – From Grammar Girl, you can also use a period after the person’s name if you are ending the sentence there, or an exclamation point if you are really excited.]

  • Greetings, Board Members:
  • Hello, Margo, I’ll see you soon!
  • Good morning, Batman, I just wanted you to know that I told Alfred he could have the day off.
  • Hi, Bob.
  • Hello, everybody!

The first mark is often left out in casual correspondence.

  • Hi Todd,
  • Hello Marguerite,

I hope I’ve answered your questions. Next up: signing off when you send an email or business correspondence.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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