QOTD: What salutation do you prefer to use and receive?
Perhaps in my mind I am living in the Middle Ages when Old English was still the norm, but when I receive a letter or a message that begins with “Dear,” I can’t help but feel as though I’d just swallowed a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup or received a big bear hug from an old friend.
Nowadays, the salutation “Dear” seems to be most often used between co-workers, in student emails to instructors, and other more professional and formal written exchanges of communication. What I love about “Dear” is not only the respect embedded within the word, but also the fact that it carries such an affectionate sense of caring, fondness and amiability. We have gotten so caught up in today’s convenient “American language” and colloquialism that acknowledgments such as “Hey,” “Hi,” and “‘Sup” have replaced more traditional ways of greeting people.
Of course, I would be a fool as to say that I myself don’t use those expressions, because I do. All the time. That being said, I will always have a soft spot for the word “dear,” and try to use it when I can and when it’s appropriate–even when I am just writing friends. I like to give them the sense of warm, glowing fuzziness that I tend to get when someone calls me “dear.” It’s just nice to hear, you know?
Just for fun, here is one of my favorite clips that show the cast of Harry Potter speaking “American.” Hilarious.
What do you think about the progression of the American language over the years? Should the degree of respect and formality in salutations really matter? Is it really that important to use greetings at the beginning of an email or a chat session on Facebook?
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