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When writing or replying to someone via e-mail...

Laila619

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...is it rude to not begin the e-mail with the person's name as a greeting? Or is it just a time saver and thus not rude?
Example: simply writing, "I wanted to discuss the meeting with you" instead of "Hi Sally, I wanted to discuss the meeting with you." Rude or acceptable? I know it's a totally minor thing, but we like to analyze everything on PS, so what say you? :)
 

Circe

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It's certainly casual ....

I'll do this with exceptionally close friends (usually including an e-mail header that trails off into ellipsis and picks up in the body), but I wouldn't ever send such an e-mail to a colleague or superior. I have the feeling this formality is fading fast, as many of my students will e-mail me without formal address. Then again, some of them eschew capital letters like they think they're e.e. cummings, and some of them use emoticons, and some of them r1t3 in l33t, so ... yeah. Standards, they are a'changing.
 

iheartscience

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I think that the first email in an email exchange should include a "Hi Sally." I always write a "Hi Sally" no matter what, but a lot of times in a quick back and forth email exchange the subsequent emails from whoever I'm corresponding with don't have a "Hi Thing2of2" and I'm fine with that.
 

Kaleigh

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I like starting with:

Hi Sally,
Wanted to follow up on our meeting today...


To not address her by name is super casual and something I would never do in a business setting...

I think addressing people by name,
Shows respect. I know people are becoming more and more casual... But I don't like that myself.. Impressions are key. Just like you want to put your best foot forward and the like...
 

Laila619

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Thanks ladies!

Here's another scenario: what if someone just writes "Hey" or "Hi" at the top of the e-mail, without using the recipient's name...?
 

Circe

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Laila619|1304566391|2912707 said:
Thanks ladies!

Here's another scenario: what if someone just writes "Hey" or "Hi" at the top of the e-mail, without using the recipient's name...?
To me, that tends to imply either casualness or discomfort with what to call them - sort of like, are we on a first name basis? Does she prefer to go by her married name or her maiden name? Is she one of those Ph.D.'s who expects to be called "Doctor?"
 

iheartscience

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Circe|1304566591|2912709 said:
Laila619|1304566391|2912707 said:
Thanks ladies!

Here's another scenario: what if someone just writes "Hey" or "Hi" at the top of the e-mail, without using the recipient's name...?
To me, that tends to imply either casualness or discomfort with what to call them - sort of like, are we on a first name basis? Does she prefer to go by her married name or her maiden name? Is she one of those Ph.D.'s who expects to be called "Doctor?"
Ha, ditto! I always use a name. I think I pretty much always even use a name (or nickname) when I email my husband!

And when unsure, I err on the side of formality or go by what they signed their last email to me as.
 

VRBeauty

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I usually just start like

Sally:

unless I'm writing someone I've never met, in which case (in a business setting) I'll start a bi more formally, as in

Ms. Pricescope:

increasingly though the emails I'm getting from colleagues, and especially from superiors, don't use any greeting at all.
 

monarch64

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Hi Laila!

(I wanted to begin this message the way I would normally.)

I think that the formal approach of greeting someone by name first (in the salutation line) is appropriate. The more you get to know someone, or the more casual the relationship becomes, THEN you can begin to drop formal salutations and move on from there. ("Hey Laila...Hey L, etc.) I purposely began this particular discourse with a semi-formal greeting. I ALWAYS use a name, and that's just my upbringing speaking...personally and professionally.

Thank you for asking!

Best regards,
H.

P.S. I'm just throwing out my own opinion here...I hope it helps a big. I'm not the utmost authority as far as etiquette, but I try. :read: :wavey: :appl:
 

swingirl

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I find "Hey" or "Sally" offensive. Those are used to grab someone's attention from across the room. What is the problem with actually greeting a person before you start a conversation? I understand if you are having a quick on-going conversation with one person that you don't need to say hi hi hi with every sentence. But your initial email should include a greeting.

You will find most people over 40 do not want to be called Hey.
 

Trekkie

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swingirl|1304576211|2912780 said:
You will find most people over 40 do not want to be called Hey.
I am 27 and I hate being called hey.

I don't care how cool or trendy you think you are, in the business context it is never appropriate to start a formal email with 'hey'.

In casual emails between friends it's fine. I have several friends with whom I conduct daily ping pong like email exchanges and after the initial 'oi, bitch' or 'hey S' we don't use any salutation.
 

Jennifer W

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Can I be even more pedantic and formal here? I don't use 'hi' in a formal business email. Dear Ms /Dear Mr if it's someone I don't know (or someone who addresses me as such) or Dear Sally. I would prefer just 'Sally' to 'Hi Sally' unless it's someone I know pretty well, or someone who addressed me that way first. I work part time in a very formal organisation though (a health board) and things can be quite Victorian there. Some of my older colleagues eschew email in favour of quill pens.
 

zoebartlett

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I generally like to greet the person with "Hi [person's name]" instead of just the person's name. It sounds friendly that way. I do notice that after an initial e-mail with someone, sometimes the other person gets right to the message with no greeting in a follow-up message. If that happens, I usually follow his/her lead and do the same thing.
 

missy

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thing2of2|1304565768|2912703 said:
I think that the first email in an email exchange should include a "Hi Sally." I always write a "Hi Sally" no matter what, but a lot of times in a quick back and forth email exchange the subsequent emails from whoever I'm corresponding with don't have a "Hi Thing2of2" and I'm fine with that.
Ditto. I always start with a Hi Sally or Dear Sally and sign with Best, Missy or something like that and if in subsequent emails the other person drops the Hi or Hello etc I sometimes do to. It also depends if the email exchange is with a casual friend or business colleague etc. I am definitely more casual with my friends and more formal with colleagues.
 

JewelFreak

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Jennifer W|1304582620|2912803 said:
I work part time in a very formal organisation though (a health board) and things can be quite Victorian there. Some of my older colleagues eschew email in favour of quill pens.
:lol: :lol:


If I get an email that starts just "Hi," it makes me suspicious before I read it -- sounds like it came from someone who doesn't know me & wants to look all friendly -- probably wants to sell me something.

I never know how to start an email to, say, a company or department where I don't know whom I'm addressing. Like in a complaint or suggestion. "Dear Ladies & Gentlemen" is lame, "Sirs or Madams" hiliarious. What do you folks do?
 

yennyfire

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Unless it's my sister, I always inlude a "Hi Sally"....email is so casual, but I still think applying general rules if courtesy is a nice thing to do.
 

stephbolt

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I start most of my business emails with "Hi Sally" or just "Sally" if it is the first email in a chain, but within my colleagues it's common for us to drop it in subsequent responses.

With my friends it depends what I am emailing - if it is just a quick note or a link to something I find funny, I usually don't include salutation or signature. But if it's a longer letter type email, I'm much more likely to add those components.
 

packrat

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Depends who I'm emailing. I'm a casual person, and I don't work in a formal environment. When we send out emails to the office it's "Just to let you know, Dr. is taking 5-13 off, the schedule is set" Sometimes there's a "Good Morning!" When I email my brother I type it like I'm talking to him "You guys want to come over for supper tomorrow night? Let me know" Etsy shops, I say "Hi, my name is so and so," the first time, then Hi X or Good Morning X, and then sometimes drop that and type like I talk if it's emailing back and forth about the same thing b/c it feels like a conversation.
 

Trekkie

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Jennifer W|1304582620|2912803 said:
Can I be even more pedantic and formal here? I don't use 'hi' in a formal business email. Dear Ms /Dear Mr if it's someone I don't know (or someone who addresses me as such) or Dear Sally. I would prefer just 'Sally' to 'Hi Sally' unless it's someone I know pretty well, or someone who addressed me that way first. I work part time in a very formal organisation though (a health board) and things can be quite Victorian there. Some of my older colleagues eschew email in favour of quill pens.
I'm actually laughing out loud as I type this. That was hilarious, thank you, JenniferW. I needed a laugh.

Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with starting an email with "Dear Sally". That's how I start all formal / work related correspondence.

Yesterday I received this email from a third year journalism student:

Hey Ms Trekkie

Lastnight i had a meeting with the rest of the house Comm, would it be okay if we come next week wednesday in the afternoon. [insert 3 line run on sentence without punctuation here]

Looking forward to paying you guys a visit.

have a great day:)

Jane Doe
What are they teaching these kids at university these days?! :errrr:
 

princesss

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I generally start my first e-mail in a chain with "Sally" and any subsequent e-mails skip the greeting. But generally the level of formality of the people I'm corresponding with is extremely low, so I'm not too worried about it.

When in doubt, I check the last e-mail they sent me and mimic that greeting.
 

JewelFreak

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How do you start when you don't know whom you're emailing? Say, in a billing question or a complaint. "Dear Time Warner?" Hmmm. "Hi Folks!"? "Hey, You!"? "Yoo Hoo, Anybody Home?"
 

princesss

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JewelFreak, I always end up going with "To whom it may concern" - though if I'm writing an internal e-mail and I don't know who it's going to, I generally use "Dear colleagues" or, significantly less formally, "DCs".
 

lucyandroger

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JewelFreak|1304602477|2912908 said:
How do you start when you don't know whom you're emailing? Say, in a billing question or a complaint. "Dear Time Warner?" Hmmm. "Hi Folks!"? "Hey, You!"? "Yoo Hoo, Anybody Home?"
I use "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon." If I'm being informal, I just use "Hello."

To the original question, when writing to clients or superiors that I don't work with too often, I always use a salutation (even if they stop somewhere in the chain). I usually just use the person's first name followed by a comma.

For my juniors or superiors (and even a couple clients) that I work with frequently, I use a salutation for my first email in the chain and then usually drop it. I either use the person's first name or "Hi First name." If I'm asking a more junior person to do something, I typically use "Hi First name" in an attempt to be friendlier.

One of the women I work for almost never uses a salutaion and abbreviates the word "please." I think her emails are really rude and it makes my blood boil when I recive them. It goes something like this: [no subject and no salutation] "Pls draft response re client meeting. Need to send it out today. Thanks." Ugh. Like she's too busy and important to bother writing out the word please when asking me to do something.
 

Laila619

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Trekkie|1304576827|2912783 said:
swingirl|1304576211|2912780 said:
You will find most people over 40 do not want to be called Hey.
I am 27 and I hate being called hey.

I don't care how cool or trendy you think you are, in the business context it is never appropriate to start a formal email with 'hey'.
Swingirl and Trekkie, so it's not just me! I hate being addressed as "Hey." I'm glad to know that this isn't considered an acceptable greeting, at least not with PSers.
 

Circe

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JewelFreak|1304602477|2912908 said:
How do you start when you don't know whom you're emailing? Say, in a billing question or a complaint. "Dear Time Warner?" Hmmm. "Hi Folks!"? "Hey, You!"? "Yoo Hoo, Anybody Home?"
Dear Sir or Madam ....
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Personally I start all of my emails (personal and professional) with a greeting, whether it's just their name or a hello X type greeting. I think it sets the tone of the email. When I receive emails from people without a greeting I feel like I did something wrong, they're demanding that I do something, or they're upset with me.
 

MonkeyPie

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Either I'm lazy, or I work in a very casual environment - many times when I respond to an email, I just respond to the question without a greeting. After all, they do know I'm talking to them already, or I would have sent the email to someone else. If I had multiple recipients and want to address certain ones about different points, then I just use their first name.

Most of the time when someone sends ME an email (at work, anyway), they don't even say hello or add my name. I guess it is the nature of the beast, always in a hurry. It doesn't bother me.
 

MichelleCarmen

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thing2of2|1304565768|2912703 said:
I think that the first email in an email exchange should include a "Hi Sally." I always write a "Hi Sally" no matter what, but a lot of times in a quick back and forth email exchange the subsequent emails from whoever I'm corresponding with don't have a "Hi Thing2of2" and I'm fine with that.
Yep, same here.

With everyone, even best friends, I start the first NEW topic email with, "Hi Sally," then the friend will respond with, "Hi MC," and from then on, until we finish that round of emails we don't include names again (but often I sign my name).

When the next set start, I always begin again.

Now this is with FRIENDS.

With other business, I always include the person's name in EVERY email...usually, after the first "Hi Sally," the rest will be along the lines of, "Thanks for replying, Sally."

I also take cue from others. Like if the person responds to my emails with my name every time, I also respond with his/her name.

ETA - I even do the same with text messages. Whenever I start up a new round of conversation, I say, "Hi Sally." The only people I don't address by name include DH and my MIL.
 

MichelleCarmen

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JewelFreak|1304593944|2912857 said:
Jennifer W|1304582620|2912803 said:
I work part time in a very formal organisation though (a health board) and things can be quite Victorian there. Some of my older colleagues eschew email in favour of quill pens.
:lol: :lol:


If I get an email that starts just "Hi," it makes me suspicious before I read it -- sounds like it came from someone who doesn't know me & wants to look all friendly -- probably wants to sell me something.

I never know how to start an email to, say, a company or department where I don't know whom I'm addressing. Like in a complaint or suggestion. "Dear Ladies & Gentlemen" is lame, "Sirs or Madams" hiliarious. What do you folks do?
Yeah, actually while on the just "hi," it's a good idea to include the name to make sure you are emailing the right person. One year a friend sent a "Hi," email to me and I was reading through it and realized it was an email she was sending as a bulk email to everyone. The reason I figured it out was because she brought up some woman who had had a baby and I'm was thinking WHY is she telling me that. Ahhhh....she sent it to a group of friends and for some reason just lumped me in with that group. I actually was kind of offended by it! Can't take 10 minutes out to type a seperate email out?
 

elrohwen

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I do this with people I work with all the time and am close to. If I see someone multiple times a day and we have a good relationship, I'm pretty sure they don't care if I jump right into the email.

With someone I don't work with often, or don't know, of if I'm sending out to a bunch of people I'll use the name (or just "Team" if it's a big group).

I'm also more likely to do it as part of a reply. I might send my initial email out with a name at the top, but once we're a couple emails into the chain I usually drop it.
 
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