Monday, July 26, 2010

Parts of a Letter.

The Complimentary Closing follows the body of the letter, on the line below the last line of the letter, and consists of the words of respect or regard used to express the writer's feelings toward the person written to. They are in a sense conventional and are often used without thought as to their meaning. The most common forms in business use are: "Respectfully," "Respectfully yours", "Yours very respectfully," "Yours truly," "Yours very truly," "Yours faithfully," "Sincerely yours," etc. "Gratefully yours" may be used if the writer is under obligation to the one written to, or "Fraternally yours" if a member of the same order or society.

In official letters a more formal style is used: as, "I have the honor to be, Yours very respectfully."

The complimentary closing should always be consistent with the salutation. For example: to begin a letter with a formal "Sir" and close with "Sincerely yours" would show very bad taste.

The Signature is the name of the writer or the firm or company he represents. It should be written under the complimentary closing and should end just at the right-hand edge of the sheet.

It should be written very plainly. Many writers have a habit of making their signature the most unintelligible part of their letters, presuming that because their name is familiar to themselves it is to everybody else.

A lady writing to persons with whom she is not acquainted should always prefix the title, Miss or Mrs., in parenthesis, to her signature.

Folding.-- The letter sheet should be folded so as to nearly fill the envelope. To fold a sheet of letter paper to fit the No. 6 or 6½ envelope, turn the bottom of the sheet up to the top, making one fold, then fold equally from the right and from the left, making the letter, when folded, a little narrower than the envelope. If the envelope is held with the left hand, back up, and the letter inserted as folded, all the receiver has to do when he opens the envelope is to withdraw the letter and turn back the folds, and he has it before him right side up. This is important.

Sealing.-- Be particular to seal your letter properly especially if it contains money or other enclosure.

A letter of introduction or recommendation should never be sealed when entrusted to bearer.

The Envelope Address.-- The name and title should be written on the center of the envelope lengthwise. When street and number are given, or the direction "In care of Mr. ______" they follow on the second line, the city or town on the third, and the state on the fourth or lower right hand corner of envelope.

The envelope should be placed before the writer with the flap farthest from him, otherwise it will be addressed upside down and the letter should not be inserted until after the address is written.

More than five million letters and packages reach the dead letter office at Washington every year because they are improperly directed, therefore great care should be exercised in addressing envelopes.

See examples of addressed envelopes.

The envelope used for business purposes should have either written or printed upon its upper left-hand corner the name and address of the sender, with the request to be returned in a certain number of days if not called for.

Opening Letters.-- Letters are properly opened by inserting a knife or other convenient instrument under the flap at the end and cutting across the top of the envelope.

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