Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Dillemma of a Fusty Old Library Assistant When Writing a Business Email to a Woman

Does he address her as "Dear Emma" or "Dear Marianne" or "Dear Sarah", thereby buying into the modern cult of familiarity and casual first-name use?

Or does he submit to using that awful salutation, "Ms."? A word that even sounds uncomfortable and awkward?

There's just no winning this one. But I've taken to choosing the first option as the lesser evil.

(I'm quite pleased by the amount of students who choose "Miss" as their title when they register. What a bright, friendly, euphonic word! But unfortunately most people leave that field blank.)


  1. So you like Miss, but don't like Ms? Why not just say Miss Emma then?

  2. Because I might get a fire-breathing feminist chasing after me! To be fair, women have a point when they complain that "Miss" and "Mrs" specify marital status, while Mr. does not. But I wish, in that case, that "Mrs" had become universal in analogy with "Mr." Or maybe that "Miss" had simply become the form of address for a young woman, although there again you are getting into dangerous territory...I just think "Miss" is a nice word and it's a shame to lose it. And Ms, ugh, Ms...

  3. What about "Hi Emma"

  4. Dear Female Unit deserving of respect,