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Some clarification in respect of honorific addresses - Mr., Mrs. & Miss

English translation: Mr, Mrs, Ms X - business letter

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English term or phrase:Some clarification in respect of honorific addresses - Mr., Mrs. & Miss
English translation:Mr, Mrs, Ms X - business letter
Entered by: jerrie
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15:01 Dec 11, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
/ etiquettes
English term or phrase: Some clarification in respect of honorific addresses - Mr., Mrs. & Miss
This is an issue which is haunting me for a long time and I am very curious to know about same from the native speakers.

Here in India, whenever we talk to someone older to us, we tend to add *jee* after his name to show respect. For example, a person named Vikas Gulati will be addressed as Gulati Jee when a younger person speaks to him. Likewise, he will be addressed as *Shri* Gulati in all the communications, which is also a sign of respect and it will be treated as an insult to him if we don't use this *jee* and Shri* etc. But while going through English texts and other day to day dealings, I notice the use of Mr., Mrs. and Miss is usually avoided and people are simply addressed by their names, for example - Dear Sam instead of Dear Mr. Sam. I understand there is no harm in using the same if we have intimacy or friendship with him or at least he is known to us.

I'll be thankful to you if you could enlighten me in detail about the usage of these titles, particularly in the context of your culture and customs.

Thanks in anticipation.
Rajesh
formal/informal
Explanation:
In a formal context you would always write Dear Mr Smith (even if you knew his name was John), and the address would be Mr J Smith.

If Mr John Smith lives down the road, and you know him very well, and he pops round to your house from time to time to do odd jobs, you might well start... Dear John

It would never be Dear Mr John (Smith)
I am not aware that we have dropped the Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms...I certainly haven't anyway!

hth
Selected response from:

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:32
Grading comment
Many thanks for apprising me in respect of same.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1While the honorific should be used for people with whom we are not intimate...
Marian Greenfield
4formal/informal
jerrie


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
formal/informal


Explanation:
In a formal context you would always write Dear Mr Smith (even if you knew his name was John), and the address would be Mr J Smith.

If Mr John Smith lives down the road, and you know him very well, and he pops round to your house from time to time to do odd jobs, you might well start... Dear John

It would never be Dear Mr John (Smith)
I am not aware that we have dropped the Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms...I certainly haven't anyway!

hth

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773
Grading comment
Many thanks for apprising me in respect of same.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
some clarification in respect of honorific addresses - mr., mrs. & miss
While the honorific should be used for people with whom we are not intimate...


Explanation:
the tendency in the U.S. has been to be more and more informal and drop the honorific, addressing people by first names.

When I arrived in my JP Morgan office in 1980 the 60-something men in the office generally addressed each other by last name only, no honorific (they were mostly immigrants, and as a native-born American I found this rude, but it was normal for them) or Mr. X. I was in my early 20's and they called me by my first name and I did the same with them, except the manager, who everyone called Mr. X.

Once he was gone and I took over as manager, all newer hires addressed everyone by first names only.

By the 90's, even higher management (right up to my Senior VP's/Managing Directors) were addressed by first name only

Marketing people tend to use first names only in marketing letters to give a false sense of intimacy.

Nonetheless, in a proper business letter, the form of address should be Mr./Mrs./Ms. X.

hth
msg

Marian Greenfield
Local time: 17:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 732

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Laurel Porter: very thorough, right on the mark (comment too late - sorry! still wanted to let you know I thought your answer was great)
16 hrs
  -> Thanks for taking the time...
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