For my second “Excellence in Correspondence” post, I want to talk to you about the subtleties of introductory phrases. Imagine this: you’re sitting down to write a letter to your lovely pen pal and you think: “How should I begin?” You don’t want to seem needy or desperate, but you don’t want to be aloof and indifferent either.
Here’s a helpful guide for navigating these issues with ease and some recommended greetings that are sure to get your letter off to an excellent start:
Dear Friend: This is the standard, easy entry into a conversation. It’s disarming and casual. Just imagine reading it… “We’re friends?! Hip, hip. Isn’t that delightful.” You can really never go wrong with this greeting, but if you use it too often, you will start to seem stale.
Hello!: I always recommend using exclamation points with caution. The well-placed exclamation can create excitement and keep a reader engaged, but used too frequently and you start to sound like an unnecessarily angry Elaine Benes. Use it in your greeting and forgo using it again until you get to the salutation.
Howdy Partner: Are you a cowboy? You are? That’s amazing. Use this greeting as often as you wish. If you’re not, just forget it.
Greetings Mate: If you aren’t British, proceed with caution. Your pen pal may assume you’re a Londoner if you start your letter off with this. If you’ve always wished you were British, well, here’s your ticket for faking it.
Oy! You There.: Have you written to your pen pal several times without a return letter? This greeting will do. It will disarm and prod them in the ass. If you’re reading this and you aren’t writing your pen pal back – get on it already.
P.S. Did you know you can hire someone to write letters for you? I know! That’s weird. But if you want to engage someone in these services, consider Betsy on Etsy. She’s got wonderful penmanship as you can see in the photo.
This post was originally written by Liz Giorgi.