Dear Sir,

It has not happened from authors within the United States, but a trend that I’ve noticed is that male authors from other countries will often send in a support request with “Dear Sir.”

So this blog message goes out to the Male authors out there that have not caught on to the whole equality movement: Get with the program.

Women now have equal rights. It’s the way it is and should be. If it’s not that way in your country, don’t assume it’s not that way in our country.

When I see a “Dear Sir” come in, I think arrogance. How arrogant to assume that a male will be reading the emails.

Incidentally, the highest percentage of political incorrectness are usually males over the age of 60.

Look, I’m not here to judge you or your values but know that American women are offended when they read “Dear Sir” when sending an email to support. Ok? Got it? :) Good. Thank you.

Now, as a guy, when I read “Dear Sir,” I immediately think, “why is he or she addressing me in such a highly formal way. Here in the USA, “Dear Sir” is reserved for legal dog fights… meaning, I think many assume that you’re hostile and that you meant your greating in a passive-agressive angry demeanor.

What’s your thoughts on the “Dear Sir” debate?


Denise O'Berry writes:

Chris —

Kudos to you! I get quite a number of “Dear Sir” messages. What it says to me is that they haven’t bothered to even check my website (even though their email says they have), because if they had they would see my smiling mug peering back and them and realize that yes, I am not a “Dear Sir.”

Best regards,
Denise O’Berry

Comment provided May 14, 2005 at 8:35 PM


Richard White writes:

Let me play devil’s advocate, if I may. Do you
think someone can be too informal when writing
to a complete stranger? i.e. Say Denise, how’s it
going? Chris,old buddy,how you been? etc.

Please tell us the “right” way to address
you. I am over 60, and I don’t want to be Politically incorrect :-)

P.S. How about, Mr. Knight, Hi Chris, Dear Mr.
Knight, Mr. Knight Sir, Is that you? Well this is
me! To whom it may concern; Hey You;

Mr. Richard White Sr.

Comment provided May 15, 2005 at 12:19 AM



Yes, of course someone can be TOO informal.

It’s not about how to address “me” but rather how to address an unknown person when sending an email to support.

Here are some ways to properly address an unknown person at a support staff when sending an email:

1) No greeting. Just get on with what your question or concern is.

2) “To whom it may concern,” is probably ok.

3) “Hi [insert name brand] Support,” For example: “Hi EzineArticles Support,”

4) Dear Support People, or Dear Support, or Hello Support are probably also ok.

I don’t really get offended with any greeting, but I think the overall right thing to do is this:

Never use “Dear Sir” in any business setting.

If you know you’re addressing a guy, then address him by his first name or if you want to show respect for an elder, address him as Dear Mr. Name.

If you don’t know the gender of who you are addressing, then don’t assume with a Dear Sir.

If you don’t know the name of the male you are addressing, then go find out. Who really has time to read a “Dear Sir” letter anyway?

Comment provided May 15, 2005 at 7:54 AM


Juan Pablo writes:

Couple of points….
I think you may be over reacting to the issue.
Most non US customers will write the opening sentence the way they learned in the books, “Dear Sir” is really burned into our Brains. (And I’m not even 50 years old!)
It does not have a sexist or negative connotation to my view. But I’m not a North American Born, English speaker; English is just one of the languages I use for business.
Please also note that because we can use English as a vehicular language, it does not automatically mean that we all share the same cultural frame.
To other cultures, a “Dear Sir”, makes us feel that we are talking to a real person in a one to one conversation, while “Dear Company Name” or “Dear Customer Support”, does not sound like talking a person, and that give the feeling of dilution of responsibilities witch in a support case, is not what I want.

If your point is only about the gender, I think that you have a point, and may be a better approach would be to use “Dear Sr/Mdm”, but please take no offence if someone just use a formal “Dear Sr”.. There is no reason to.


Comment provided January 25, 2006 at 3:08 AM


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