Author Topic: addressing envelopes  (Read 5114 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2012, 10:46:07 AM »
Naw, they probably look at the address book and copy *most* of what they see--just the bare minimum.

Hmmmmm

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2012, 11:14:48 AM »
I've never received any type of mail with just our last name.  At a minimum it's at least The Lastnames, but most of our Holiday cards come addressed to The Lastname Family.  I do have one cousin who writes out

Mr & Mrs DHfirstname Lastname
Miss DDfirstname Lastname
Master DSfirstname Lastname
Address
City, state zip

I get a kick out of it every year.  I asked her when does DS become a Mr at age 18 but she said DD won't become a Ms to her until age 21 or when DD tells her she no longer wants to be referred to as a Miss.    :D  (Both her DD's chose to remain a Miss until they married.)

sunnygirl

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2012, 12:10:35 PM »
Personally I don't ever put titles on letters or envelopes, unless it's a special title which is relevant to the letter (like Doctor or Professor when making a professional inquiry). I just write the name ("Dear Jane Smith,"). The only letters I get that have Miss or Ms rather than just "Sunnygirly, 1 Streetname" tend to be corporate letters, like from the bank.

Funnily enough I was taught the 'correct' way to write letters in primary school, but they were chiefly concerned with teaching when to use Yours Sincerely and Yours Faithfully (I do still get irrationally very slightly peeved when people get that wrong), and how to correctly lay out an invitation for a bishop and stuff like that. Weird upper class English stuff. I don't remember much of it. I mean, I appreciate and respect when people take the time to write something out 'properly' in a formal style -  but I don't mind if they don't.


BeagleMommy

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2012, 12:22:16 PM »
DS graduated high school without ever having been taught to compose a letter (I taught him).  He was told to just use the template that comes with the software.  ::)

I'm a bit old fashioned and continue to use formal address rules when addressing letters.  My nieces still love that I write Miss Niece's Name Lastname on their birthday cards.  My eldest niece has said "It sound so "Pride and Prejudice"!".

However, if I'm asked to address an envelope a certain way, say using a woman's maiden name, I will do so.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2012, 12:35:08 PM »
Per every authority I have ever read, it is improper to separate a man's first name from his last name.   It is always "Gina and Bob Smith," unless Gina is signing the cards with first names only and then she writes "Bob and Gina".  Bob writes "Gina and Bob" because the person actually doing the signing, as a matter of courtesy, puts the other's name first.

   Me Too!

And I am frequently "corrected" saying that it should be Bob & Gina Smith  (and then the argument starts)

TootsNYC

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2012, 02:06:03 PM »
I've read several etiquette books, and none of them have ever mentioned the "don't separate a man's first name from his last" idea.

They have ALL mentioned "ladies first" as a rationale for things like "Gina and Bob Smith."

Interestingly, the book Honor & Respect: The Official Guide to Names, Titles, and Forms of Address by Robert Hickey, deputy director of the Protocol School of Washington, says to use "Bob and Gina Smith."

I think that teenagers are probably attuned to the "don't call me Mrs. John Smith" attitude (teenagers, in my experience, have a very heightened sensitivity to "fairness") and feel that they don't know all the rules. So I can totally see them picking the simplest thing.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 02:07:45 PM by TootsNYC »

sweetonsno

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2012, 02:20:34 PM »
Possible explanation:

They're writing a gazillion cards at once. Instead of addressing them as they write them, they put the last name on the front of the card as they go and later pull out the address book and fill in the blanks. They just don't write the first names in because they don't have multiples of that particular family name. I do that on occasion. I'm not sure where I picked up on the last name only thing, but I think it's because I've seen folks do that in the return address (included only their last name).


Redneck Gravy

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2012, 02:40:45 PM »
I've read several etiquette books, and none of them have ever mentioned the "don't separate a man's first name from his last" idea.
They have ALL mentioned "ladies first" as a rationale for things like "Gina and Bob Smith."

Interestingly, the book Honor & Respect: The Official Guide to Names, Titles, and Forms of Address by Robert Hickey, deputy director of the Protocol School of Washington, says to use "Bob and Gina Smith."

I think that teenagers are probably attuned to the "don't call me Mrs. John Smith" attitude (teenagers, in my experience, have a very heightened sensitivity to "fairness") and feel that they don't know all the rules. So I can totally see them picking the simplest thing.

Toots, I agree with you on the etiquette books but I disagree that it is being taught through other forums.     

I worked for a printing company for over 20 years and all the wedding invitation books used to have the "don't separate men's names" info printed in the addressing instructions.  I have not been in that industry now for over a decade so I don't know if that is still true.   However, we also urged for the printed napkins to read Gina & Bob (bride first).

My Crane's Etiquette book doesn't specifically address either format but every example (with both names) has woman's first name then man's first name/last name. 

I was taught not to separate a man's first name from his last name way back in the third grade when learning letter writing. So perhaps it was in a textbook somewhere? 

 I may be very old school but who am I to argue with the deputy director of protocol? 

WillyNilly

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2012, 02:46:44 PM »
The not separating a man's first and last name sounds to me like another style issue, not a grammar or etiquette rule.  And it seems a bit sexist - why is a man's name so important it can never be separated but a woman's name can be?  I reject the practice on that principal alone.

TootsNYC

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2012, 02:49:17 PM »
I also think that perhaps the "don't separate a man's first name from his last" as a handy  mnemonic device.  It's not the real *reason*, but it is the end result of all the other reasons, so it's an easy "rule of thumb," even if it isn't the real "rule."

DavidH

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2012, 02:58:51 PM »
I think addressing a letter:
   Jones
   1 Main St

seems a bit cold somehow.

I was taught to use something more, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. John Smith (but I think it's outdated), Dr. and Mrs. Smith (I don't know the reverse, it wasn't common at the time, but maybe Dr. and Mr. Smith?), The Drs. Smith (if both are doctors), The Smith family. 

magician5

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2012, 03:04:12 PM »
If I can deduce anything from most of the mail I get, the new first line should be "Occupant"
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2012, 04:20:12 PM »
The not separating a man's first and last name sounds to me like another style issue, not a grammar or etiquette rule.  And it seems a bit sexist - why is a man's name so important it can never be separated but a woman's name can be?  I reject the practice on that principal alone.

Well I'm with you!  I am just repeating what I was taught. 

It probably dates back to when women were considered "property"...

My little Crane's stationery book (1989) states that a married woman's calling card should be: Mrs. John Smith (heavens, at that point she's not only lost her last name, but her first as well!).

I've also been told (or perhaps read somewhere) that if the wife is a doctor the proper form of address would be Mr. and Mrs. John Smith but if he were the doctor it would be Dr. and Mrs. John Smith but never Mr. and Dr. John Smith (because obviously he is not the doctor) so a married female doctor would lose her title but a male doctor would not... ANYONE correct me if you have heard differently. 

Quite frankly this is not something that comes up for me and if it did I would probably go with Mr. John Smith and Dr. Jane Smith - even if it is wrong.


AppleBlossom

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2012, 11:57:07 PM »
they probably look at a piece of junk mail and copy what they see

My first year of marriage, we sent out dozens of Christmas cards, all with correct return address labels, but of the cards we received, only the junkmailers and our bank got my name right. I cried and cried  :'( and then got on the phone and email and made sure everyone in both families knew what my name was (the same as it  had always been!).

mmswm

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2012, 12:57:28 AM »
The not separating a man's first and last name sounds to me like another style issue, not a grammar or etiquette rule.  And it seems a bit sexist - why is a man's name so important it can never be separated but a woman's name can be?  I reject the practice on that principal alone.

Well I'm with you!  I am just repeating what I was taught. 

It probably dates back to when women were considered "property"...

My little Crane's stationery book (1989) states that a married woman's calling card should be: Mrs. John Smith (heavens, at that point she's not only lost her last name, but her first as well!).

I've also been told (or perhaps read somewhere) that if the wife is a doctor the proper form of address would be Mr. and Mrs. John Smith but if he were the doctor it would be Dr. and Mrs. John Smith but never Mr. and Dr. John Smith (because obviously he is not the doctor) so a married female doctor would lose her title but a male doctor would not... ANYONE correct me if you have heard differently. 

Quite frankly this is not something that comes up for me and if it did I would probably go with Mr. John Smith and Dr. Jane Smith - even if it is wrong.

I can't manage to snip quotes correctly, so I just bolded the section I wanted to talk about.

This is actually a huge fight within my extended family.  We have a number of Ph.D's, J.D.'s, Psy.D's and one M.D. within the family ranks. Some of them are married to each other.  Some are the women married to the non-doctorial-degreed men and vice-versa. We can't come to an agreement on the proper way to formally address anything.
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