General Question

BCarlyle's avatar

What is the proper way to address a letter these days?

Asked by BCarlyle (392points) May 7th, 2008

Should I address it as “Mr. & Mrs. Bob Smith” or as “Bob and Bonny Smith.” I was taught in an etiquette class in college to address a letter in the first manner- but is this still correct? Is this being sexist to address a couple by only the man’s name? What’s the consensus?

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4 Answers

psyla's avatar

It depends on the age of the couple in question. If they’re over 55, addressing by the Mr. & Mrs. “man’s first name, man’s last name” is appropriate. Under age 55 & depending on your degree of familiarity with them, use a more casual greeting. Don’t use “Ms.” to refer to a woman. It’s outdated.

BCarlyle's avatar

hmmm… ok. That seems like a pretty good rule of thumb. The couple in question are about 50 I think, but they’re from Texas which might bump them up to the “man’s first name, man’s last name” category. Thanks for the input.

psyla's avatar

I agree, Texas is a more conservative location.

spendy's avatar

If it’s a formal invitation, you’ll address it in a completely different way than, say, an anniversary card. Formal invitations are addressed “Mr and (formal=spell it out) Mrs (no periods after abbreviation) man’s first name, man’s last name”. For more informal mailings, go with the rules @psyla has mentioned. IMO, I’d also address it “Mr. & Mrs. Bla Bla”, depending on WHAT you’re mailing. If you’re really familiar with them (close family friends) but you’re mailing them a gift or card (anything important to you or them), I’d still go with “Mr. & Mrs. Bla Bla”. Just a thought.

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