Style for addressing a formal letter to multiple people
February 9, 2013 5:51 AM   Subscribe

When addressing a formal or business letter to multiple parties, say, A, B, and C, is there a rule for the order, e.g. by how important people are? I.e. if A is more important than B is more important than C, is it: Dear Mr. A, Ms. B and Dr. C: or Dear Dr. C., Ms. B and Mr. A: and are there style guides that I can reference for this?

Unrelated bonus question -- have people really stopped using colons and started to spew commas, even for addressing recipients in formal correspondence in America?
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Previously
posted by oranger at 5:54 AM on February 9, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks!
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron at 5:59 AM on February 9, 2013

Always address the "most important" person first, however that is set up at a particular establishment.

Yes, some people don't use colons. However, no one will be offended if you use a colon, and some may be offended if you use a comma. The possible consequence of a comma is greater than the possible consequence of a colon, so play it safe.
posted by Etrigan at 6:01 AM on February 9, 2013

If there is no clear hierarchy I'd alphabetize the recipients.
posted by Breav at 6:18 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like to use "Good morning" and not use any names when it's a multiple situation
posted by Lornalulu at 2:32 PM on February 9, 2013

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