March 11th, 2010 in Letter Writing
Letters to friends and close relations should be written in an easy, conversational style. A personal letter should have the same tone as a friendly chat. And as a general rule they should be unpremeditated and spontaneous compositions.
In a personal letter we can touch on many subjects just like we do during casual conversations. We may also discuss these subjects in any order we like. Note that the use of colloquial expressions which would be totally out of place in a formal letter is also permissible in personal letters. But this does not mean that personal letters should be written in a careless and slovenly manner. In fact, it must be remembered that however friendly your tone may be, we are all bound by the rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Note that grammatical and spelling errors will instantly get you stamped as uneducated.
Forms of address
In friendly letters to friends and relatives, the proper form of address is the name (without title) of the person to whom you are writing. You may prefix the name by such qualifying terms as Dear, My Dear, Dearest etc.
My dear Mummy
The forms of subscription are varied. In letters to close friends and relatives you may write: ‘Yours affectionately’, ‘Your affectionate son/daughter/sister/brother’, ‘Your loving son/friend’ etc. In informal letters written to your superiors or teachers, you may use subscriptions such as ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Truly’.
Before the subscription some people use expressions such as ‘regards’, ‘kind regards’ or ‘with best wishes’.
Not that ‘sincerely’ should not be used in letters which begin with the formal Dear Sir, after which the proper form of subscription is ‘faithfully’ or ‘truly’.