Titles in A Business Letter

Titles in A Business Letter :

Titles in A Business Letter :

Courtesy, as well as custom, requires that a title be used either before or after every name, except when writing to a corporation or a society. It is a mark of respect that should never be omitted, especially when addressing an individual.

Titles of Courtesy : The titles of courtesy that are used in the address of business letters are


Mr. is applied to all men who have no other distinctive title….as Mr. Paul G. Henderson.

Messrs. - the abbreviation of Messieurs - the French for Gentlemen is the correct title to use when addressing two or more men engaged in business under a name that, in some way, implies the personal element….as

Messrs. Lyons & Carnathan
Messrs. J. C. Matthews & Co.
Messrs. John L. Harrison & Sons

It is also used in addressing two or more men not associated in business….as

Messrs. Brown, Hamlin and Jennings

It should not, however, be used where the word the may be placed before the firm name….as (the) J. C. Matthews Company…not Messrs J. C. Matthews Company.

Esq., the abbreviation of Esquire, is a title given especially to lawyers and justices of the peace, but it may be applied to any man as a mark of respect…..as Thomas E. Barkworth, Esq.

Miss is the title given to an unmarried woman. It is not an abbreviation and should not, therefore, be followed by a period….as Miss Fannie Ward. The plural of Miss is Misses…as Misses Mary and Kate Harrison or the Misses Harrison.

Mrs. - the abbreviation of Mistress - is the title applied to a married woman as Mrs. John C. Smith.

Mesdames, sometimes abbreviated Mmes., is the title used in addressing two or more married women….as Mesdames Shaw and Walker.

Dr. is the title applied to those who hold a doctor's degree in medicine, dentistry, literature, theology or philosophy….as Dr. A. B. Robinson.

Rev., the abbreviation of Reverend, is the title given to clergymen….as Rev. Ames Maywood.

Prof., the abbreviation of Professor, is the title given to those who hold professorships in colleges and universities…..as. Prof. Charles W. Eliot.

Hon., the abbreviation of Honorable, is the title given to men who hold or have held important positions in the national, state or city government as Hon. Woodbridge N. Ferris.

Titles of official position — Titles designating official position, such as Manager, President, Secretary, Superintendent, etc., should be placed on a line with the name, for the reason that it adds to the degree of courtesy and also avoids making the second line of the address too long. If, however, the name or the title is long, the title may, in order to preserve the balance of the introductory address, be placed on the second line or on a line by itself. Such titles should not be abbreviated unless space requires it.

Wrong :

Mr. W. W. Stephens,
Vice-President, Stephens-Adamson Mfg. Co.,
Aurora, Illinois.

Right :

Mr. W. W. Stephens, Vice-President,
Stephens-Adamson Mfg. Co.,
Aurora, Illinois.

Official Titles : In addressing the President, Vice-President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, members of the Cabinet and judges of the Supreme Court, it is customary to address the office rather than the individual….thus, To the President, White House, Washington, D. C.

Sir or Mr. President is the proper salutation. With the exception of the president, some, however, prefer to address the individual rather than the office….as To the Hon. Robert M. Lansing, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

In addressing Cabinet officers : Senators, Members of Congress, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, judges and mayors, use Hon.; as, Hon. Charles E. Townsend, United States Senator, Washington, D. C. The proper salutation is Sir. Dear Senator or My dear Senator may be used if the writer is acquainted with the person addressed.

Doubling Titles : It should be observed that a title of courtesy should not be used after a name when a similar title precedes the name….this, Mr. John Brown, or John Brown, Esq., not Mr. John Brown, Esq. It is, however, correct to use a title of courtesy before a name and an academic or an official title after the name… as. Prof. J. C. Millman, Ph. D…..Mr. C. 0. Harmon, Manager. When addressing a clergyman whose Christian name or initials are unknown, it is correct to use the two titles Rev. and Mr. or Rev. and Dr…..as Rev. Mr. Maywood or Rev. Dr. Pool.

Titles in A Business Letter

Titles in A Business Letter :

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