Tag Archives: Jane Austen

On formality and acting like an old person and a child simultaneously

I have this habit. I think it comes from working in nonprofit development, where every word out of one’s mouth must be vapid and obsequious. If I’m emailing or calling someone for the first time, for some reason, I feel obliged to refer to them formally, as a Mr./Ms. For example:

Dear Mr. McDonald,
I am writing with an inquiry about your delicious (if deadly) hamburgers.

When I feel many people would probably be perfectly comfortable writing:

Dear Ronald,
I have been a conflicted fan of yours for ages.

Continue reading