Dearly Beloved

A Snarkling wonders:

I'd be interested in your thoughts on this piece of advice given on a website giving lots of otherwise useful information about agents:

"Salutation: Use a formal business greeting. We recommend "Attn. Ms. Jade Walker," or "Attn. Ms. Walker." In our opinion, "Dear Ms. Walker" is never appropriate in a business letter."

I have polled some writer friends and not one of us has ever dispensed with the "Dear Miss Snark" type salutation.

Are we all completely wrong and uncool? Have we been overfamiliar? Somehow starting a letter or email "Attn. Miss Snark" seems a little brisk. Not to mention brusque.

Thanks for your views! I really enjoy your blog.

Dear me.

Oh wait, I mean, Attn: me.

This is nuts.

“Attn: Miss Snark” sounds like a letter from my draft board.

I'm as snarky as they come about salutations but even I don't object to Dear Miss Snark. If it's fine with Emily Post it's fine with me.

Now, closings, that's another matter.

Miss Snark prefers "your obedient servant" but "Sincerely yours" seems to be the phrase of the day.

Thanks for your kind words about the blog.
It's a kick in the pants to write.


Elektra said...

Is 'Thank you for your time and consideration' passe?

Stephen said...

I am surprised that Miss Snark would settle for anything short of:

Prosterné aux pieds de votre Snarqueté
et implorant la faveur
de Sa bénédiction littéraire,
J'ai l'honneur d'être,
Très Snarque Agent,
Avec la plus profonde vénération,
De Votre Snarqueté,
Le très humble et très obéissant serviteur et fils.

(Prostrate at the feet of your Snarkliness and begging the favor of your literary blessing, I have the honor to be, Very Snarky Agent, with the most profound veneration, the very humble and very obedient servant and son Of your Snarkliness.)

Elektra said...

Agent thrice Snarky

litagent said...

Well, personally, unless I know the person writing to me, I prefer a more formal salutation. And I always respond formally to new queries, Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. or Professor, or Rabbi, or Rev., or whatever is appropriate, based on what information they have given me in the query letter. Only after I've established a relationship with them do I switch to a more informal first name address. Call me old fashioned. Seems safer that way. Closing is always "With best regards".

Miss Snark said...

I address my rejection letters Dear Mr/Miss/whatever too, but I do use "dear".
Attn: Mr Trump, your novel is being rejected seems more brusque than even Miss Snark likes.