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AIBU to be annoyed at emails addressed to Sir

(78 Posts)
mshomefries Mon 11-Jan-16 12:44:30

I monitor a mailbox in work that's used to deal with enquiries from the general public.

Quite a few emails are addressed Dear sir or dear sirs and it bugs me every time!

It happens so often. Does anyone else get this and does it annoy you, or AIBU?

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 12:48:56

Well.... Dear Sirs is just letter writing etiquette, if you don't know the name of the person you are writing to.

What would you like them to start with

Oi, You

Dear Sir/Madam - but Madam always causes problems too

Morning Buggerlugs?


StringTheory Mon 11-Jan-16 12:49:53

Yes! Me! I actually feel like ignoring any emails/letters that are addressed "Dear sirs". We are a company with is mainly female and anybody wanting to contact us would clearly see that if they looked on our website.

In 2016 it is not acceptable to start correspondence with "Dear sirs".

Buttercup27 Mon 11-Jan-16 12:50:36

morning buggerlugs is brilliant, I am going to have to fit that somewhere into my vocab (after I stop laughing )!

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 12:50:47

So what do you want it to start with?

StringTheory Mon 11-Jan-16 12:51:14

Ourblanche -how about "Dear Sir/Madam" or "Who it may concern" or just dont be lazy, do some research and find out who you should be addressing the email/letter to.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 12:51:26

Sorry Buttercup! It is a family greeting smile

mshomefries Mon 11-Jan-16 12:51:35

I'd prefer sir/madam, that would be acceptable to me grin

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 12:54:11

String, finding that out is impossible sometimes. Many companies seem to actively hide this information, usually to save one person being inundated. That is why most companies have a service / info@ email address

Madam comes with its own chorus of disapproval.

Dear Sirs is what kids are taught, has been for donkeys years. It is outmoded, but not yet replaced.

Suggest something that is universally acceptable and I am sure it will catch on.

mshomefries Mon 11-Jan-16 12:54:47

To be fair if they haven't emailed before they wouldn't know who to address the email to.

DropYourSword Mon 11-Jan-16 12:55:23

I was told NEVER to use Sir/Madam. Apparently it seems to imply that the reader is unable to decide which they are confused. I definitely remember being advised just to use Sir if you didn't know who to address an email/letter to.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 12:57:09

So that 2 votes for Morning Buggerlugs then? smile

mshomefries Mon 11-Jan-16 12:58:41

Huh I've never heard that before dropyoursword!

I remember being taught dear sir/madam (approx 15 years ago) but maybe that was the teacher's preference!

cosytoaster Mon 11-Jan-16 12:59:49

I was taught to use Sir/Madam and have used this for many years without complaint.

I'd be happy to go with Buggerlugs though!

mshomefries Mon 11-Jan-16 13:00:49

Buggerlugs? May be preferable to sir smile

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 13:01:35

Dare you.... grin

StringTheory Mon 11-Jan-16 13:01:56

Ourblanche - "Suggest something that is universally acceptable and I am sure it will catch on."

I did - "To whom it may concern"

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 13:02:39

Oh, Sir/Madam is on the curriculum, not a teacher's preference.

So we need to write to the exam boards,

Dear Buggerlugs....

Amazemedontbeacunt Mon 11-Jan-16 13:02:46

My company name is my (female) name and my email address is and I still get emails starting dear sir or dear sirs hmm.

Leelu6 Mon 11-Jan-16 13:03:20

YANBU. Dear Sirs was fine back in the day nut not anymore. 'Dear' is too formal for emails anyway. What's wrong with 'Hello'?

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 13:05:04

That is poor Amaze.

I have myname@mynamecompany and info@mynamecompany

I get Dear MyName at both... but some callers aren't sure of MyName is male or female, so I too get Dear Sirs smile

wonkylegs Mon 11-Jan-16 13:12:50

I get dear sirs or Mr Wonkylegs all the time even though my company is me and it's clear it's just me and I have a clearly female name. It's annoying because I seem to get it sometimes even when they have met me, I work in a male dominated industry though so the assumption is that I'm a man or the bosses secretary.

mypoosmellsofroses Mon 11-Jan-16 13:15:03

If I'm unsure who I am addressing an email to, I tend to plump for Good Morning/Afternoon as the salutation. I get lots of email addressed to Sir/Sirs and tbh it doesn't bother me, I just see it as a formal address for business email.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 13:16:28

I used to work in the pre-press industry, really male oriented. I used to get calls from regular customers in Morocco, India etc... Ah, Mr Blanche... they would say, even after having met me.

Mr is/was simply an honorific, carried no gender, it just meant "Person who is above me on this matter"

I may have become desensitised to it smile

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 11-Jan-16 13:21:49

"To whom it may concern" is very formal.

"Dear sirs", is correct for if you don't know. "Sir/Madam" is allowable, but considered poor etiquette.

I have a very female name, and still get "Dear Sir" - presumably because I work in quite a male industry. It doesn't bother me, really. As Blanche says, it's a historic show of respect.

"Dear Buggerlugs" would make my day.

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