As a blogger, I get quite a few emails from people I don’t know. As I see it, there are various forms of salutation that are polite when writing to a stranger: the formal ‘Dear Mr. Singham’ to the more casual ‘Dear Mano’ to the even more casual ‘Hi Mano’. Some use the ‘Dear Mano Singham’ which is helpful if one feels that using the just the first name is too familiar but is not sure what gender prefix to append to the last name. All these modes are fine by me.
More recently, I have encountered ‘Hey’ replacing ‘Dear’ and ‘Hi’. While this might have been considered rude at one time, that seems to have become acceptable and one hears that being said on NPR and other shows when the anchor hands off to a colleague reporter. I have no problems with this either but some of my faculty colleagues were irritated when students used this form of address.
But I also receive emails on occasion with the salutation ‘Dear Singham’ or ‘Hi Singham’ of even just ‘Singham’. This seems a little rude and grates on me. I recall a student writing to me that way a couple of decades ago. I thought that this was probably due to ignorance and my telling her gently that this was not a good way of addressing people. Such forms of address used to be an indicator that it was spam, that some bot had found my name and email address on the internet and was adding it to its email list. But more recently I have got emails from real people with a legitimate issue that begins like that. I am wondering if that too has become accepted and I have just not kept up with the times.
Anyone have an opinion on using just the last name in the salutation? I myself am unlikely to address anyone as ‘Dear/Hi [last name]’ because I am old school and it just does not sound right.