Did you know that someone’s name is one of the most precious words to them?
If you don’t believe me, think about how you feel when you are ‘treated like a number’, someone pronounces your name poorly and you get a letter with your name wrong in some way.
I once got a letter that referred to Mr T Hughes, opened with Tash and had Mrs Hughes on the envelope. I didn’t like being called Mr but the lack of care shown by the inconsistency was very poor.
Getting people’s names right is a sign of respect, and in business it also shows attention to detail matters to you. So consider the following tips:
PS On a humorous note, I received a phone call a few days ago where the person asked “Is that Mr Tash Hughes” (badly pronounced)
I answered “No” thinking – do I really sound like a Mr?
Next question “Can I speak to Tash Hughes?”
My answer “You are – I am Tash but I’m not Mr.”
“Oh, I thought you were a boy, Goodbye” and hung up!
I suspect the increased use of SMS and chat shorthand is a major factor, but it seems that many people aren’t sure about when to use capital letters in their writing. So here is a quick summary of when to use a capital letter:
Capitals letters are sometimes also used within names (e.g. AvSuper, MacGregor), in scientific terminology (e.g. E. Coli, Eucalyptus, cyclone Tracy) and where two words have been abbreviated into one (e.g. eLearning.)
There are variations in some of these rules, especially if you travel to another country but using these guidelines will avoid any major errors!
* The use of a generic noun as a proper noun requires a capital letter, too. So while mothers is written in lower case, a capital letter applies in the following sentence: Mary said “Hello Mother. How are you?” Likewise, you may write about a library (generic) or the Ashburton Library (specific).
As a professional writer, most of my work is commercial – I write business profiles, articles, web copy, brochures, letters and so on. But every so often, I write something completely different, and I love the variety.
Recently, I have had a few ‘different’ projects.
First, I wrote some letters to help out Santa as he likes sending Australian letters to Aussie boys & girls (instead of talking about snow and ice) – personalised letters from Love Santa are definitely professionally written, lol!
QuickCrafts Online is producing a set of books for children about Australian animals and I have been editing the stories to suit the under 5 age group – although I always write in simple terms, I had to use even simpler vocabulary and ideas for that age group!
Real Mums is about reality parenting so they wanted some Santa letters for Mums. These were fun as they need to be humourous and aimed at Mums while maintaining a Santa feel in case the kids read mum’s mail!
It is fun to be involved in projects with such different types of writing!