English has failed me

Does the English language have a way of addressing an email or letter to someone whose name, gender or designation you don’t know that isn’t “sir/madam” or “to whom it may concern”? These are situations where you can’t casual, but you don’t want to be stiff.

If English does have a better option , feel free to mock me here for not thinking of it (but tell me what it is as well, please).

If not, it really, really needs one.

14 Comments to “English has failed me”

  1. COuld you address them by their job title/potential involvement in your life?

    Dear future father of my children,


    Dear VD clinic nurse,

    or some such?

  2. "Hello" is usually okay (or you can go with the more antiquated "Ahoy-hoy" :P).

  3. Also, "Dude" — dude is universal.


  4. I was thinking along the same line as Vishal – 'Greetings,' or similar. A bit cheesy but it does the trick.

  5. How about, "Aloha Stranger"! I'm assuming its a total stranger you are referring to.

  6. Oh I like Pradipta's 'hi'

    Or, if they're Irish, you could swap with
    'How's it hanging?'
    'Story bud?'

  7. I like Pratipada's "Hi". But I've also on occasion used "Hi there" / "Hello there".

  8. Hello!


    Good (morning / evening)


  9. Celine – I feel that this could get awkward. "Dear person who I'm hoping will give me money…"

    Vishal – Dude. You're totally right.

    Thene – Wouldn't that be overly… familiar? Or something?

    Ghost Rider, Pradipta, Freeze_Dried, AR – Too casual!

    Ros, Celine – Are you trolling? If so, I am shocked. Shocked.

  10. Am I trolling? If so I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be ( I thought trolling meant spoiling for a fight. Does it mean spoiling for a fight?)

    I was just bored on the day that was in it, and came over all colloquial and stuff. I promise guv'n'r – won;t it do it no mower.

  11. You have my permission to troll this blog whenever you like. ;)

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