Friday, August 25, 2006

Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. or

What do you do when you have to write a mail and you do not know if the person is a man or a woman? Years ago someone innovative solved the problem by addressing my friend as "Dear Gentle Person". Hmmm... very innovative.

The related problem about the marital status of a lady (female in modern parlance) was solved long ago with Ms. Male chauvinism got a, deserved, beating there.

Companies declare their unbiased employment policy with "An equal opportunity employer M/F/H" - for Male/ Female/Handicapped (Hermaphrodite - a wag once said) - even in their product advertisements.

Now put all this together and how do you address a person whose sex is not known to you?

Dear Hs. Xyzwcu? Hs. standing for Homo Sapien Sapien? Or should it be Hss. ? Sounds more like a specimen of the species Naja Naja.

Or, should it be Hb. Xyzwcu? Hb. Standing for the less academic “human being”?

Not bad!

Dear Hb. Anil Jagalur....

Yes please?


  1. Drop the salutation altogether. Begin with "Dear Anil Jagalur".

    My company for one, does not include Mr/Ms/Dr in any of its correspondence.

    And as soon as the body of the letter starts, the person becomes an 'employee' and the cold he/she tone starts.

  2. Ya Viky, BUT! If I knew the first name of the person I was writing to it was easy. I did not! Only initials and a surname and hence all these thoughts.

    Most of us have the format of as the e-mail id and it is an exception that caused this thought process.

  3. Sridevi5:21 pm

    Good thought process!
    You can as well say
    Dear Hb!
    I am .... (self introduction)
    you don't have to know the firstname, surname...etc




  7. TO WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN - Sounds rude to me, doesn't it? Hahahahaha

    {Naja Naja (in German) is No No(in English. And Jajaja (in German) is Yes Yes(in English) }