Proper Way to Sign Personal Letters?

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I never really know how I should sign personal cards and letters. Should I always sign my husband's name first or should I sign my name first as the one writing the correspondence. Does anyone know the proper way this should be done?


Luvyabye from Leek, Netherlands

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December 18, 20080 found this helpful

According to Emily Post, the etiquette expert here in the States:

NOTE: Traditionally, a man's name preceded a woman's on an envelope adddress, and his first and surname were not separated (Jane and John Kelly). Nowadays, the order of the names whether his name or hers comes first does not matter and either way is acceptable. The exception is when one member of the couple 'outranks' the other the one with the higher rank is always listed first.

Married, informal address--


Jane and John Kelly
John and Jane Kelly

Both are acceptable.


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December 18, 20080 found this helpful

Something to keep in mind when writing personal letters is whether you are writing "from you and your husband" or "from yourself on behalf of you and your husband". Either is appropriate, but you need to keep your pronouns consistent throughout the note and the signature insofar as using singular pronouns and possessive versus plural pronouns and possessives. I'm not sure if that makes sense, so let me give an example. It is appropriate for you to write "We appreciate . . . " as long as you sign it John and Mary Jones or Mary and John Jones. But, if you write "John and I appreciate .


. . " or "I appreciate . . . " in your note, then you need to sign it with just your name, possibly adding his name in parentheses after your name. That could look something like this: "Sincerely, Mary Jones (and John, too!)"

I sure hope that made sense. If not let me know and I will try to clarify it. It's a common mistake that people make (switching from singular to plural throughout a personal note), and it should agree with the singularity or plurality of the signature. The mistake is easy to make, but it can be very confusing to the recipient of the note. I hope that helps :)

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December 18, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you, Kaelle and Tsiegl! Indeed, you both have helped. I just found myself going back and forth on signing cards and personal notes.


Again, thank you both for taking the time to answer this question.

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By (Guest Post)
December 20, 20080 found this helpful

You wrote the letter, your name should go first.

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November 1, 20100 found this helpful

Well, guess what? When I sign anything that is from my husband and me, I sign "Maggie and Harold" (Fictitious names, of course) and then the last name, Maggie and Harold Jones. Ladies, first, please. Have a great day everyone!

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