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How would I address someone with the name, Sasha de Lis, in an email?

  • Affiliation: We've never met.
  • Country: United States

Would I address the email as:

Dear Ms. de Lis?

5

In general, this is culture dependent. If de Lis is of Dutch origin, then "Ms. de Lis" is correct, although you could even go so far as to maintain the Dutch title which I think is "Mevr." or "Mevrouw".

However... for just about every professional interaction I've ever had, "Dear Sasha" would be absolutely fine.

  • 1
    Yup, "Dear X" never fails when in doubt – DarkCygnus Oct 12 '18 at 20:03
  • There are situations in which people may not want to be addressed by their first name, so I would be properly addressed as Mr. Thornley rather than David. – David Thornley Oct 12 '18 at 22:45
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I would open with hi e.g. "Hi Sasha". I don't like seeing and using dear, because it's too familiar. I reserve dear for those I have a closer relationship with such as close friends and family.

  • That's a perfectly fine personal preference but it doesn't seem like the kind of thing I would advise to other people. As far as I know, "dear" is not widely understood that way, and if someone else likes to use "dear" as a salutation, no need to talk them out of it IMO. (cf. askamanager.org/2015/10/… as a sample of someone else who thinks along similar lines) – David Z Oct 14 '18 at 3:14
  • @DavidZ I disagree. I worked in business development in an international company based in the US that interacts across multiple industries i.e. I interacted with a lot of different kinds of people through email. No one used "Dear" in emails directed to me nor did they do so in forwarded emails directed to my colleagues. I personally dislike seeing "dear" for the reasons stated above and it's possible that OP is interacting with someone like myself. Why not go with a less "risky" option? – jcmack Oct 15 '18 at 17:12

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