Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

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Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#1 Post by Capetonian » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:42 pm

I am never quite sure when writing to friends if the correct protocol is :
'Dear John and Mary', which I think is traditional, or
'Dear Mary and John', which seems to follow the politer 'ladies first' protocol.
Before anyone suggests it, I am not going to switch to : "Hi Guys" or "Hiya folk" or any of that crap.
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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#2 Post by Slasher » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:45 pm

I’ve always used the bloke’s name first then the missus.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#3 Post by G-CPTN » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:13 pm

It depends on at what stage the acquaintance was made.
If you knew Mary before she married John, or if, for example, you met Mary through work or some social organisation such as church, then I would address 'Mary and John' (and, of course vice-versa).

Relative ages of the couple might address the elder first if the age difference is significant.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#4 Post by CharlieOneSix » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:10 am

Forty odd years ago with Mrs C16 Mk1 we met a couple on a cruise. I've always addressed them as 'Mary' and 'John'. A few years ago in a slightly alcoholic haze I found out that 'John' was really hacked off that I put 'Mary's name first on emails and Christmas cards. He thought I fancied her because I put her name first. Well, I have always fancied her but the order of names was not planned.
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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#5 Post by Sisemen » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:13 am

Debrett's says this:

Addressing a Couple
NOTE: Traditionally, a woman's name preceded a man's on an envelope address, 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.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#6 Post by Slasher » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:29 am

Sisemen wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:13 am
Debrett's says this:
Yeh but Sise, if I wrote “Dear Debbie and Bill Sisemen” iso of “Bill and Debbie Sisemen” wouldn’t you get a bit um...🤔...then :-w whether it’s ‘nowadays’ or not?

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#7 Post by Pontius Navigator » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:02 am

Had a card from new neighbours, Mel and Chris. Work that one out.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#8 Post by Boac » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:43 am

Ladies first, except in formal 'Mr and Mrs' where the man's name is normally used.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#9 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:53 am

I was taught to address the envelope to a couple with Mr and Mrs XXXX but in these slightly less formal days, and given that unmarried couples abound, I don't think it matters either way. Of course all the old courtesies should be abided by, and a chap should take off his boater when addressing a lady (lest he be caned for such churlishness as they use to do at my old school). One should always walk on the road side of a lady allowing her the privilege and protection of the pavement and allowing the gentleman to shield and her Edwardian dress from being spattered by water or mud from sundry passing coaches and omnibuses. Carrying a swagger stick or cane with which to thrash sundry ruffians and urchins is optional.
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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#10 Post by Boac » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:00 am

One should always walk on the road side of a lady allowing her the privilege and protection of the pavement
- tsk tsk! You have forgotten about the need to be able to draw your sword.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#11 Post by Sisemen » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:02 am

Slasher wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:29 am
Sisemen wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:13 am
Debrett's says this:
Yeh but Sise, if I wrote “Dear Debbie and Bill Sisemen” iso of “Bill and Debbie Sisemen” wouldn’t you get a bit um...🤔...then :-w whether it’s ‘nowadays’ or not?
Nah! Unless you spend too long chest gazing :D

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#12 Post by Pontius Navigator » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:16 am

I used to meet a particular Norwegian 3 times per year. He always addressed me as Navigator. Eventually I asked why he didn't call me Pontius. He explained that this was the Norwegian culture. Thereafter I would address him as Nickoliesen rather than Edgar and he would address me as Pontius. :)

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#13 Post by OFSO » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:29 am

Would that be the Debbie that did Dallas, Mr Slasher. If it is, I believe she comes first.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#14 Post by Boac » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:33 am

Like a good prostitute.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#15 Post by Slasher » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:21 am

OFSO wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:29 am
Would that be the Debbie that did Dallas, Mr Slasher. If it is, I believe she comes first.
No not that Debbie but yes I agree she comes first (several times IIRC).

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#16 Post by Rwy in Sight » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:15 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:16 am
I used to meet a particular Norwegian 3 times per year. He always addressed me as Navigator. Eventually I asked why he didn't call me Pontius. He explained that this was the Norwegian culture. Thereafter I would address him as Nickoliesen rather than Edgar and he would address me as Pontius. :)
In the previous century I was introduced to a gentleman who did help me a lot a number of times.When I met him I used to address him with his family name and he insisted to call him with this given/first name. To encourage me to do, he imposed a point system that every time I called him X I had to make one push-up. He was meticulous keeping score and soon I was accumulating set of tens. After the first ten set of tens, I got a nose bleed, started calling him with his given name and a nice friendship started.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#17 Post by ExSp33db1rd » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:37 pm

Didn't English School boys - be it Public or Grammar school - always address each other by their surnames ? I maintain contact with a small group of ex-RAF chums, and we still address each other by a nickname based on our surnames.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#18 Post by ian16th » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:53 am

With one exception, all through my childhood and RAF time I had a nickname based on my surname.

The exception?
Well Ian is my 2nd name, but the one my family always called me by, as I share my 1st name with my father.
When I was posted to Istres, my information get there before me,. It not only got there but was distributed to all 22 of them!
As I stepped off the Beverley I was met by, 'You must 'George XXXXXX ' the new Radar fitter!'
So I was known by and answered to my fathers name for my time there.
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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#19 Post by Hydromet » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:27 pm

My given name, being quite long, was always abbreviated by my family, and my friends knew me by this abbreviation. When I left school and joined QF as an apprentice, I was issued with overalls that had a different abbreviation of my name on the tag. As everyone called me by this name, I began introducing myself thus, and have been known this way ever since, except by my wife, who always calls me by the original abbreviation.
I can therefore date the origin of friendships as BQF or AQF.

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Re: Is it 'Dear John and Mary' or 'Dear Mary and John'

#20 Post by Pontius Navigator » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:25 pm

There used to be more surnames than Christian names hence it was more useful to call for Chadders, Chalky, Dusty etc rather than one of 5 Petes, reveals Dave/David's and so on.

Then the posters had fun seeming to post all Taylor's into the sqn.

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