‘Dear sir or madam’
It seems a common theme among all these etiquette rules that are no longer followed is that they make presumptions about gender that can no longer be made. Here is another one. At one time, ‘Dear sir,’ was the default greeting when corresponding with a stranger. Nowadays, it’s almost nonsensical, and adding ‘or madam’ doesn’t help (considering the many possible ways in which people identify). If you don’t have or can’t find a name, use the title of the position (eg. human resource manager) or ‘To Whom It May Concern,’ Grammarly suggests.
Adults addressing other adults as Mr or Ms
“We no longer need to call other adults who are approximately our same age by Mr or Ms and their last name until they ask us to call them by their first name,” McKee assures anyone who is still in doubt. “Unless it’s your corporate culture to do otherwise, as an adult you’re safe to call someone you’ve just met by their first name.
Offering toasts requires drinking alcohol
No. Just no. The silly etiquette rule requiring those not drinking alcohol to refrain from raising their glasses in a toast came entirely from superstition, dating back to the Ancient Greeks (involving a river of water symbolizing death). Etiquette experts such as Letitia Baldridge disagree with any such rule, advising, “If you are avoiding alcohol for any reason at all, feel free to hoist your glass of soft drink, water, or juice. You can also hold it to your lips without sipping, or raise your hand as though holding a glass.”
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