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06/01/2014

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John Cowan

In AmE, the standard complimentary close for any letter other than a personal one is either Sincerely or Sincerely yours. For personal letters, Love is usual.

However, Benjamin Franklin wrote this letter in 1775:

Mr. Strahan:

You are a member of Parliament and one of that majority which doomed my country to destruction. You have begun to burn our homes and murder our people. Look upon your hands, they are stained with the blood of your relations. You and I were long friends. You are my enemy, and I am

   Yours,

   B. Franklin

Peter Harvey

It is true that there is certain personal variation in usage and that AmEng is different from BrEng. I deal with the British form, which is what I know and teach. It is also the form of the language that is used in international correspondence and documentation in the European institutions.

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