IN the Seventies, in its Manual for Civil Service Typists, the British Civil Service recommended the omission of full-stops marking abbreviations and all non-essential commas outside the body of a letter – from the date, the inside name and address, and after the salutation and the complimentary closure.
This gave rise to a modern style of letter-writing, and this information has been disseminated to the teaching of letter-writing in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and several other Common-Wealth countries. What about Malaysia?
Mr (NOT Mr. with the full-stop)
am / pm
BA / BSc / MA / Ph D
UN / NATO / USA / UK
Miss Joanne Kam
8 Jalan Lembu
Letters – salutations and complimentary closures.
Dear Sam (NOT Dear Sam, with the comma)
Yours sincerely (NOT Yours sincerely, with the comma)
I think Malaysian students should be taught this modern style of letter–writing, too. It has been more than 30 years overdue.
People can make judgements about you not only from what you say in your letters but from the way you say it: this includes the way you set out the letter and address the envelope.