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Don't call people "DEAR."


zeus777

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Good morning fellow Fiverrians and Fiverrettes.

I woke up a while ago, I logged in and realized I had a message. The message was one of those please-help-me messages so I had the usual “Oh here it comes again” reaction, but what reaaallly ruined my morning was that this person called me "dear."

I get it. They are trying to be friendly. I do. 98% of the time when I get a message, people use “sir,” because they assume I’m a guy. I am aware that some people do not like this and I can understand why, but personally I don’t mind. Some people say “Hello sir or ma’am”, others simply say "Hello zeus777."

I guess I don’t mind the “sir” personally because at least I get the feeling that the person was trying to be polite in a business manner. "Hello dear.“is not good. Maybe the person was trying the friendly approach, but it just doesn’t work, especially if the person is sending you a message for the first time.

Another word some people use is “friend.” Hi friend. Hello friend. Well guess what, I ain’t your friend.

True, people do use the word “dear” and “friend” all the time. I call my younger coworkers dear, sweetheart, etc.

When I went to a bakery yesterday, the nice old lady there called me dear, and I didn’t mind at all.

I have a repeat buyer who bought more than 30 gigs, and around the 15th time, he started calling me buddy, pal, and friend, and I didn’t mind.



Then why the heck would I mind if someone sent me a message starting with dear or friend?

I wish I could come up with a clear and better way to explain why it’s a bad idea, rather than just saying

"It’s unprofessional/inappropriate.” Someone help me out please! 😛



So a seemingly not so important, but a huge tip: Do NOT use the word dear!

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Thank you SO much for this post. My Granny called me dear and it was nice. If another buyer or seller calls me that, it’s weird. I don’t care for Sir but I agree that it is an attempt at professionalism. Another one that turns me off fast is “bro.” I’m not anyone’s brother, bro, or especially brah.

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It’s also worth noting that people should refrain from using sexist or objectifying language in their professional messages. I would think this would go without saying, but I had a buyer who constantly referred to me as “beautiful lady” in lieu of my name. I understand there are cultural differences, and I understand that he thought he was being polite. It’s still offensive, to me at least, to ignore the fact that I am a person, an individual with a name, and refer to me as “lady” or reference my appearance in a professional setting. /rant

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Reply to @fonthaunt:
I’d say the only time I use the word sir is when someone messages me and he is clearly a guy, because they will end their message using their real name. If the name is Alex or Christ, I’ll simply use their Fiverr name though. Tricky~~~. 😛
I’ve had people call me bro too, it’s OK if it was AFTER several messages/orders and I feel like we have built this sense of trust, but if I get a Hey bro for my first message? Nah, I don’t like it.
BTW thank you for removing the spam!

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Reply to @zeus777: I agree with you on all that and glad you are bringing it up. I try to let people know regularly that certain terms don’t come off as intended. Sir and Madam aren’t too bad in general though it could lose someone a sale if the recipient is picky. The other terms like dear, bro, friend - those seem to either be taught to some adult ESL students or are mis-translated. Hopefully some will keep seeing the cautions against using those familiar terms. You are welcome on the spam removal! With that I also try to educate but still nip it in the bud.

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I don’t know why, but the improper punctuation and capitalization of the greetings also turn me off really quickly. Why can’t it just be a proper “Hi,” or “Hello,”? Such messages leave a bad first impression to me.

For example,

hi.
i see your request…

hello sir
You need my service?..

hey,
i’m offering you…

dear sir/ma’am.
You want to have my service?? its on sale…

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I know when I started studying English, I learned that “sir” and “ma’am” are for business. But when I actually do business, I rarely hear or use these, except calling my Japanese boss “sir”. (but then I switched to his name+san).

I rarely (“rarely”, not “never”) call my customer “sir” or “ma’am”, usually Mr. or Mrs. Maybe I haven’t been in a formal enough situation?

And the only time I recall hearing “sir” and “ma’am” is in restaurants or retail shops, where they don’t know who we are (our names, our position in the company…). I also remember when we introduce our names, they would switch to Mr. and Ms. too.

Finding these in Fiverr message does get under my skin. We have our user’s name here, like we have our real name in real life


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Reply to @fonthaunt: Agreed, if someone’s Granny calls me dear, it’s nice. When a man I’ve never met before calls me that, it’s creepy.

“Sir” amuses me. “Bro” or “friend”, not so much, especially if it’s combined with an attempt to get a discount.

“Mr. Catwriter” definitely amuses me. 😃

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I frequently receive messages that have the greeting/salutation “Dear” or “Hello dear.” For example:

Dear,

I have a project I wish to contact you about…

Or:

Hello dear,

I have a document that I need edited…

I’ve found that most times, those messages come from people who are not native English speakers or not particularly great at writing in English. In those cases, I’m not sure that they’re trying to be overly or creepily friendly with me by referring to me as if we are family. I think it may be more a result of not being familiar with standard letter/email structure and not understanding the usage of common English greetings. Probably the most common salutation is: “Dear (person’s name)” followed by a comma or colon when writing a letter or email. I think that for a lot of writers who aren’t particularly skilled in English, this somehow turns into “Hello dear” or the person’s name being left out altogether, leaving the recipient, who may be completely fluent in English, to feel slighted or like they’ve been somehow patronized.

So basically, my guess is that this salutation oddity is more often the result of lack of English fluency or familiarity rather than someone wanting to be your new best pal.

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Reply to @ricksper: ‘Dear -name-’ is different than ‘-name- dear’ and I think the op was referring to the latter.

Although I think the first is fine when it’s used for formality purposes, I also dislike getting messages with “hey dear, can you…”. I mean, I’m used to elderly women using the term, but when a guy whose image I can see and whose English has many flaws uses it, I can’t help but think it’s there merely because he wants to sound more polite and potentially sell me something/buy something for cheaper.

Some people also overuse it and make it sound much worse. I had a case where the person put ‘dear’ at the end of every second sentence.

The people might not even know it annoys others, so I hope they read this topic and don’t use it too much 🙂


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Reply to @ricksper: That is an entirely different use of the word. It isn’t uncommon for instructor’s teaching business English for letters to still use dear in a certain way, even though it is becoming more archaic in use. However, not everyone can grasp the nuance and if not, it is best avoided. These are real examples from business English instruction vs. real things I’ve seen on the Fiverr forums and my own inbox:

Acceptable (though archaic use) Business English:

Dear Sir or Madam:

Dear Mr. Smith:

Dear Ms. Jones:

…and so on. These are normally followed with something like…

Dear Sir or Madam:

I would like to propose to you a business deal. (Message contd.)

Thank you,

John Brown

Unacceptable use of “Dear” commonly seen on Fiverr:

Hi Dear, Thanks for your kind reading of my message.

Yes dear, I would make you a good deal.

You can trust me dear because i have 6 month experience on online marketing.

dear my account was making much money and I do not lie.

See the difference?

If the user is not certain about how/when to correctly use the word or if they just want to modernize their communications, avoidance of the word ‘dear’ will yield better results. If buyers or sellers insist on using the word, it’s their right, but the tips @zeus777 offered are absolutely valid.


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Maybe I should edit the post and make it more clear…but yes, like fonthaunt and zeromark said, things like Dear sir, Dear ma’am, Dear Mr.Smith, is OK.

Hello dear, how are you?
Dear, I need a quote.
Yes dear, I need 3 samples

THESE are not OK.

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nickih said: I've found that most times, those messages come from people who are not native English speakers or not particularly great at writing in English.
This is true, but I think that is people from Asia, especially India or Pakistan that say "dear". I'm not a native English speaker, and I've never called an unknown person "dear", and neither have I heard any European, regardless how bad English he has, saying "dear".

I am very curious to know why is that. English is also an official language in India and Pakistan, and maybe that use of “dear” is normal there. It’d be great if somebody from one of those countries could bring some light about this, because I automatically mistrust buyers or sellers that call me dear, it sounds creepy to me, and maybe is just an unjustified prejudice of mine.

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