Do you still write "Dear so-and-so" in your correspondence?
That's what author and CNN contributor Bob Greene noticed as well:
Is "Dear" an endangered species?
It would appear to be. You may have noticed that fewer and fewer
people begin their letters and notes with "Dear." Some holdouts
-- I'm among them -- do, but this may be mostly out of lifetime habit.
Even people who grew up using the traditional salutation -- middle-of-the-road,
go-by-the-book people -- now regularly begin their notes with "Hi."
This is mostly a function of the digital-communications age. "Dear,"
which always looked fine atop a business letter, or a handwritten note,
is increasingly seen as archaic and old-fashioned on a computer screen
or on a smartphone or mobile device.
The pending disappearance of "Dear" is a sea change in
the way we write to each other -- yet when you think about it, there
are few logical reasons arguing for a longer life for that particular
word. We've always used it, just because we've always used it.
Would you miss "Dear" if it's gone forever from our daily usage?