A valediction (or complimentary close) is a phrase used to say goodbye at the end of a letter. It also refers to the act of saying goodbye to someone. It comes from the Latin vale dicere, which means "to say farewell". Valedictions are normally written before the signature in a written message. The words used usually express respect or regard for the person to whom the message is written.
Versions[change | change source]
Old versions[change | change source]
In old letters, Yours truly was often replaced with a longer sentence, for example:
- I beg to remain, Sir, your most humble and obedient servant,
- A. Name
Yours sincerely[change | change source]
Yours sincerely is used when the person who is receiving the letter knows the author well and they can call each other by their first names.
Yours faithfully[change | change source]
Yours faithfully is used when the person who is receiving the letter is not known by name (i.e. the recipient is addressed by a phrase such as "Dear Sir/Madam").
References[change | change source]
- Complimentary close on The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition.
- Valediction – Definition from The Free Dictionary.
- Valediction Dictionary.co.uk.
- Oxford Concise Dictionary of English Etymology. Great Britain: Oxford University Press. 1996. pp. 519.