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Mary Owens Crowther

  • It is a rare writer who can say all that need be said in one line and not seem rude. But it can be done.

  • The letter is a substitute for a spoken conversation. It is spontaneous, private, and personal. It is non-literary and is not written for the eyes of the general public.

  • Do not use two one-cent stamps in place of a two-cent stamp. Somehow one-cent stamps are not dignified.

  • In the case of a business letter where a salutation for both sexes may be necessary, use 'Gentlemen.'

  • ... there is a distinct danger in trying to be ever so unconventional and all that. One is more apt than not to make a fool of one's self. And then, too, being always clever is dreadfully hard on the innocent by-standers.

  • It is well to remember that motion pictures do not accompany letters and hence to take for granted that if a way exists for getting what you mean wrong that way will be found. It is unfortunately safe to take for granted that a personal business letter is going to be read by a moron.

  • Legalistic quibbles have no place in the answer to a complaint. The customer is rightly or wrongly dissatisfied; business is built only on satisfied customers. Therefore the question is not to prove who is right but to satisfy the customer. This doctrine has its limitations, but it is safer to err in the way of doing too much than in doing too little.

  • Tactless credit handling is the most effective way known to dissipate good-will.

Mary Owens Crowther, U.S. writer

(1882 - 1972)

Full name: Mary Jane Owens Crowther.