I came across this conversation on the internet lately, about how we should address someone in the email. Should we call them by their last names and use “Mr.” and “Mrs/Ms.”, or should we go casual calling them their first names.

With foreign names, we sometimes find it difficult to guess the addressee’s gender. Calling one using their first names help us avoid awkwardness.

I once received an email from someone who address me with “Mr./Mrs. Hapsari”, which was hilarious. I later put “(Ms.)” next to my name on my email signature.

When I was going to reply this person’s email, I became unsure as how to address them. Of course I had to use formal salutation too, but I had no idea about their gender.

Google didn’t help as their name was unisex. And I didn’t want to use “Mr./Mrs.” like what they did to me. So I wrote “Dear XYZ Team”. Hah.

We don’t have to bother guessing genders if one has “Dr.” or “Prof.” attached to their names. We can use the titles. But then not everyone can afford this much education.

I think casual salutations win.