I was just wondering if long flowery endings to letters are starting to go out of style. You know the sort of thing “Je vous prie d’agréer, chère madame…” I always have to look it up. I’m rather hoping that a simple “Cordialement” or similar will become the norm. I only use the flowery endings for very formal letters to solicitors and the like.
The options are endless. But remaining distinct in tone. There are ways of being polite whilst being a bit provocative as well.
Cordialement is an example of a catchall ending to certain emails. But not to letters. However, there are many different sign off possibilities, depending upon factors such as just how polite one wishes to be. Often when translating letters for people, must ask just what the relationship to the person/entity is. There are MANY nuances if one wishes to hit just the right tone for the circumstance. So NO, not going out of style, but perhaps evolving. Slightly.
I don’t know if you’ll find them less cumbersome…
Veuillez recevoir, Madame, Monsieur, mes salutations distinguées/ mes meilleures salutations
Recevez, Madame/ Monsieur, mes salutations respectueuses,
Recevez l’assurance de mes sentiments respectueux / l’assurance de ma considération distinguée.
Recevez l’expression de mes sentiments distingués/l’expression de mes sentiments dévoués/ l’expression de ma profonde gratitude
Croyez, Madame/ Monsieur, à mes sentiments les plus respectueux/ les meilleurs
Avec mes remerciements anticipés recevez mes salutations respectueuses.
Would you like a few “simpler but formal options” ?
Electronic communication uses different greetings and simple closings; these message are always shorter than formal letters and carry information in a different way so they are treated differently. For instance, no one would ever dream of writing : “Bonjour Madame X” in a letter but it is a common greeting in a business email. Also, formal closings are still used in formal letters ; there are many to choose from, some of them are fairly simple but keep the polite and respectful wording nevertheless. I can’t imagine “cordialement” becoming the norm for a formal letter, but there are options to “je vous prie d’agréer…” which are not cumbersome.
I hope this helps.
I think it’s kind of nice that they still use them. My Grandfather was a prolific writer of letters to The Times (I have his gold Parker somewhere, very well worn!) and the three-sentence signoff reminds me of him. There are so many different levels of politeness too!
I just found this in an open window on my laptop, I think I wrote it yesterday?..
On any kind of official or business letters, especially notaries and the like, you still see traditional endings.
Just an example;
We had a check we stopped at the bank. After they verified the bad check, they wrote:
“Nous restons à votre disposition pour tout renseignement complémentaire et nous vous prions, Monsieur, à l’assurance de notre considération distinguée.”