Children love to receive mail. Making the extra effort to address an envelope specifically to a male child will brighten his day when he sees a letter for him in the pile of mail that is usually reserved for adults. However, in the information age, letter writing has become a lost art, and many people feel confused about the proper etiquette for writing to children. Fortunately, the rules for properly addressing envelopes to boys are flexible and easy to understand.
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Write a boy's first and last name on the envelope if you are sending informal correspondence, such as a birthday card or postcard. Etiquette experts Nancy Tuckerman, Nancy Dunnan and Amy Vanderbilt also recommend using just a first and last name for boys between the ages of 8 to 18.
Use the title "Master" before a young boy's name for more formal letters or if you simply want to please a child who may feel the title makes him sound more grown up. Tuckerman, Dunnan and Vanderbilt state that "Master" is an optional title that can be used until a boy turns eight, though Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee's advice website suggests that the word can be used for boys younger than 13.
Replace the word "Master" with the title "Mr." if the former sounds too old-fashioned to you. Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee indicate that the title can be used to address boys of any age, while Tuckerman, Dunnan and Vanderbilt recommend limiting the title to boys who have turned 18.
Fill out a boy's delivery address. Write his street address on the line below his name, and on the third line write his city, state and postcode.
Fill out your address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope. Write your name on the first line, your street address on the second line and your city, state and zip code on the third line.
Tips and warnings
- Double-check that you have spelt the boy's name and written his address correctly. Errors in the address will prevent the correspondence from reaching him.
- Write legibly. Type or print the envelope on a computer if your handwriting is difficult to read. Write out the addresses on an envelope with a pen.
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- Advice With Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee: Addressing Envelope for Young Boys
- "The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette;" Nancy Tuckerman, et al.; 1995
- DailyWritingTips; How to Address Your Elders, Your Doctor, Young Children . . . and Your CEO; Michael Moser
- United States Postal Service: Addressing Tips & Tools
- Abcteach.com; How to Address an Envelope; 2008