Q: I am using my personal computer more and more for business correspondence. While I would never dream of writing a personal letter on it (I use blue-black ink on white writing paper for that), its value for use in business is, in my opinion, indisputable.
I cannot only produce correspondence of a professional appearance in very little time; I also get a permanent copy that does not clutter my desk or fill my filing cabinets.
Often in business it is necessary to send copies of letters to people other than those addressed. Standard practice is to type the original and sign it, and then photocopy it to send to others, listing their names on the original. Copies of the signature then appear on each sheet.
With a personal computer and attached printer, however, the process of photocopying can be eliminated, since the computer can generate multiple "original" documents.
Which copies does one sign?
I am not comfortable signing all copies, as it may appear to the recipients of copies that I placed the wrong name and address at the top of the letter. Yet it looks unfinished to simply leave the space for my signature blank.
If you will kindly inform me of the proper method for handling this problem, I will rest easier, knowing that I am doing the right thing.
A: Oh, good, an opportunity to make an entirely new rule of etiquette. Miss Manners spends so much time reminding people of the same old rules of courtesy that she is delighted to attack a fresh problem. Thank you.
Very truly yours --
Oops. She forgot to answer the question.
Miss Manners votes for the blank signature space, which is startling enough to alert those who hadn't paid attention to the name and address at the top that the letter is a copy. In addition, to prevent its looking like misaddressed mail, she suggests circling the recipient's name on the "cc" list in ink.
Feeling incorrect? Address your etiquette questions (in black or blue-black ink on white writing paper) to Miss Manners, in care of this newspaper.