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Location of Signature Section on a Letter

Mind that apostrophe.
BBLSP1
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Location of Signature Section on a Letter

#442932

Postby BBLSP1 » September 17th, 2021, 10:32 am

Maybe better here than in ‘Does Anybody Know?’

When composing a letter on my computer, I leave two blank line spaces before the signature section. This means that the position of the signature section will vary on the printed sheet depending on the length of the letter main body text. Is this correct?

Or, instead, should the signature section always be in a fixed position at the bottom of the letter sheet and hence with a varying gap between it and the end of the letter text?

Please, no hippy stuff about getting the message across is the only thing that matters. :D

Gengulphus
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Re: Location of Signature Section on a Letter

#442971

Postby Gengulphus » September 17th, 2021, 11:56 am

BBLSP1 wrote:Maybe better here than in ‘Does Anybody Know?’

When composing a letter on my computer, I leave two blank line spaces before the signature section. This means that the position of the signature section will vary on the printed sheet depending on the length of the letter main body text. Is this correct?

Or, instead, should the signature section always be in a fixed position at the bottom of the letter sheet and hence with a varying gap between it and the end of the letter text?

Please, no hippy stuff about getting the message across is the only thing that matters. :D

A quick look through the first half of a several-inches-thick pile of letters and their enclosures on my desk (they're awaiting filing, in the shredder in many cases!) says that all the letters either have a small gap between the body of the letter and the signature section and a longer one between the signature section and the bottom of the sheet, or have the body of the letter ending close enough to the bottom of the sheet that the signature section fits with only small gaps both above and below it (so that it's impossible to tell which signature positioning they're using). So it looks to me as if the positioning you're using is at least the far more widely used one, and quite possibly universally or near-universally used.

Of course, the fact that some convention is widely (or even universally) used these days is no guarantee that it's correct... ;-) But I think there's good reason not to leave a large gap between the body of the letter and the signature section, namely that it makes life at least a bit more difficult for someone who wants to tamper with the letter by adding extra text to it. If they can add it between the body of the letter and the signature section, they've just got to closely match the writing style, typeface and paragraph style (e.g. left / right margins and interline spacings) of the existing text; if they have to add it under the signature section, they also have to make it a sufficiently plausible postscript for the fact that it's not in the body of the letter not to arouse suspicion.

Gengulphus

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Re: Location of Signature Section on a Letter

#442975

Postby staffordian » September 17th, 2021, 12:13 pm

I would always go with just leaving a couple of lines, not only for the reason outlined by Gengulphus, but just because it looks "right".

I don't recall ever seeing a signature on it's own at the bottom of a page.

BBLSP1
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Re: Location of Signature Section on a Letter

#442982

Postby BBLSP1 » September 17th, 2021, 12:30 pm

Yes, very good point about keeping the signature straight after the text so as to make it difficult to add anything without having to resort to a PS, and, other than for effect, when is there need for a PS in the age of Word?

Contrary argument may be that when flicking through a large lever arch file of hardcopy letters which have been signed by many different signatories, looking for someone in particular, having the signatures uniformly at the bottom of the page would ease the process. Then again, in the computer age and with file name referencing made to include initials, that search problem goes away as well!

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Re: Location of Signature Section on a Letter

#443099

Postby Dod101 » September 17th, 2021, 5:21 pm

I write few letters these days, but Word and my letterhead is set up so that I always left justify the text, including the signature section. I leave one line between the last line of the text and the Yours sincerely (or faithfully) line. Then two or three blank lines for the signature, inserting my name at the foot.

That I think was the convention in my office and I have just followed through on it over the last many years.

Dod

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Re: Location of Signature Section on a Letter

#443273

Postby redsturgeon » September 18th, 2021, 11:31 am

Moderator Message:
I have deleted a few posts off topic to the OP. Please try to stay on topic rather than getting into a point scoring contest.

BBLSP1
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Re: Location of Signature Section on a Letter

#443330

Postby BBLSP1 » September 18th, 2021, 3:55 pm

As the OP, I was ok with it. After all, they were just being pedantic with each other!


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