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Matt:

At what age do you discontinue use of the term "Master" to address correspondence to a young man? Thank you.

-- Roseann Schoen, the net

Ms. Schoen, I'd say when you get to 95 or so, you can stop. Everyone will conclude that you've finally loosened the bonds of tyrannical etiquette, a prerogative of your age. I joke, of course. The term "Master" is so little used these days, and then only in extremely formal situations, that some etiquette books don't even address the issue. "Master" is a very old British (then American) formal term of respect for adult men that morphed into the term "mister"; "master" was relegated to boys under age 13. Today's envelope etiquette suggests a kid is Master John Jones up to age 8, John Jones until age 18, then Mr. John Jones. Informally, of course, after age 8 he's actually just "Yo, dude!"

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