I saw a letter today that started "Dear Honored Guest:". Besides the capitalization issue, which I do not wish to discuss, shouldn't there be a comma between the adjectives?
Same for "Dear Reverend Father", which I understand is the (or a) proper salutation for a Catholic priest, and "Dear Reverend Mother", which I understand is the (or a) proper salutation for a superior.

Michael Hamm
AM, Math, Wash. U. St. Louis
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I saw a letter today that started "Dear Honored Guest:". Besidesthe capitalization issue, which I do not wish to discuss, ... salutation for a Catholic priest, and "Dear ReverendMother", which I understand is the (or a) proper salutation for a superior.

Would you put a comma after "Dear" in "Dear Mr. Hamm"? "Mr." is a title, as is "Reverend."
"Honored" is not really a title, but it fills that role in "Dear Honored Guest."
So, no no comma after "Dear." IMO, as always.
Maria Conlon
How's my writing? To report abuses, call me direct. (Don't have my number? Oh... well, call someone else, then.)
I saw a letter today that started "Dear Honored Guest:". Besides the capitalization issue, which I do not wish to ... for a Catholic priest, and "Dear Reverend Mother", which I understand is the (or a) proper salutation for a superior.

I'm no expert in this kind of thing, but it seems to me that "Honored" and "Reverend" can stand alone without needing a "Dear" as well.

Matti
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I saw a letter today that started "Dear Honored Guest:". ... understand is the (or a) proper salutation for a superior.

I'm no expert in this kind of thing, but it seems to me that "Honored" and "Reverend" can stand alone without needing a "Dear" as well.

Dear Matti well, yes, but it would be less affectionate. Even the honored and revered need love, you know.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
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I saw a letter today that started "Dear Honored Guest:". Besides the capitalization issue, which I do not wish to discuss, shouldn't there be a comma between the adjectives?

I'd say that the "dear" here isn't really an adjective, but is rather marking a sort of vocative construction, much as "O" once did.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >The vast majority of humans have
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I saw a letter today that started "Dear Honored Guest:". Besides the capitalization issue, which I do not wish to discuss, shouldn't there be a comma between the adjectives?

I don't think "Dear" is an adjective here.

Mike Nitabach
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
My sentiments, too: I've never seen a comma after the "Dear" of a salutation, regardless of the status of the next word, and I can't think of any situation where one would use one.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
} I saw a letter today that started "Dear Honored Guest:". Besides the } capitalization issue, which I do not wish to discuss, shouldn't there be a } comma between the adjectives?
No.
} Same for "Dear Reverend Father", which I understand is the (or a) proper } salutation for a Catholic priest, and "Dear Reverend Mother", which I } understand is the (or a) proper salutation for a superior.

I think the "correct" salutation used to be "Reverend and dear Father", which sort of nods to your point. Myself, I'd be surprised to see "Reverend" and "Father" both used in one salutation. Typically you'd see the "Rev." on the envelope (and the inside address if it's a formal letter) and just the "Father" with the last (or, God forbid, first) name in the salutation, as in:
Rev. Richard Fontana
...
Dear Father Fontana,
or, for a business letter,
Dear Father Fontana:
There's also something about using "the" before "Rev." in mentioning a priest in a newspaper article or the like, but I never got that far.

I knew one bishop who got irritated at being addressed as "Mr." by one of those he served, but that's neither here nor there.

R. J. Valentine
Actually knows people who take 'Call no man "Father"' at face value.
I think the "correct" salutation used to be "Reverend and dear Father", which sort of nods to your point. Myself, ... who got irritated at being addressed as "Mr." by one of those he served, but that's neither here nor there.

My late and reverend headmaster, surnamed Snow, was adamant that he should be referred to as "Mr Snow" in speech and in the salutation of a letter, and that "The Rev. Mr G. Snow" was proper on the envelope (the capitalisation and punctuation, which he didn't speak on, are mine). What his views became after he was translated to a bishopric, upon becoming tired of unruly boys, I don't know.

Paul
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