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I specifically remember learning this punctuation in grade school and high school:

Hello, Dolly. (Hi, John.) I remember learning to put the comma after a casual opening, but if it was "Dear" or "To", etc., you would not put the comma there (Dear John, -or- To Whom It May Concern: ).

Now it seems as if everyone is writing: Hello Dolly or Hi John - with no comma.

Can you tell me if I am remembering incorrectly or if this is "old" punctuation style that has been abandoned?


Hi Anon

Now it seems as if everyone is writing: Hello Dolly or Hi John - with no comma.

In modern English, the stress is on less punctuation. For example, it was formerly Mr. (in BrE), but nowadays, it is Mr (without period). However, in AmE, a period is inserted after after Mr.

I believe that other members will be able to give you more examples.
Veteran Member8,073
I'm sorry, but that was totally not what I was looking for...

The reference to the used comma is the one that is BETWEEN Hello and Dolly: Hello, Dolly.

As far as other punctuation, that is not my concern but thanks for the response anyway.
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I don't think you are remembering anything incorrectly, but I do think that these days, that comma ("Hello Dolly") is very rarely used. I certainly don't.
Veteran Member28,995
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I specifically remember this, too. i was told by a former boss it was "Ungrammatical" -- why did I listen to that idiot? I finally did a little research and found the comma is indeed grammatical.
hi, i'm 24 years old. "Hello, Dolly. (Hi, John.)" is exactly how i remember learning casual salutations in middle/high school on the East Coast. ...unsure whether this style is still used
I am 26 and from the Midwest; I was also taught the "Hello, Dolly" and "Hi, John" approach. Although now that I am in the professional world on the East Coast I must say, although I still use it religiously, I rarely see it in other people's writing.
I say use the comma. I do ... just put it in a sentence. "Dear" acts as an adjective ... "Hello" is like a sentence, a greeting to the person you are writing to, and in English, we put a comma to denote the person being spoken to. Right? 

Dear (adjective) John (subject),

Hello (greeting/senence/thought), John (subject being spoken to),  

In standard prose, you would write, "Dear John, I have been waiting to hear from you." Or "Hello, John, I have been waiting to hear from you."

We only put the salutation up top in a letter to help the reader ... but it is still apart of the first sentence. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it makes sense to me! Emotion: smile
(Forgive all my other errors here .... I was just typing too fast!)
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