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Consider for example the idiom kicked the bucket, which means died. Even though another word for bucket is pail, we can't change this to kicked the pail without seeming quite ridiculous to anyone who hears us speaking this way!!! I'm sure you can find examples of this sort of thing in your own language.
Many times we start letter by writing, to whom it may concern. This is not an accurate statement. I would say that we rarely start a letter with those words. I don't even remember the last time in my life that I did that.
If you search the Forum with this expression, you'll find information on the rare and special occasions that this may be appropriate. However, my advice to you is not to even consider using this form of address.
I think you are probably wondering how to start a letter to someone if you don't know their name. That's a very different question. Possible choices include 'Dear Sir or Madam', among others.
Best wishes, Clive
CalifJimIt's an idiom, that is, a fixed formula of words. Idioms cannot be changed without seeming wrong to native speakers.CJ, for the time being forget that it's an idiom, then I think you will find the use of might more appropriate. Right?
In the last post Clive said:
''I would say that we rarely start a letter with those words.''
Why is he using would? Shouldn't he say:
''I will/shall say that we rarely start a letter with those words.''?
would shows an implied condition.
If you asked me to make an educated guess, I would say ...
I would say therefore shows that a person is giving an opinion, an estimate. What is said is not necessarily something which has been scientifically researched.
Clive is saying it now, so the future will say doesn't make sense.
another word for concern
There are quite a number, for example solicitude and interest.
It depends on what you are trying to say. Do you want to use it as a noun or as a verb?
( Please say 'please' next time. We are all volunteers here at the Forum. Thank you. )
Best wishes, Clive.