What is a Dear Jane letter?

What is a Dear Jane letter?

The phrase "Dear John" is an American expression that gained popularity during World War II. A "Dear Jane" letter is one written by a guy to a woman to end the relationship. It's worth noting that both Dear and John or Jane are capitalized, as they are in a letter's greeting.

These letters are commonly used by men who have found someone else while their girlfriend or wife was away at war. They used these letters to tell their loved ones that there were other options than continuing the relationship.

Sometimes called breakup letters, dead letters, or divorce letters they were often included with deceased soldiers' bodies as a way for people to show support after their death. Today these letters can be sent by email or posted on social media sites like Facebook.

People write these letters to get over broken hearts, most often when someone they love has died. But they also use them when someone else has hurt them, such as when their partner breaks up with them. No matter why you're writing a Dear Jane letter, it's usually not going to be received well.

People write these letters because they believe it will help them move on with their lives. But others may find your behavior disrespectful after someone dies or hurts you deeply. If you send out dozens of these letters, others will notice and this will only make things worse.

Where does the expression "Dear John" come from?

During World War II, when many Americans were gone from home for years, the phrase "Dear John" became widespread. A letter full of affection for the receiver was supposed, and probably properly, to begin with a greeting such as "Darling" or "Sweetheart." But once that first word was out of the way, the writer could be clear about what he or she wanted: in fact, could not wait for him or her to know.

The expression comes from the practice of beginning these letters with the words "Dear John," indicating that the writer is telling his or her loved one something they have already heard through other channels. The practice began during World War II, when many families had no idea how their men were doing or whether they were alive or dead. Letters carried great risk, so it was common for soldiers to write three or four a week. When they stopped receiving replies, they knew something was wrong and headed back home.

The expression "Dear John" came into use around the time when these letters were starting to flood into post offices. To save space, the writers usually didn't sign their names. So an unknown soldier would send a letter to "John" at a post office box in order to keep his identity secret. Of course, only those who knew about the box would send it there; otherwise, it wouldn't do any good sitting in some mail depot.

Why do letters begin with "dear"?

It's an issue of formality—using "Dear" at the beginning of a letter does not imply familiarity, but rather a display of respect by addressing someone in a formal manner appropriate to their position in general or in connection to you particularly. Letters to John are pretty common. Letters to people who are not important enough to be called by their first name are generally written as "Dear..."

The word "dearest" is also used in place of "Dear" to address more familiar people.

Finally, "Dear" can be used at the beginning of a letter to any person who is worthy of your attention and interest. For example, if you're writing a letter to a friend, it would be correct to start with "Dear friend."

These days, email has largely replaced the traditional letter as the method of communication for most people. Email is fast, easy, and less likely to cause annoyance than a letter. That said, there are times when a letter is better suited for certain situations. If you want to tell someone you're thinking of them, write a letter instead of sending them an email. You can include some nice photos too!

People often wonder why letters are still popular when email is so easy and convenient. Well, email lacks many of the attributes that make letters special.

Why do they call it a "Dear John" letter?

Because letters to troops from spouses or girlfriends at home often used romantic language (such as "Dear Johnny", "My beloved John", or simply "Darling"), a serviceman receiving a note beginning with a brusque "Dear John" would be immediately aware of the letter's intent. The letter started, "Dear John." Later variations included "Dear Jim" or "John," depending on which soldier was being addressed.

The phrase became popular among American soldiers during World War II who received such letters from back home. Because many letters were written in a rush by people afraid that their love might not be returned if they didn't get something written down, the term "Dear John" was adopted as a way for recipients to identify such letters quickly. After the war ended, the term began to be used by other countries' forces stationed in America; today it is common among Americans serving in the military.

According to the online dictionary Wordnik, the first printed use of "Dear John" was in 1941. It came from a newspaper article about a woman in New York City who had sent several dozen roses to an air force base, using that name instead of her own because she was too poor to afford a return address.

She had been disappointed when a man named John didn't show up at the airport to meet the plane carrying his boyfriend, George VI, the king of England.

About Article Author

Homer Barraza

Homer Barraza is a writer, who loves to write about important issues of today's world. He has been published in The Huffington Post, Bustle, and many other respected online media outlets. He has a degree from one of the top journalism schools in the country.

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