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.

Why would a man write a "Dear Jane" letter? There are several reasons why a man might write a "Dear Jane" letter including: feeling sorry for himself because of the situation he is in, needing time to think about what direction he wants to take in his life, or wanting to inform someone that the relationship is over. Men may also write a "Dear Jane" letter when they feel like it's the only way to end the relationship safely (i.e., without being sent to jail).

What does a "Dear Jane" letter include? In addition to the standard salutation, "Dear ________", a "Dear Jane" letter will include details on how to terminate the relationship effectively and honestly. For example, men may suggest meeting up with their girlfriend/wife at a local park or restaurant and having coffee together once the romance ceases. This is just an idea provided for clarity purposes; each couple can decide what type of ending of their relationship they want to have.

Is writing a "Dear Jane" letter easy? No, it isn't. Writing a "Dear Jane" letter requires skill and practice.

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, it was free to pour out all the love we feel for someone special. The "John" part came from the assumption that this letter would be read by no one but the recipient.

The term "Dear John letter" comes from WWII letters sent by soldiers overseas. Since they were written without knowing if they would reach their recipients, these letters included open endings with no specific time frame for delivery. When the soldier returned from war he might find a wife or girlfriend who had moved on to another man. This made him feel like an ex-lover who had been abandoned, so the phrase "Dear John" began to appear in these letters to describe them. Later, the term was extended to cover any letter not intended for delivery to its destination.

These days, people use social media instead. If someone deletes themselves from your life online, it's common to feel like you've been dumped. That's why the term "dear friend delete" was created: to describe those unfortunate moments when someone you know has disappeared from your life due to a separation, divorce, or death.

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 given names can be sent via courier service or through the post office.

The use of "dear" to start letters is relatively new. Before then, people wrote formal letters using the salutation "Gentleman," which means "worthy of respect." The first known example of an English letter containing the word "dear" comes from 1554. Before then, people wrote words like "good morning" or prayers to God for help with no mention of being "dear" to anyone.

People started using "dear" to start letters because it was considered polite. When sending messages over short distances, people wanted their letters to be as brief as possible. By starting letters with "dear" they were showing that they were not just sending anyone off to write to them. Instead, these letters were meant for specific people who had done something worthy of respect.

Some other common ways of starting letters include "My dear friend," "Honoured Sir/Madam," and "Dearest Love."

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 even just "John".

The phrase became popular among soldiers during World War II, when many marriages of men serving in that war were found after the conflict ended. Because military regulations prohibited them from writing home, many soldiers' spouses took out their frustrations by writing "Dear John" letters to their mates.

After the war was over, many of these "lost" wives and mothers wanted to know what had happened to their husbands or sons. So the "Dear John" letter came to symbolize the absence and loneliness experienced by many surviving spouses.

Some writers say the term is also used by prisoners of war to indicate that their comrades have been posted away from the unit.

However, this usage appears to be rare today.

What is another word for "dear" in a letter?

If you mean "dear" as a type of affection, then savor can be used in place of cherished, revered, respected, and honored. You could probably use any of these in the letter instead of "dear," albeit it might seem a little Victorian.

About Article Author

Rene Zaiser

Rene Zaiser is a freelance writer who loves to share his thoughts on various topics. He has several years of experience in the industry, which he uses to provide high-quality content that helps people achieve their goals.


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