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Messers v messrs.

Don't say that: 


Do say this: 



Press releases, especially from government departments and agencies, are a rich source of amusement. This one, from Australia's Securities and Investment Commission is outstanding.

Let's focus on just one error: it consistently refers to "Messers." Yes, if we always spell phonetically. But we don't.

The word "Messrs" is an mutation from the French. The singular is monsieur and the plural is "messieurs." It's most often seen in letters between firms in which the address is Messrs. A, B and C, 25 That Street, etc. The salutation would read "Dear Sirs."

A messer is, well, someone who messes about.


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