With the widespread use of email in the last decade, I’ve observed that a popular and acceptable salutation is written in this form:
That is, the word “Hi” followed immediately by the name of the addressee and a comma.
Because email can be a very casual means of communication, most people greet one another with a “Hi” instead of the more formal letter opening such as:
However, the correct form for addressing someone by name is to precede the name with a comma, as in:
In both personal and business email, however, it’s become acceptable to adopt the hi-name-comma convention.
In this situation, the comma is still present. I lament the increasing disappearance of the comma in our everyday writing, particularly when addressing another person. Already I notice people skipping the use of the comma in sentences such as:
Where are you going Jane?
Okay Chris I’ll see you later.
The above sentences look like they belong in a second grade English test on the use of commas. We’ve got to draw the line somewhere — and the line resembles a period with a tail that is written before and/or after the name of the person you’re addressing.
Where are you going, Jane?
Okay, Chris, I’ll see you later.
Otherwise it’s a slippery slope to:
You should eat Nancy before you leave the house in the morning.