Have you ever received a handwritten note from someone who put a slash through their name on the card and wondered why?
After seeing it in notes from Princess Diana, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Lauren, Donatella Versace, and Miuccia Prada —not to mention countless holiday cards over the years—I called two stationery experts to ask them for the reason behind the strike-through.
"Etiquette-wise that, it's a sign that you are a closer friend of that person," says Kate Pickett of , who crosses her own name out on notes when she's on a first-name basis with the recipients. "I just see it as a sign of being friendly."
Pickett added that many of her customers purchase formal and informal sets of stationery, and striking through name on formal stationery is a quick and easy way to make it a little more informal.
"We do [Vanity Fair Editor in Chief] Graydon Carter's stationery, and he'll typically put a slash through his name," says William Miller of , whose shop is based in Oyster Bay, New York, says. "The note will be typewritten on his Vanity Fair paper and then he'll sign it, so he's saying, 'Yes this is on my Vanity Fair stationery but this is really from me.' It adds a particular intimacy and shows he feels close to the recipient."
"There's a lot of archaic things in stationery," Miller says.
Long live the strike-through.