Talk:yours truly

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This is not an "adjectival phrase". An adjectival phrase as an adjective which consists of multiple words, or a phrase which does the job of an adjective. And an adjective is a word used to describe another word, which must be a noun (or noun phrase).

It's not possible to say "This one is very yours truly", or "a long, yours truly, red thingummy", etc. — Hippietrail 06:34, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Hippietrail, Muke and I were just discussing this in IRC. We have so far concluded that we don't really know. Do you have a better suggestion? --Dvortygirl 06:39, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
If it is the same as the British yours sincerely or yours faithfully, then it is an adverb - shortened from older phrases such as "I remain, your faithful servant, Joe Bloggs" SemperBlotto 07:29, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
I was actually thinking about this in the past few days before you added it too. Along with some other similar-ish things that escape me right now.
I think the phrase used for signing letters is no part of speech at all, it's a sentence fragment used just for that purpose. Can you think of any examples in spoken English (other than reading a letter aloud)? I'd be interested in how it's labelled in print dictionaries. I wouldn't be surprised if it's only in bilingual dictionaries though, which is enough to warrant it here of course.
Perhaps it's more interesting to investigate the special sense of "yours" used in this phrase and many other variations. Yours lovingly, Hippietrail 10:17, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunately, this phrase is not ever an adverbial phrase, or any other kind of adverb. The use of "unfortunately in the previous sentence was an adverb, but you can see that substituting "yours truly" does not make a grammatical sentence. Most commonly, adverbs are used to qualify verbs or adjectives: "She runs quickly", "It was very big". — Hippietrail 10:05, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Some research from the library[edit]

  • The 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary has no separate entry for these phrases, but under the personal pronoun yours has - "used as a predicate in the subscription of a letter qualified by an adverb or adverbal phrase"
  • The 3 volume Webster has an entry for Yours truly in the I,Me,Myself sense, and under the pronoun yours has - "often used with an adverbal modifier in the complimentary close of a letter to express the polite fiction that the sender puts himself at the receiver's disposal"
  • Fowler's Modern English Usage (3rd edition) has an article on Letter Forms that describes the change from formality to informality, and confirms that, in business leters, yours faithfully is used with Dear Sir, and yours sincerely is used with Dear Mr Smith. It also says that in private correspondence, Americans tend to reverse the order, or write simply "sincerely" etc. SemperBlotto 11:08, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

End of a letter[edit]

When you use "yours truly" at the end of a letter it isn't for "informal correspondance" as far as I'm aware, I was taught that it is reserved only for the end of love letters. 92.2.201.254 17:37, 13 March 2009 (UTC)