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Happy Thanksgiving!

A blog reader asked whether to capitalize the word happy when it comes before Thanksgiving.

The answer? It depends.

Happy Thanksgiving or Have a happy Thanksgiving

In an exclamation, capitalize like this:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

In a sentence, do this:

We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.



To learn more about holiday messages, get my book Business Writing With Heart: How to Build Great Work Relationships One Message at a Time. Get a signed paperback with a laminated bookmark from me. (It’s a great gift for clients and colleagues!) Or buy it for your Kindle (from Amazon) or your Nook (from Barnes & Noble).



If you celebrate the holiday, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Whether you observe Thanksgiving or not, I give thanks for you reading this blog.

Warm wishes,

Syntax Training


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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

2 comments on “Happy Thanksgiving!”

  • Once when I wrote “Good morning!” in an office group email communication, my colleague from U.K. pointed out that using an exclamation mark to address somebody is like mocking them. what is your opinion?

  • Hi, Mini. I don’t believe using an exclamation mark after a greeting is mocking. Perhaps your colleague was thinking of a particular conflict-laden situation in which an exclamation mark felt that way to him or her. Why not ask your colleague to elaborate?

    Of course, you can always write “Good morning, team” and use a period (full stop) after it.

    Among a group of readers, there will often be someone who objects to something. Just do your best to write concisely, clearly, and professionally.


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