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What function does the comma serve in the salutation of a letter, and when did it come about?

English Language & Usage Asked by alexthecampbell on December 24, 2020

In a letter we say "Dear Alexthecampbell," before starting the body. After this, we then captialize the first letter of the next sentence.

Since the salutation functions like a header, and isn’t part of the next sentence, why is there a need for a comma at all, and how did this start?

Thanks in advance!

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