No, it isn't a waste of pre-printed stationery.

Melissa Locker

Hand-written notes on personalized stationery are an elegant combination that will brighten anyone’s mailbox. However occasionally when you receive a note like that, the letter writer will have crossed out their embossed name on the top. The reasons for that have been a bit of a mystery.

Crossing out the pre-printed name seems like a waste of a perfectly good personalized notecard. Plus, if crossing out the name is part of proper note-writing etiquette, why bother having your stationery personalized in the first place? Despite the strangeness of the custom, some very fashionable people continue to sign notes that way, including Princess Diana, who undoubtedly knew a thing or two about proper etiquette.

Luckily, Town and Country did a bit of digging into this mystery. Turns out that crossing out the printed named with a pen stroke delivered by your own hand is meant to make the letter seem much more personal. “Etiquette-wise that, it's a sign that you are a closer friend of that person,” Kate Pickett of Pickett's Press told the magazine. Similarly, if you happen to be writing a note on official business stationery, crossing out the business name shows that you personally are reaching out to the letter recipient. In short, it’s just another way to make the note seem that much friendlier and what Southerner could be against that?

Of course, the art of letter writing is always personal, so if you like your personalized stationery as-is, there’s no need to bother with the slash-through. However, if you want to make a note more personal, give the slash a whirl, it will either bring a smile to the recipient’s face, or introduce a little mystery into their world.