Dear Sir or Madam:

Send me as much information as you can about the 1994 Northridge earthquake. I am doing a school project and I need information and photographs.

Sincerely,

John Q. Student

Dear Sir or Madam:

My 5th grade students have compiled a list of 50 questions about earthquakes. Could you please answer them and send the answers back by mail?

Sincerely,

John Q. Teacher

The above two letters are less paraphrased than one might guess from actual communications I have seen or received in recent months. These letters, and others of the same ilk, leave me with both...

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