Up until very recently it has been widely known that the accepted standard in using fonts for business letters is Times New Roman, size 12 (11 if that can help your long letter be squeezed into one page. As a side note, be careful not to overdo the squeezing: it's better to have a 2-paged letter than a 1-pager whose words crawl over each other.)
And then Microsoft Word made Calibri its default font. So looks like Microsoft has decided single-handedly to shatter the foundation of the sacred business standard. And it will most probably succeed in this endeavor. After all, who wants to bother changing the defaults? Not everybody, that's for sure.
Dixie's advice used to be, when in doubt use the standard. Now there's a question which standard to use... You know what, in Dixie's expert opinion it does not matter much. Her best advice in this situation is, just don't use Wingdings. If you are not too discouraged by what has been said, Dixie urges you to read further.
On the other hand, these two words are so close in meaning that as Dixie says we can easily put up with not knowing that Times Roman (or Calibri, or even Wingdings) is a typeface, and not font.
So, what is a serif? It is a small line added as embellishment to the basic form of a character. Serif typefaces/fonts, of which Times Roman is the most common, are very effective when utilized in sequences of words longer than one line. Those little extensions of letters that hook one character into the next one help the eye in making words. Serif typefaces also resemble the cursive characters all of us learned in primary school.
Anyone could have guessed by now that sans-serif typefaces/fonts do not have those lines at the end of the characters. While serif fonts have an old-fashioned, classical, conservative and formal look, sans-serif fonts look more modern and informal. It was considered that they are best used in titles of any kinds and not in the body text, at least not in the body of the business letter.
"Now you see why Times New Roman is a standard for writing business letters, right?" asks Dixie. Wrong! Because Calibri is an example of a sans-serif. Again, let's blame Microsoft for turning the standards upside down.
Now everybody is thoroughly confused. But you already know that Dixie has always encouraged breaking rules: if you have a certain purpose in mind, do not be afraid to break a rule to attain your purpose. Just try not to overdo when you are writing a business letter! You can overdo anything else you wish of course.
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