help for the rationale of using a punctuation mark in a letter?

In a business letter, it starts with Gentlemen:

Why is it that colon is used not comma?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Salutations in a formal or business letter end with a colon instead of the traditional comma... it's not required, but it's appropriate etiquette.

    So, where one might write:

    "Dear Tom and Linda," if they were being informal. They would write, "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith:" in a formal address. (They almost might leave out the "dear.")

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