Why is it considered rude to write a letter in red ink?

That’s what my mum says!

81 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Hmmmmm.well Asians only use red to write the names of DEAD people…..it symbolizes severing ties……( I think )

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Writing in red ink would perhaps now be considered as thoughtlessness of behalf of the sender rather than being rude or bad mannered.

    Years ago when ledgers were kept and were written in both black and red ink. Black for debit and red for credit…’Being in the red’ meaning that you owed money to someone for a purchase or service rendered. And long ago owing money was considered to be a stigma and to some extend this stigma stills apples.

    So unless you know the person very well, why not stick to the norm though if you are sending Christmas cards why not use one of those coloured ink pens that you can buy. That will solve the problem once and for all. And for official and for every day letter writing use a dark ink.

    So rather than upset someone we mostly send correspondence written in dark or blue ink.


    Another thing just take a look at your Mum’s or Dad’s face if they get a utilities bill come through letter box. When they open it and if they look worried chances are it is written in red ink meaning a final demand notice.

  • lynne
    1 month ago

    In the days of letter, red ink signified legal warnings and notices! Red ink meant a serious letter! Legal documents will not be accepted written or signed in red because of this! I wouldn’t say it’s rude these days, to write a letter to a mate in red!! Just as long as you remember documents have to be black!!

  • leekier
    1 month ago

    It’s unconventional but not actually rude. If you’re writing to a friend you can use whatever colour you like . If you’re writing an official letter you need to appear serious and should use black or dark blue ink which is more photocopiable.

    Being colour blind would not be an issue; someone who is colour blind may not be able to distinguish the colour of the ink but would be able to read it (Unless your handwriting’s like mine).

    ‘Red letter days’ are the high days and holidays printed in red on old fashioned calendars, so a red letter day is a good day, a day to remember.

  • peggy*moo
    1 month ago

    Well, it’s a bit like typing emails in capitals – it feels aggressive, like shouting. Red is often the colour of pen used to mark mistakes on school work so we can associate it with mistakes. Red is also a colour associated with anger. So, although I wouldn’t say it is exactly ‘rude’ to write a letter in red ink, it is best not to. One other thing, when there is a lot of writing red is not the easiest colour to read – best stick with blue or black!!

  • ?
    5 days ago

    Red Rude

  • cannadoo
    1 month ago

    I don’t think it’s rude but red is not exactly user friendly. So when you write a letter using a non-user friendly color, it is a signal that you did not even go through the trouble of finding a blue or a black pen.

    As a trivia: in Turkey signing under an agreement in red means that you do not agree with the agreement but you are signing under it because you are forced to.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I don’t know about the letter, but in the UK if you write the address in red ink, the Royal Mail can refuse to deliver it. This stems back to Victorian times when it was believed that trying to read red ink could damage the eye sight of the sorting staff.

  • Peace
    1 month ago

    Red ink is what teachers used to use to correct children’s writing. It is now discouraged (in favour of blue or black) That’s because it looks horrible. Red is the colour we use for warnings and reprimands. It is also the colour of blood – perhaps that’s why it serves to warn us of dangers.

    Traditionally, people always use blue or black to write letters – it’s a convention. Breaking convention looks careless- and hence rude. So go and find another pen before your mum gets back!

  • Fragile Rock
    1 month ago

    In some cultures (Indian for example) red is considered auspicious and so greeting cards, letters and invitations are often written in red ink. I guess because red is considered a ‘dangerous’ colour and looks like blood, it’s not used as the ink of choice among other cultures…

  • Anonymous
    7 days ago

    Red text email or letter signified as a threatening letter, no matter you say good or bad. it is a dangerous letter, angry letter, sending a color red text email to someone you don’t know is considered very offensive. Color red letter signified a threat/ kill letter. Professional people all over the world uses black the most and dirk blue is the next step down.

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