A salutation is a greeting, as in "Hi, Bonnie." Although we all start e-mail messages with "Hi Mom" or "Hi Bill," we do need a comma. Other examples include "Sure, Dad"; "Have a good time, Andy"; and "Eat, Grandma."
Now what would happen if we left off the comma? If we wrote "Sure Dad," it wouldn't confuse anyone. But if we wrote "Eat Grandma," well that has a completely different meaning!
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