deliver/distribute inhouse mail

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Senior Member
Large companies have mailrooms (US) or post rooms (UK) in which incoming and outgoing, interoffice and external mail is processed. The question is incoming, interoffice mail. A mailroom guy bring interoffice mail to your department. For example, he brings mail to the Public Relations (PR) Department from other departments of the same company. Then, general affairs staff in the PR Department deliver/distribute the mail to each addressee.

Which would you use, deliver or distribute? If there are better words, could you please tell me?
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  • RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I would say that he delivers to PR, and the PR staff distribute it as necessary.

    Note that you have a problem in your third sentence....
    I'm on the fence about this one. (And the above examples referring to departments and staff are excellent.)

    But "distribute" suggests to me an initial sorting through and putting into categories. But when mail is finally given to the appropriate person, if I was the person responsible for doing so, I don't think someone would ask me "Did you distribute :confused: the mail to John?" but rather "Did you deliver the mail to John?"

    So I think "distribute" is for groups, and "deliver to" can be also used for groups/departments, but when talking about one person, "deliver to" has to be used.
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    Senior Member
    British English
    I'd use deliver in that sentence:
    "Then, general affairs staff in the PR Department deliver the mail to each addressee."

    To use "distribute":
    Then, general affairs staff in the PR Department distribute the mail."

    That's because "distribute" implicitly includes in its meaning "to each addressee".
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