Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Signing off e-mails

So, I found this article very interesting today. It's about whether or not one should sign off e-mails with the word "Best".  I have noticed it in the USA for a while now, and apparently it's becoming more common in the UK. Never really gone for it myself. Best what? Wishes? In which case, why don't we end the e-mail with "Wishes" like we do with "Regards" instead of "Kind Regards".

We need consistency here. We should either be writing "Best" and "Kind", or "Wishes" and "Regards". Who's with me?

Anyway, it all gets a bit tricky with e-mails doesn't it? I have also noticed more and more people not ending with anything. I suppose if you're going back and forth over a matter, it becomes a little awkward to start and end each exchange with a salutation and a sign off. Even my mother sometimes just writes a sentence in response to something I've said. (My how standards are slipping.)

Then there's the whole "tone" thing. Written communication is a bugger for being misinterpreted, and a one liner especially so. That's when we have to reach for the dreaded emoticon (obviously not in a formal e-mail) or the inane LOL, on the end - just to show the recipient that you're not is a massive sulk. Incidentally, how many years did it take you to realize that people meant "Laughing out Loud" instead of "Lots of Love"? There's a great text story about a mother who texted her entire family -
"Just wanted to tell you that Aunt Ruby passed away on Tuesday. LOL".

If I'm piling on the Brit thing I sometimes sign off with Cheers, but more often I end mine with "Many thanks" for some reason. It's not that I'm always asking people to do stuff for me, it just seems appropriate. Of course, I will now have to make sure I'm not coming across as too subservient and needy.

Sigh. If only we all wrote on lovely paper, with fountain pens and proper grammar. Life would be much simpler.


  1. If it's a family member I usually close with Love, for others it might be Thanks or Best Wishes

  2. Dear Mrs Hargis,

    I sign my e-mails by ending either "Thanks" or "Love" depending on whether it is work or home.

    Except in your case - of course.

    I remain your obedient servant,

    Amy Lovemademyhome

  3. I've noticed "Best" creeping in. It's odd, I think, but probably here to stay.

  4. The best thing disturbs me too. And Cheers...but only if it's coming from an American (I don't know why). Almost all of my work emails end in Thanks or Thanks so much.

  5. I have always been tempted to sign off with something like, "With the greatest esteem and respect, I remain, dear Sir (or Madam), your most obedient and humble servant,

    But usually I just sign off with



  6. I do like Best, think its very redolent of dignity and yet some distance. I was writing Cheers too much and sometimes I didn't really know the person well enough.
    Good piece, My son has a email sign off, Yours sincerely. Of course in a 17 year old it cannot be anything other than flippin the bird

  7. I suppose I tailor my email endings to suit the person i'm writing to but I suppose *thanks* is my most common ending. I have a dread of ending a formal one with luv or a kiss as that is another regular ending I do!
    er......Thanx.... luv
    Maggie x

  8. Arghl yes. And as a foreigner it's even harder, because sometimes I don't feel the subtle connotations.


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