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Email signatures

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 28, 2006

Apparently, signing off your emails with “Best” is “something close to a brush-off”. I sign most of my emails with “Best”, especially when I don’t know the person particularly well, and I definitely don’t mean it as a brush-off. “Sincerely” is too formal, “Warmest regards” is a lie (you can’t give absolutely everyone your warmest regards), and “xoxo”…I’m not a girl. So “Best” it is…don’t take it the wrong way.

Reader comments

JessNov 28, 2006 at 3:34PM

I sometimes sign with just a ‘~ Name’, or a ‘Peace, Name’. I have a Kenyan colleague who always signs with a ‘Good Day, Name’, which gets the point across but always makes me think of Fez. I said Good Day.

ReubenNov 28, 2006 at 3:38PM

I go with ‘Regards.’ Or, simply, ‘Thanks.’ Of course, I use the former for more formal notes or if I don’t know the person well enough. The latter for everyone else.

Eric BostromNov 28, 2006 at 3:38PM

I do:


jackNov 28, 2006 at 3:42PM

I’m not sure how this started, but for years I’ve signed every email (other than first emails to a person I don’t know) like this:


In work situations, I’m often asking someone to accomplish a task, or following up when the task is completed. Even if that’s not the case, I’m still thanking them for their attention. I suppose it might come across as something on the order of “have a nice day”, especially to someone I don’t know, but it’s actually sincere. I like to be polite.

DanNov 28, 2006 at 3:44PM

It’s funny to read this because I think of it on a daily basis. I’m always wondering how to close a message in a way that won’t be awkward. It seems, from the article, that there really is no good way to do it. Everyone is different, so just pick your style and stick to it…

kowgurlNov 28, 2006 at 3:45PM

I like
Some of (but not all) the best,

MarkNov 28, 2006 at 3:46PM

i use ‘Cheers, Mark’ if its informal. but then in UK i guess we over-use that expression …

david tolarNov 28, 2006 at 3:47PM

my standard sign off is

“more later”

followed by my initials if it is someone to whom i am not particularly close, or followed by


and then my initials if it is to someone close.

the only change from that format is when i am communicating officially with someone who is more than one level over my position in which case i use no closing except the automatic signature i have set up within my e-mail program (novell groupwise).

rossNov 28, 2006 at 3:52PM

I like “thanks” or “thanks in advance,” the latter particularly because if you’re asking someone to do something for you it sort of forces the play. They have to do it then, right? You know - because you’ve already thanked them in advance.

GalenNov 28, 2006 at 3:53PM

Who knew there were a bunch of people who are hung up on how you sign your emails (and what would they think of ASCII art signatures)? Did these people go to internet charm school?

StephenNov 28, 2006 at 3:56PM

If “‘Warmest regards’ is a lie (you can’t give absolutely everyone your warmest regards),” then how can you possibly give everyone your “Best”?

What about, more plainly, “Regards”?

TimNov 28, 2006 at 3:56PM

I also stick to “Regards” in business communication with those I don’t know. While not as touchy-feeling as “Warmest Regards”, it’s indicates that you are giving the reader some feeling. For those that I have a working relationship with and have communicated with a lot, I usually use “Thanks” or some variant thereof.

ChrisNov 28, 2006 at 3:59PM

I normally use “Best” as a short version of “Best regards” which I hope is also not considered a brush-off.

BlakeNov 28, 2006 at 3:59PM

Shouldn’t the person know their place already? If they’re a random person rather than a friend, no reason for them to expect anything more than a polite farewell. Nothing wrong with that.

gorckatNov 28, 2006 at 4:07PM

i use ‘Cheers, Mark’ if its informal. but then in UK i guess we over-use that expression …

I picked it up here in the States from a gaggle of Irish kids I worked with one summer- I loved it and now use it in speech and email :p


Garrett MurrayNov 28, 2006 at 4:09PM

I’ve been signing everything:


For the past few years. Sure, thanks doesn’t always make complete sense, but it sounds warm and isn’t too specific in any direction. Never had anyone tell me that I come off cold.

narniaNov 28, 2006 at 4:12PM

I think “best” is fine, though upon review of my emails my mother once told me that “best” doesn’t make any sense. Also, its often considered cold and insincere, ironically. I think thanks works very well in lieu of this issue.

Mike RundleNov 28, 2006 at 4:16PM

I only have three send-offs:


“Very best,”



Very best,”

The more excited I am to send the email the lower on the list I go lol.

MikeNov 28, 2006 at 4:16PM

Informal e-mail messages don’t require sign-offs and they probably shouldn’t have them. That’s why I end all my messages with…


jkottkeNov 28, 2006 at 4:17PM

If “‘Warmest regards’ is a lie (you can’t give absolutely everyone your warmest regards),” then how can you possibly give everyone your “Best”?

Good point. How about “Yours in the middle”?

edNov 28, 2006 at 4:20PM

Thing is, language and it’s usage changes daily (especially on something like the internet and especially when the cultural group you’re basing the meaning on is a subset of all the users of that word and those usages mix like never before)… by the time you’ve stopped thinking about what something means in a certain context it’s almost certainly changed a long time ago :)
There’s a certain uncertaintly principle with language I find, a soon as you start using a phrase you change it…

Anyway, how do all these people thinking about what their colleagues mean when they sign their emails a certain way fit into the whole egocentrism and 50% chance of determining the real intention of an email thing (http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70179-0.html)

KateNov 28, 2006 at 4:20PM

For client communication, I use “Thanks” if it’s the initial email but “Cheers” later if it’s continued discussion. “Best” is awful. I can’t stand it. In addition to the cold insincerity, there’s a pomposity in it… hard to explain. Every time my coworker gets an email signed with “Best” he hisses douche under his breath — it’s become a bit of a joke.

Dave MungerNov 28, 2006 at 4:28PM

Very few people I email use any closing at all, just their names.

robNov 28, 2006 at 4:31PM

I greatly dislike signature files (at work). I’ve seen behemoth like 16 line signatures on formal emails. I make it a point for self-typed 1-2 line signatures, I don’t care if it is regards or thanks or best or sincerely, I like to think if it is only a few characters the person actually typed it and thought it as they typed it. And if the signature asks me to buy a goat for charity or save a tree or attempt to be pithy, I lose all respect.

But like half the commentors here, I often don’t sign off to acquantainces.

Thanks, rob

David HosierNov 28, 2006 at 4:37PM

I go with “Regards” for the important people, “Thanks” when I’m asking for an annoying favor, and no salutation at all otherwise. I might consider “One” or “Dust”, which my black friends taught me in college. I’ve never heard “Best”. It’s kinda like “Cheers” or “Top o’ the mornin”.

SarahNov 28, 2006 at 4:40PM

“Best” sounds peculiar to me, but that may just be because I have never received an email signed that way.

I go with “Regards” in a more formal email or with someone I don’t know well, and generally just my name with people I am close to.

JoeNov 28, 2006 at 4:41PM

I almost always use “Thanks, [signature]”. I’m either thanking them for doing something, giving me some info, or just taking the time to write. If I decided that it was worth the time to reply to it, then I’m grateful that they sent it.

The only case this doesn’t work is if I write someone specifically to thank them for something, because it’s redundant. In that case, I sign off with “Thanks again, [signature]”

On the (extremely) rare occasion that I’m writing an email and pissed, I’ll just leave it off.

dmacNov 28, 2006 at 4:42PM

I use “xoxo” when writing to girls because it lets them know that I’m easy.

I hope, at least.

edNov 28, 2006 at 4:43PM

The most popular ones that I personally used and received at work are:

All the Best, Best, Cheers, Regards and Kind Regards

I don’t see anything that odd or much like a brush-off about ‘Best’ in any of those emails

Chris MearNov 28, 2006 at 4:46PM

Most of my emails, I just sign ‘Chris’. If it’s appropriate, and I mean it, I’ll use “Thanks, Chris” or “Cheers, Chris”.

If you’re going to labour along with formal niceties, you should do it in full, and sincerely. If I’m writing a formal letter, I’ll end it appropriately. But I’m not going to insult my email correspondants with a mandatory “Best” or “Regards” that actually says nothing.

GregNov 28, 2006 at 4:51PM

“Best”, by itself, is meaningless. “Best regards”, “All the best” would be better, because they at least attempt meaning. “Sincerely” and “Yours”/”Yours truly” are appropriate only to specific correspondents, usually in a business or other professional context, and “Love” only works with family and very close friends. But “Best”? C’mon.

NelsNov 28, 2006 at 4:56PM

I always try to leave with a customized valediction, such as:

Your bored-at-work Texan coder,

h.l.Nov 28, 2006 at 5:08PM

c’mon, of course it can mean something… there’s plenty of context there for it to mean something… previous emails (or any sort of correspondance) to that contact (that may use the full phrase rather than the abbreviated), the fact it’s an email and the phrase comes at the close of the email and the fact there’s a few possible permutations, their own emails possibly carrying that exact phrase… there’s plenty there to activate the schema where it means something if you think beyond the actual words in the sentence…

Dan MNov 28, 2006 at 5:13PM

Hehehehe… I had to comment.
This reminds me of when I worked for Big Blue, everyone always had quotes in their signatures… some religious, some seemed like they were straight out of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and more likely than not, if the e-mail was coming from the Boulder, CO plant they would have some stupid limerick touting the amazing attitude of their dog…

So I thought it would be fun to include my own quote. Several years after the craze had died down I put simply in my signature:
“All your base are belong to us. -Cats”

I loved the responses I got… keep in mind most of the folks I worked with were > 40 so they had NO idea what it meant. So many of them asked and I just responded with “I’m not sure.” It was great… um yeah. I guess you had to be there.

LNNov 28, 2006 at 5:18PM

“Best,” is very common in academia. And I hate it. With a passion. It’s so smarmy and pompous.

mikaelaNov 28, 2006 at 5:20PM

“Thanks” is good, but not always applicable. My favs are “One love” for emails/letters/cards to personal friends or acquaintances and “Take care,” for more professional relationships. Of course, there’s always…

:) m.

taraNov 28, 2006 at 5:25PM

I use “Thanks,” in most emails too, except when I already thanked them in the body, at which point I might say “Thanks again,” or “Best Wishes,”. “Regards” sounds so cold.

best, g.Nov 28, 2006 at 5:28PM

When I first entered the working world, and had to begin communicating with clients via email, I really began paying attention to the closing. I decided on “Thanks,” but in order for it to make sense, I always found myself rephrasing the email to include a question or request, so as to fit the closing. So emails would frequently read:
Attached is the revised proof. Please note such and such, per blah blah blah. Please send your comments or approval as soon as possible.

Even though I could just as easily stopped at “revised proof.”

Regarding “best,” everyone I know who uses it fits into a hard to describe category, and I’m not surprised to find Kottke among them. Here’s the group: 20-30 something, somewhat hip and both technically and aesthetically savvy, likely to have scruffy five o’clock shadow and ruffled hair, and also likely to signoff with initials rather than a name. I can think of at least 5 friends and colleagues who fit the bill, and all use “best.”

ddNov 28, 2006 at 5:39PM

“Thanks” or
“take care”
seem to work for a pretty wide range of situations.

“take care” being the less formal and less professional, but good for people I don’t know well that I’m writing in a non-formal, non-professional way.

The only people who I’ve seen “best” from, incidentally, are non-native English speakers, particularly those from China or India.

Mark LarsonNov 28, 2006 at 5:49PM

I’ve never taken “Best” as brusque.

For those I don’t know well, I usually go with Thanks, Peace or Rock ‘n roll. Those who know me better have to sit through a custom closing, usually a clever [at the time] bit that references something we may or may not share in common.

EGPNov 28, 2006 at 5:58PM

Hmm. Lately I have been using “Best,” as an alternative to “Thanks,” and as a closing slightly more formal than “Cheers.”

I am a slight mismatch for the “hard to describe category,” however. 47 and female, so no 5 o’clock shadow, and though I will grant you the ruffled hair - it’s white.

Jennifer ClydeNov 28, 2006 at 6:01PM

I also settled on “Best” for professional emails at some point, and I’m quite glad that ‘best, g.’ responded up there, as I was starting to worry that everyone I work with might think I was a “smarmy,” “pompous,” “coldly insincere,” “non-native” “douche.”

BenNov 28, 2006 at 6:08PM

I just have my valet mark the parchment with my seal, but then again who doesn’t do that?

JonNov 28, 2006 at 6:15PM

I also find “Best” to be a little terse; I don’t know why, but I guess it has a douche-y association for me. It depends on context, though. But I don’t sign my own messages that way, for that reason.

I’ll second “Take care” — it started as a habit, and has become a Textpander shortcut (now who’s the douche, huh?). At least I mean it. I honestly wish people to take care.

There’s only one real rule in signing off: don’t mistype the comma as a period. There’s a big difference between:


… and …


adrianaNov 28, 2006 at 6:39PM

I sign most of my professional emails with “all the best,” “(with) best wishes,” “(with) best regards,” or “(with) warm regards.” In recent months I’ve started to notice that some people who used to respond with “best” will now use “all the best” with me. Is this because of some backlash against “best” or are they responding to my sign-off? I imagine that many sign-offs are influenced by the preceding correspondence. Honestly, “best” feels very lazy to me, like you don’t want to think too hard about what exactly your giving the addressee. “Best” what? Unlike “love” or even “thanks” which express clear sentiments, “best” is vague to the point of being ineffectual. I miss the use of “sincerely” and have tried to resurrect it recently. I love what it conveys: candor, truth, directness.

tNov 28, 2006 at 7:33PM

I generally sign off with “Thanks” or “Take care.” For friends or family, “Love.”

Michael LeddyNov 28, 2006 at 8:24PM

I’m with Jason: I think that “Best” is entirely appropriate and courteous when writing to someone other than a friend or relation. “Best wishes” is good too. “Best regards” also seems appropriate. (“Regards” though sounds a bit remote.) “All the best” has long seemed strange to me, probably because I have a book signed by William S. Burroughs that wishes me exactly that. “Cheers,” which I find fairly widespread in academia, seems to strike people as either perfectly all right or perfectly pretentious, so perhaps it’s best avoided.

dgibbphotoNov 28, 2006 at 10:12PM

Mine is simply:

Jeff AtwoodNov 28, 2006 at 10:12PM

Why not sign your name and leave it at that? Does the world really need more unnecessary words?

JefeNov 28, 2006 at 10:43PM

“Regards” or “Thanks” is what I use. On the rare occasion I give a “With hate”.

“Best” is terrible though. Seriously, knock that crap off.

T.J. SchuckNov 28, 2006 at 10:57PM

I always just tack


at the end (sometimes with a “Thanks,” if it’s warranted), but I have a colleague who has become well-known for his trademark sign-off “Trust all is well.” Someone even had t-shirts made to commemorate it.

Jeff KokeNov 29, 2006 at 12:12AM

I’m in the “thanks” camp as well, but I always type my name in addition to the signature, which includes my full name and contact info. For some reason, I dislike people who simply use their signature to close their email.


Tom FlowersNov 29, 2006 at 12:18AM

For Marines, I sign off with Semper Fi; which means Always Faithful. For business (non-Marine), At your service,. Informal sign-offs are Best wishes,. I sign-off on spam by automatically forwarding it to the Federal Trade Commission.

steve mcfarlandNov 29, 2006 at 1:28AM

I’m a recent convert to “best,” actually (in the last 6 months) and I have really been enjoying the switch. It hadn’t occurred to me that it would seem pompous or like a brush-off, but I also don’t think I’m giving it up yet. It strikes me as a very nice middle ground of sincerity and professionalism.

Kip IngramNov 29, 2006 at 1:49AM

I picked up the habit of “Best regards,” from a client. The minute I saw his first email to me tagged that way I thought “Ah, that’s the one.”

RyanNov 29, 2006 at 2:08AM

I’m personally a big fan of:


That way they know who the email is from, see.

rumpleNov 29, 2006 at 2:38AM

oh, “best” is so smarmy. Every email I get signed “best” makes me deeply suspicious of the sender: do I know a douchebag? Are they writing to me? Is a friend of mine a previously udiagnosed smarmbucket? Are my colleagues trying to paper over their shallow insincerity ? It is a pathetically twee, snotty, self-satisified, smarmy, smirking little amputation of a sign-off.

mNov 29, 2006 at 3:23AM

I almost always use best, because, as you said, sincerely is too formal and warmest regards is too insincere. “Cheers et regards” is one we used at the wire service where I worked, but it’s more of an insider language thing.

If I wanted to use a brush off, I would use the following:

you’re an asshole and I don’t want to receive another email from you ever again,


DylanNov 29, 2006 at 4:44AM

“Kind regards” is the key.

“Best” is rude…

JavierNov 29, 2006 at 5:20AM

I am a Spaniard mostly schooled in UK English, and I have a scale of good-byes for short notes that goes love > hugs> cheers > regards > (null), depending on the person and context.

I keep “thanks” strictly for when I am asking for something or receiving something. And of course I do the longer and on-topic “looking forward to hearing from you” or “get better, we miss you”.

I used to do “best regards” when I worked as a secretary in an art gallery. Now this is funny: I just finished a paper letter, and I have picked it up to read what I had written: it says “best regards”. So somehow I consider “best regards” proper for paper letters, and “regards” for email.

Maybe it is the non-nativeness of my English, but it completely eludes me why “best” is can be thought of as rude.

shaunyNov 29, 2006 at 5:44AM

I find “Best” completely baffling… Best what? It just seems a little dismissive or abrupt, but then again if kind blokes like yourself are using it, it can’t be intentional :) I’m sure I’ve also got a few emails this year signed “All best”, which makes no sense at all.

I like “cheers” for folk I know and “Kind regards” for less cosy contacts.

JeffNov 29, 2006 at 9:06AM

Just as the article states, using “Best” within the workplace is fine (and that’s what I’ve always done). Warmer than just your name or no name at all. But not overly so.

ZelnoxNov 29, 2006 at 9:15AM

._. I’ll use Sincerely or just an emoticon ala ^_^ if it’s not too formal

PatrikNov 29, 2006 at 9:34AM

I usually sign off with ‘Kind regards’. But I do find ending an email in English to be a lot more difficult then in Dutch.

In Dutch, I can always fall back on one of these standard gradiations:
- Met vriendelijke groeten: With friendly greetings (very formal)
- groeten: greetings (formal)
- groetjes: greetings (informal)
- groetjes en kusjes: greetings and kisses (very informal)

English doesn’t seem to offer such a clear path in relationship shifts.

DerekNov 29, 2006 at 9:50AM

My wife signs off most emails with “ciao.” I use “Peace” or “Thanks” a lot. Or I just attach an inappropriate photo of myself eating Doritos in a speedo (to distract people from my lack of a “sign off”). Customers love that!

Jared BierlowNov 29, 2006 at 10:06AM

Based on context, I find that “Best” frequently reads like “Ta, buh-bye, double airkiss.” If the email it is appended to is practical and efficient, I’m more inclined to see “Best” in the same light. If the email is douchebaggy, well you can imagine what kinds of awful opinions “Best” confirms about the writer.

Joshua KaufmanNov 29, 2006 at 10:08AM

Cheers is light and friendly. Isn’t that the point of signing off messages to friends and acquaintances?

PatrickNov 29, 2006 at 10:11AM

I used to sign with just my first initial (P), but then I realized that people might think I was sending them the enoticon for “fanny pack”.

That’s why now I say “y’r v’ry h’mble & ob’d’nt s’rv’nt”

~bcNov 29, 2006 at 11:08AM

I use “Best” and I will continue to. Anyone who thinks “best” is a brush off is a bone head. However, f you downgrade to “best” from “all the love in the world” then, yeah, it could be, but that’s due to the context.

TimNov 29, 2006 at 11:44AM

The way the reader takes “best” depends on the context. if you are a friendly guy sending a friendly email and end with “best” i think it would be taken in a positive way.

However, if you are sending someone a harsh email berating them for not delivering something on time and you’ve included an ASAP or two, then the “best” at the end is going to come off as insincere.

I personally sign off with just my name or an initial, unless i am making a specific request or am truly thankful for something, and then i say thanks, but attached to my last paragraph, not by my name.

jkottkeNov 29, 2006 at 12:07PM

“Cheers”, when it comes from someone who speaks American English, smacks of affectation. But so many people use it that I’ve learned to ignore that initial impulse about it.

hubsNov 29, 2006 at 12:20PM

have a great day!

JulieNov 29, 2006 at 12:49PM

my standard is “regards”, and sometimes “cheers”, depending on the person. i never use “best” - it doesn’t sound genuine.

lately (also depending on the person and not with business), “peace in the middle east”. as well as “be well and feel good” - this is my favourite (even though “feel good” may still make a grammarian cringe. but mw says “feel good” may connotate good spirits and is acceptable).

i tire of the “how are you i’m fine thanks” routine of our daily interactions.

janelleNov 29, 2006 at 12:57PM

hmm, i’ve never thought of it as a brush-off. i don’t think i use it, i generally do the “-J” or “-janelle” thing because, well, it’s just e-mail. i associate “best” with an insufferably sweet-smug character from graduate school who was the type to keep her enemies closer. so now that i think about it, maybe it is, in fact, a brush-off.

best (i am secretly threatened by you),

essNov 29, 2006 at 1:11PM

Firmly in the “Regards” camp myself- unless the email is harsh. For those, I use “Sincerely” which I hope comes across as “I mean it.”

Been seeing “Peace in the Middle East” on a lot of biz mail lately - but almost exclusively from people who have served. No idea how the Iranians in the office feel about that…

Like Jannelle, I have an issue with a sign-off because of the people associated with it - nasty beasties who use “Thanks” and “Thank you” to prove to themselves that we, all the rest of us, lived only to serve their nasty beast selves.

If you know the person well enough, they can be smug and give you the brush-off with any closing they can type.

Never though of “cheers” or “Chin chin” as sounding affectated - but use those with people who have seen me drink.

croatoanNov 29, 2006 at 2:05PM

You could kick it old school, George Washington-style:

I have the honor to be with great respect
Your most obedient servant

Or go more modern, Dick Cheney -style.

LeeNov 29, 2006 at 2:08PM

I tend to either go with thanks if someone has/is doing me a favour, cheers if I’m being informal or they’re helped me (or I’m asking for a favour), regards for more formal use and plain old Lee for most stuff.

AndrewNov 29, 2006 at 3:21PM

I typically go with




but occasionally I write


which I think of as short for “see you soon” or “talk to you soon.” Obviously this only gets used with people for whom one of those phrases is true.

emdotNov 29, 2006 at 3:29PM

I love “best” and have used it forever (as an abbreviation of all the best, which I also love).

I find it kind of funny that people make judgments on other people based on the way they sign their email. Maybe it says more about the person passing judgment than the person signing the email.

Wait, was that smarmy or douchebaggy of me?

AaronNov 29, 2006 at 3:53PM

Kowgurl’s suggestions win.

I used to feel the same way about ‘cheers’, but got over it and actually use it more often than I like to admit. I bet Ted Danson uses that phrase a LOT.

p.s. Thanks for calling me a girl

mikeNov 29, 2006 at 4:18PM

I agree with Derek’s wife
ciao works fine


Jerry KindallNov 29, 2006 at 10:37PM

Formality misses the point of e-mail, which is informal by nature. I don’t put a greeting at the beginning of most of my e-mail and I don’t put anything but a regular .sig at the end, said .sig not including any social niceties. If I feel warmly toward someone, I put that in the body of the e-mail where they will be sure to see it, instead of in a place that everybody skips over anyway.

MarkDMNov 30, 2006 at 12:33AM

I sometimes use “Cheers,” but I’m getting kinda tired of it. “Take care” works pretty well. I don’t use “Best,” but I’ve gotten plenty of e-mails that use it, and I don’t feel slighted in the slightest.

I don’t get to do this very often, but when circumstances warrant, I like to sign off thusly:


(I’ve been known to do this on going-away cards for co-workers, too.)

minxljDec 01, 2006 at 6:07AM

‘Regards’ is the easiest solution - you can of course give everyone regards, and leave ‘warmest regards’ for the people you mean it to. And ‘kind regards’ always goes down well, certainly in business emails in the UK. Anything less formal can be taken as rude here, so it’s best to not be too familiar until you know the person, then ‘cheers’ will suffice.

MDec 01, 2006 at 4:49PM

Okay, time to call the perky police…
I usually sign off with some variation of:

Have a great rest of the day,

or more frequently:

Have a safe and relaxing weekend,

Or, if I don’t know the person well, I stick with:

David HarmonDec 03, 2006 at 7:55PM

Wandering here from Cognitive Daily, I thought I’d toss in my two cents here too.

If “Best” reads as brusque, it’s because it abbreviates any of several phrases, not-so-incidentally smashing them together into a genericism.

Come on, it only takes a few more keystrokes to type out “Best Regards,” “Best Wishes,” “All the Best,”, etc.!

PaulDec 05, 2006 at 4:43PM

I picked up “Cheers” and “Regards” years ago from a friend who was working in the U.K. for several months. He started doing it there because he felt it was British Cool. I picked it up because I liked to be British Cool vicariously, but didn’t find it to be overly pretentious.

Excelpt for when I begin the e-mail with “Good Day, Old Chap,”

Nowadays they’re pretty commonplace. I think they cover the formal, informal, semi-formal, and semi-informal very well.

But, after reading this, I am simultaneously wanting to use “Best” and to avoid it…

SeasonDec 20, 2006 at 4:23PM

I Googled this because it’s something I always think about. Wow, and to think I’ve been signing my emails “Best” forever (without realizing some people would take it in a negative way. Not a good thing since I teach and have been signing off to student-directed emails this way). You learn something new every day. I usually go with “All the Best,” “Best,” or—my favorite—“Take Care.” The more I think about it, though, the more “Take Care” almost sounds like I’m not wanting to hear from the person again.

“Cheers” always reminds me of an old college prof. of mine, and has always struck me as a bit high-brow (though he wasn’t that way himself at all—go figure).

Now I’m starting to think I should go with “Later, Gator.” Kidding! LOL.

SeasonDec 20, 2006 at 4:34PM

Just an added thought. A few years back I kept receiving emails from friends who’d sign off “ttys” or “ttyl” and I had no idea what they meant (so I asked). “Talk to ya soon” and “Talk to ya later.” I guess these would be sign-offs for close friends (and might require some explanation for those of us who aren’t as savvy in computerese).

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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