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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

296

At the End of an Email, Everyone's a Valedictorian

Like most people, you probably stress over your choice of email sign-off more than most people. Everybody calm down. Here's a guide to help you navigate this treacherous channel of email etiquette:

The first thing to know is that this sign-off (the closing word or words at the end of your missive) is more properly called a “valediction.” Derived from the Latin vale “goodbye” + dicere “to say,” it’s the opposite of a salutation. Now that you're feeling fancy, we can get down to brass tacks. There are four classes of commonly used valedictions: nouns, adverbs, superlatives, and phrases.

When you're feeling aloof: "Regards"
Ending your message with a bare noun like this shows you to be calm, collected, and a little bit bitchy. These regards aren't particularly good. These regards aren't particularly bad. These are just some regards that happen to exist, like a point in mathematical space.

Alternatives: "-[Your name]"

When you're feeling boring: "Best"
If valedictions were a designer collection for Target, “Best,” would be the black tanktop tucked in the rear of the display. It works well enough for just about everyone, but you're not really trying, are you? Live a little. Add some jazz.

Alternatives: "Thanks"

When you're feeling affectionate: "Warmest"
Oh, God, wouldn't that just make you smile, seeing that at the end of an email? I stole this from a professor of mine, and it's become my standard when corresponding with casual acquaintances. While conveying essentially the same sentiment as “Best,” “Warmest,” feels more personal because it's less widely used. You risk coming across a little strongly if you use this one with strangers, though, so save your warmest for people you at least kind of like.

Alternatives: "Warmly," "Yours," "You are worthy of love"

When you're feeling British: "Cheers"
Do not use this unless your native dialect is a variety of British English. You will look like a tosser.*

*Tool

Alternatives: "Pip pip," "Cheerio," "Pip pip cheerio"

When you're a second grader writing a formal letter to your pen-pal: "Sincerely"
Odds are you aren't writing this email just to fuck with someone. Imply sincerity with the body of your message and you needn't underscore it in the closing.

Alternatives: "Cordially"

When you're writing to Lord Voldemort: "I beg to remain, Sir, your most humble and obedient servant"
Who are you? Sit down, you're embarrassing me.

Alternatives: "xoxoxoxo"

When you're feeling rly kewl: "ttyl"
Don't use this.

When the stress of selecting an appropriate valediction gives you shingles: "Sent from my Blackberry"/"Sent from my iPhone"
If you want a way around this whole valedictory business, consider cheating and making “Sent from my [smartphone of your choice]” your default email signature. Much as the “in training” badge I wore for the entirety of my employment at a Marshalls department store one summer deflected heat from irate customers, so does the inclusion of this at the end of your email give you a pass on brevity, typos, and general basic English mistakes your shouldn't be making in the first place because have some respect for yourself, please. (Keep in mind that recipients will see through this ruse if the rest of your email is 20 paragraphs long and perfectly formatted.)

Alternatives: This is a chance for you to pretend to have the smartphone of your dreams. Don't be afraid to make something up! "Sent from my Talaria." "Sent from my EnVoyer." "Sent from my iBox."

When you're feeling too cute for words: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered"
I'm yours.

Alternatives: None needed. You've reached the pinnacle.

Previously: State Flag Trivia.

Caity Weaver is available for hire as a personal email consultant, or as anything, please, please hire her.

296 Comments / Post A Comment

parallel-lines

Is 'regards' really bitchy? I use it all the time at work - a sort of 'here's some plesantries that we both know are required but I'm not trying to be creepy or overly familiar with you, dear coworker'.

leonstj

@parallel-lines I too use regards at work! We work with a lot of Brits who use "Cheers", but we've taken to endlessly mocking the Americans who've gone with it.

I'm thinking I may change it to "Eternally yours," cuz that's how long every fucking day feels lately.

parallel-lines

@parallel-lines Conversely "Warmest" and "Yours" creep me out big time. It's like someone standing too close to you on the subway, but in written form.

collier

@parallel-lines : Agree, agree, and agree. "Yours" is only suitable for writing to your 19th-century crush (Mr Darcy, I'm looking at you).

Mister Horrible

@parallel-lines I've gotten "Peace Be With You" from customers before. I didn't like it!

nogreeneggs

@parallel-lines Warmest reminds me of when I was recently in Suessland and my mom made me take a picture with the Sam-I-Am mascot even though I am terrified of mascots. Anyway I could feel the heat radiating off his/her/it's body and onto my shoulder. Too close! :(

raised amongst catalogs

@leon.saintjean My friend and I are big fans of "Emotionally yours."

gimlet

@Mister Horrible I've gotten "God bless," which just feels uncomfortable to me.

Tailfeather

@leon.saintjean Interesting. I'm an American in the UK (worked here for four years), and this topic came up at lunch the other day. All my work emails are signed off with "Best Regards," and I use "Cheers" for more casual correspondence. The English folk at my table informed me that only Americans sign off with "Cheers," which was embarrassing for me when I had to admit culpability.

And actually, when I started thinking about it, the only Brits I know who use it are the Scots. It's normal to say "cheers" or "ta" in conversation, but none of the hundreds of English people I email with use it as a sign-off.

In conclusion: I am a dorky American, and "cheers" works for me. I might use "Cheerio" sometime though if I'm feeling like a total asshole.

parallel-lines

@leon.saintjean Any email I end with "thanks" is usually because I want someone to do something and, oh, could you please do that inconvinent thing and not make a big stink about it? Thanks is polite strong-arming.

parallel-lines

@gimlet Did you e-sneeze?

Saiko

@parallel-lines I've always considered "regards" bitchy. I've only ever used it myself when it's all I can fucking do not to cast gainful employment to the wind and tell someone to go off themselves. Likewise when someone writes it to me, I reconsider the entire e-mail in an icy, condescending light and it always "works" that way. That said, it's pretty common at my company to sign off "kind regards" or "best regards," which may be why I'm more inclined to perceive the lack of kindness and bestness in the shorter form. Or I could just be paranoid...

leonstj

@parallel-lines Oh yeah, I totally use "thanks" when I tell people to do things. I feel like it's kind of passive-aggresive but still acceptable (mildly) - which is generally my favorite way to be at work.

@Tailfeather - I work in a tech startup, B2B, so the informality aspect of it may be why they use it.

@All - I may just start signing off my work emails with "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool, fuck you, I'm out." if the day does not improve.

leonstj

@gimlet "Yours in faithful and pious devotion to the feather robed archer Ashur, highest of all the Gods, slayer of Tiamat, creator of all the seas and earth and serpents and stars,
Leon
ps - your outlook calendar says you had a WebEx from noon-1pm, but in our meeting at 2pm you smelled like bbq sauce and pennies, WTF?"

parallel-lines

@collier The first time I saw "Yours" I was like, "My WHAT?!"

Megasus

@leon.saintjean Yes! Non-Brits just cannot say Cheers without sounding like a douche. It seems to be really popular for people to say in Canada, and I'm sorry but you just sound pretentious.

antarcticastartshere

@parallel-lines I use "Thanks in advance (for your assistance)" when I am asking for something and I AM REALLY SERIOUS, DO IT NOW. I do not care if it makes me look like a bitch.

I use "Thanks" for less pressing requests and when I am actually thanking someone (but not for something that actually merited a special thankyouthankyouthankyou e-mail) and any time that me thanking them would not be totally odd.

I use "Regards" otherwise, or I just put my name. Anything else feels overly friendly.

gimlet

@leon.saintjean "Your sister in Satan's eternal love,

Gimlet"

punkahontas

@parallel-lines I only know one person who uses "regards" and I feel like it does come off as aloof/bitchy because SOMETIMES she says "warm regards" and other times she just says "regards". Any time I just get plain "regards" from her, I'm like "WHAT DID I DO TO PISS HER OFF?"

Tailfeather

@gimlet: Liking the Satan's love a LOT. "Toasting marshmallows in the hellfire,

Tailfeather"

I fucking love creative sign-offs. With friends/family, I go for topical or descriptive. "Bleeding Profusely from This Scab I Fucked with on My Leg" and "Drunkenly Muddled" and "Off to Egg Rick Perry's House" are recent examples.

franceschances

@Mister Horrible I can see why you wouldn't like it, and I would probably find it really weird in real life, but I can so see the white haired ladies from the Episcopal church I grew up going to saying that.

leonstj

@Tailfeather I used to sign-off with "Cheers," but now I use "Bull and Finch Pub,"

emilylou

@vanillawaif Lots of my coworkers sign things "Best Regards" and "Warm Regards" (which, barf) so my friend and I started signing things "Dearest Dreams" just to fuck with people. And no one ever said anything.

Dearest Dreams,
Emily

raised amongst catalogs

@emilylouise !!! I love it!

sevanetta

@leon.saintjean and everyone...

Regards: Yes we are at work and I have to sign off.
Kind regards: We are at work and I either do actually feel kindly towards you OR you are being an arse and annoying me. I'll let you decide which way I mean it.
Cheers: WTF, I use this all the time, for work, for acquaintances or contacting online help departments. It's pretty common. In Australia.
xo, xoxo, xoxoxoxoxoxo: Friend or someone I feel xoxoxoish towards
(no sign off): I'm having a conversation with a friend via email
Sent from my iPhone: Don't use this anymore as I read too many pieces complaining that this was an arsehole way to sign off on an email. I thought it was a fair point. Editing on an iphone is a tiny, tiny, firstworldproblems, diamondshoes pain.

didgeridoo

@Tailfeather "Off to Egg Rick Perry's House"... are you suggesting a post-karaoke Austin Pinup??

wee_ramekin

@didgeridoo

I WOULD BE FINE WITH THIS.

Passionate regards,

Austin Pinup Organizer

fondue with cheddar

@parallel-lines Maybe it's not so much "your WHAT" as it is "____ yours". From now on, I will read "yours" as "up yours". :)

I've never seen the word "yours" so many times. It looks really weird now.

Up Yours Truly,
jen325

Kivrin

When you're feeling super-aloof: "- [your first initial]."

- K.

mabellegueule

@Kivrin I have _never_ understood why people feel this is so much easier than writing their full names.

Kivrin

@illcommunication For me, it actually started b/c some friends call me by my first initial. (Which isn't K.)

Kivrin

@illcommunication Also, I really am super-aloof. ;)

backstagebethy

@Kivrin Yeah I sign with BA, which is what people call me, and my name is 7 letters long so god forbid I actually type all that.

solidgold

@Kivrin For me this isn't the super-aloof sign-off, more of the "We're buddies so not only do I not need to pick an awkward 'Thanks' or 'Best'-type valediction, but I don't even need to write out my full name, you get me? We're cool, right?" Only used in relatively informal emails with people who actually are my work buddies, not when sending reports to my VP or anything like that.

Kivrin

@solidgold Word, same here. I was just playing on the "aloof" example from the post. :) In reality, I sign off w/ my initial in more conversational e-mails.

thebestjasmine

@Kivrin I actually find the multiple initials sign off pretty cool, and wish I started signing things as JXB a long time ago (not my actual initials).

beecaveroad

@Kivrin This one is popular with professors, in my experience. Maybe they feel awkward signing as "Professor Lastname" but generally we aren't on first name terms.

thebestjasmine

@margaret_r Yeah, all of my friends who are now professors do the initial thing now, I think because they do it with their students and they're used to it. Especially for young professors, it feels weird to sign by their title, and also if they have a good relationship with the student it feels extra formal in a offputting way. It's a good strategy.

nogreeneggs

I probably would not use xoxoxox with Lord Voldemort. He'd avada kedavra your ass pretty quick if you did.

Ophelia

@nogreeneggs I'm going to start signing off with "Avada Kedavra,"

rachelrachel

@Ophelia Love. This.

And really, if you don't know what it MEANS, "avada kedavra" sounds kind of nice...?

Sean_P

@nogreeneggs he's gonna reach out and grab ya

Wondajules

@Ophelia dinner out the nose. Seriously. So I may have to steal and modify to "Avada Kedavra (lololololololz)"

suchagoodone

@Ophelia
"So long, farewell, Avada Kedavra-ah!"

wallsdonotfall

Humble servant, no. "Thine evermore, [recipient's name], whilst this machine is to [pronoun]," yes.

Rosebudddd

"Best" HATE.

parallel-lines

@Rosebudddd I accidentally sent an email signed "Best retards" so ever since then, Best has been removed from the table.

hannahc

@parallel-lines i'm dying.

collier

I prefer "obligatorily."

- Sent from my iTARDIS

Tailfeather

@collier Love it. I humbly submit: "With Profound Reservations."

- Sent from my PC4Evah

collier

@Tailfeather : Heh. "Whatever, tired of typing."

happy go lucky scamp

@collier i have just changed my phone signature to "sent from my iTardis"

cordially,
B

collier

@sparkles : NERD POWERRRRRR.

gimlet

I know 99% of people don't mean it like this, and it's my own weird thing, but "best" always seems SO bitchy/phony to me. I use it to sign off work emails when I really mean "go eat a dick, asshole."

Kivrin

@gimlet Word. Not to mention that the hanging superlative adjective just bugs me. Best what?!

Saiko

@gimlet Haha I commented above that that's how I use "regards." When I write "best," it's for people I actually like! Because I mean "[my] best [wishes]."

oh, disaster

@gimlet Yes! It's like you can't be bothered to type 'wishes'. I like 'best wishes'. I hate 'best'.

thebestjasmine

@andrea disaster Best wishes are for a wedding card, though, not a business email. If I got that, I'd be thinking that the accidentally responded to their other friend with my same name who is having a baby or something.

PBandJ

@gimlet: My boss started using 'best' after we got a new boss and the new boss used 'best'. It was the ultimate in lame- you change your email signature because your new boss uses this? Maybe I attach too much to this move, but it screams chameleon to me.

Bittersweet

@gimlet: I use 'Best' all the time because it's neutral and so easy to type...except on really busy days when I type 'Beset' by accident and momentarily consider leaving it as is.

PistolPackinMama

@Kivrin so, is your job being a time traveler to medieval England, with accidental drops in a plague-ridden village whilst meanwhile back in Oxford a viral outbreak prevents you from being brought back home?

Or is your screename from something else?

Also, do you know what happened to the bishop's bird stump?

PistolPackinMama

@Kivrin so, is your job being a time traveler to medieval England, with accidental drops in a plague-ridden village whilst meanwhile back in Oxford a viral outbreak prevents you from being brought back home?

Or is your screename from something else?

Also, do you know what happened to the bishop's bird stump?

Kivrin

@LateyKatie Yep, that's me! The year 1348 was a BITCH.

Graydon Gordian

Oh man, I write "Cheers" all the time! But then again, it feels appropriate as I'm nearly always drinking.

Saiko

@Graydon Gordian I actually love when people sign off "cheers," because I am instantly transported to drinking, if only in my mind for a second

C_Webb

@Graydon Gordian : EXACTLY. It's not "hey I'm English;" it's "hey let's be drunk at some point." BUT NOW I"M ALL INSECURE.

Cheers,
Webby

Katato

@C_Webb I am English, and I promise you that "Hey I'm English" and "Hey let's be drunk at some point" ARE THE SAME. Promisepromise.

Kind regards/many thanks/cheers/ta/Iloveyou...you'rrree my besht mate (hic)
Katato
x

Mister Horrible

Okay, so I used to close all my work-related emails to customers and such with "Regards." Then, I'm taking a business communications course and they're telling us that "Regards" is no good unless you know the person well, because it's not formal enough! They recommended "Sincerely!" So now I'm writing "Sincerely," but I've been considering going back to "Regards" because it seems more right to me.

collier

@Mister Horrible : "Sincerely" seems WAY too formal for email correspondence. If you're emailing someone a LETTER as an attachment, that's fine, I guess. But still, it's so "this is how I learned to sign letters in fifth grade, and I'm not imaginative enough to come up with something better."

And yeah, my default is also "regards."

thebestjasmine

@collier Yeah, agreed, Sincerely is just totally wrong for emails.

Mister Horrible

@thebestjasmine @collier I completely agree! I was flabbergasted when this professor claimed otherwise.

But, far from the only wrong thing she wanted to teach us.

Xanthophyllippa

@Mister Horrible: I teach email etiquette as part of my course and I would recommend using "Sincerely" as a closer if the email replaces the paper letter - that is, if the email is fairly lengthy and detailed AND is also directed to someone you don't know well or know only in a professional context. The other possible situation I'd recommend it is if you are writing an email that is to serve as documentation for something - for example, if you were responding to a formal job offer and the email might become part of your personnel file.

hannahc

@Xanthophyllippa okay i'm glad you said that because i used sincerely to sign off on an interview follow-up - it felt like the formality of the situation warranted it?

Xanthophyllippa

@hannahc Yup - definitely. "Thank you again" could also work (assuming you've thanked them once). But man, I'm just thrilled to hear that real-world people do actually write follow-up letters -- I keep trying to get my students to understand that no, this isn't just some antiquated practice, and yes, it really will make an impression on the interviewer.

thebestjasmine

@Xanthophyllippa It really makes an impression to me when I get one as an interviewer! And yeah, that's a situation where Sincerely would work in email -- better to be too formal than not enough for a job interview (at least in my work world).

Xanthophyllippa

@thebestjasmine Yay! Good to know. I always tell my students to err on the side of more formal so that they don't inadvertently convey disrespect by being too casual. Better to have someone laugh and say, "Oh, you can call me Richard" when you've addressed them as "Mr. Head" then to retort, stony-faced, "My name isn't Dick."

Countess Sandwich

Hmm, I use "cheers" a lot. I think it's perky without being mushy. Oh well, if this is the worst thing I'm getting mocked for, I'll take it.

atipofthehat

@Countess Sandwich

Cheers!

Frisky@twitter

I alternate between "Tootles" and "Smooches."

Tailfeather

@Frisky@twitter: This is going to seem bitchy, and I don't want it to be, but perhaps you mean "Toodles?" Just a heads-up. Tootles could work for a very small dog passing gas, though! I kind of like it.

Cuntastically,

TF

 
collier

@Chiara Atik@facebook : YES. Though I'd add a very small italicized "ooooOOOOOooOOooooo" at the end for hauntings.

Rosebudddd

@collier Looks like you're talking to a ghost.

collier

@Rosebudddd : The ghost of "Deleted by user."

leonstj

@collier "Deleted by User Vodka"

collier

@leon.saintjean : That would imply the "ooooOOoooOOOOoooo" is coming from over the toilet.

MeghanElizabeth

I spice up my Thanks with an exclamation point. Sometimes. I also use Best. I like to mix up my boring.

The best sign-off I've come across is from a super-activist-type poet who ends her emails with "solidarity"

thebestjasmine

@MeghanElizabeth This is another issue, but I feel like Thanks! and Thanks. have very different meanings in business emails. The latter is like "great, you finally did that thing that you were supposed to do weeks ago" and the former is more genuine.

I like it when people use "Warm Regards" but then it makes it feel so fake, because if they send their warmest regards to everyone, they can't be all that warm now can they?

Lily Rowan

@thebestjasmine In my head, "Thanks!" is super friendly, and "Thanks," is more business-like.

"Warm regards" are not at all the same as "warmEST regards"!!

MeghanElizabeth

@thebestjasmine I use Thanks when I'm asking for something or responding to someone I don't know well/don't like. Thanks! = Thanksyou'rethebestIloveyou/Thanksyou'resogreat

And to a point way, way above, I could never get into the single initial. My name shortens to three letters/one syllable anyway.

thebestjasmine

@Lily Rowan Hahah, see, I agree with you -- I think ! is super friendly, and , is businesslike. But the period after the thanks means you're in trouble.

I also could never get into the single initial. I mean, how many people are there with J names in the world? A whole lot. May as well use the whole name.

one cow.

@Lily Rowan "My warmest regards ever."

Lily Rowan

@thebestjasmine YES. "Thanks." is Not-Fucking-Around Time.

xox!
-J

@thebestjasmine I find it annoying when women add exclamation points to everything in an attempt to be liked.

thebestjasmine

@saraphonic Congratulations! How wonderful.

pjammy

@thebestjasmine then there's the third variant, "thx," for "please now do that the thing you still haven't done but were supposed to do weeks ago, because otherwise I will punch your face."

Miss Zarves

@one cow. My red hot regards.

Sean_P

@Lily Rowan I agree!

Flaming hot regards,

Sean

emilylou

@thebestjasmine Yep. Just to echo others...
"Thanks!" = Thanks a lot, you're great, etc.
"Thanks," = Ugh, please just do whatever I'm asking
"Thanks." or "Thanks" = Angry period, OR I'm so over you that I can't even bother to punctuate?! Watch out.

workerbee

@emilylouise I think I am going to start:

Thanks?
Susie

wee_ramekin

@Miss Zarves

Wet hot American regards.

Chesla

I like to sign emails to my friends with shockingly ridiculous things like
"Hugs, kisses, and unicorn wishes!"
or
"Love you, fruity buns!"

queenofbithynia

I sign all my work emails "Thanks," as it gives that touch of passive-aggression I'm too cowardly to express any other way -- like "Thanks" for doing that thing you haven't done yet, like you don't have a choice, as if in my mind once I tell you to do it it might as well be done, so "thanks" for getting right on that, how's that powerlessness taste, good? Yeah, ha ha, "thanks."

Oh my god, one time I signed an email "Thanks." With the period. Oh man that was so cold of me. Oh god how vicious I was. Oh it felt so good.

raised amongst catalogs

@queenofbithynia YESSSSSSSSSSSS...When dealing with customer service issues, I feel such satisfaction signing off, "Thanks in advance." You WILL resolve my issue.

Mister Horrible

@queenofbithynia I used to do that, but I started moving "Thank you" into the body and using a different valediction. But it really depends if I'm writing an email to a co-worker, a customer, or a vendor. I'm more casual with co-workers and vendors I'm in contact with a lot.

oh, disaster

@queenofbithynia Oooooh, 'Thanks' with a period is so, so satisfying when the person deserves it.

Ideal Impulse

I was leaving a telephone message at work, and I ended it like I was signing an e-mail. "Best, Kate." Guh!

Mister Horrible

@Ideal Impulse Maybe they'll think you were calling yourself the Best Kate, so that they don't get confused and call back an inferior Kate.

MollyculeTheory

For work, I often sign off with a continuation of the letter, like "Looking forward to our meeting," or "Best of luck with your manuscript," or whatever.

For friends, I prefer things like "With love and seventy four martinis, M"

Oh no my valedictions are TL;DR.

Probs

The de rigeur sign-offs in my office seem to be "Respectfully," "Very respectfully," "r/" and "v/r" . I work almost exclusively with a pair of awesome/weirdo PhD types, and it's a good day if we capitalize our own names.

Sean_P

@Probs The Navy was big into that. You had to sign off with "very respectfully" to someone senior to you, and with "respectfully" to someone junior to you. Same abbreviations were used too. Was one of your senior people a Navy vet?

wearenyikin
wearenyikin

@Sean_P Yes, I think it's not just a Navy, but an overall military thing. I always sign off V/R to anyone with a .mil address...

Everyone else gets a 'salaam, suckaaas'.

Tailfeather

"Namaste, Bitches" never fails. As a teen, I used "Love and Other Indoor Sports," which I plagiarized from some YA novel.

Saiko

@Tailfeather So great!! I may quote you:)

MissM

@Tailfeather: It's from "Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself", aka the greatest YA book ever written!

CrescentMelissa

@Tailfeather it Was "Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself"! And i used it too...I thought I was the only one.

CrescentMelissa

@MissM omg jinx :)

Tailfeather

@CrescentMelissa @MissM: Amazing!!! I was so hoping that someone else would remember that! :) I am feeling the warm, fuzzy glow of internet connection over shared love of girl-protagonist YA novels.

I have boxes of excellent YA novels in my attic and fervently hope that I one day have a 12-yo daughter or niece to pass them on to so we can read them together. There will be no "Twilight" in my house, but oodles of Judy Blume, Lois Duncan, Lois Lowry, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Jerry Spinelli, Tamora Pierce, etc. MAN, there were some great books for kids in the late '70s-'80s.

Tailfeather

@Saiko: I totally jacked the "Namaste, Bitches" line from someone else, so feel free to use it wantonly! Spread the love.

CrescentMelissa

@Tailfeather yes yes yes! there were so many great reads. i have a 7 year old and we are almost there! we are starting the little house books soon, which, I was OBSESSED with. Also, maybe more random, A Little Princess? I was Sara Crew in previous life.

Tailfeather

@CrescentMelissa: Are we not ALL Sara Crewe??? Oh, yes, YES WE ARE. We are also Anne of Green Gables and the Lady of Shalott and we spent a lot of time obsessing over our imaginary Gilbert and sometimes wearing a nightgown into a swimming pool and floating dramatically. TRUTH.

I am jealous, but I'm not sure whether it's of you or your seven-year-old. Imagine all the wonderful books she will get to read!

Also, Roald Dahl, forever and always.

janedonuts

@Tailfeather Lois Lowry is so underrated! And did anyone else read the Anastasia books? I loved her.

thebestjasmine

@janedonuts LOVE Anastasia. She was one of my most favorites.

Tailfeather

@janedonuts: Loved Anastasia Krupnik to pieces, but probably loved Alice McKinley even more. I moved on from Anastasia by my teens (no comment on the quality of the writing, as those books were much-adored for years), but I kept re-reading Alice as comfort books through high school.

And anyone who underrates Lois Lowry needs to TRY and step to this.

CrescentMelissa

@Tailfeather crying at work. awkward. love the hairpin.

MissM

@Tailfeather:
For my 10th birthday I got a gift card to B. Dalton Booksellers, and I got both "Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself" and "Sara Crewe". Greatest birthday gifts ever (I am lame and okay with it). I still own both and read both and I'm 30!
@janedonuts: I read every single Anastasia book and still think about them if I ever talk about salmonella.

Tailfeather

@CrescentMelissa: I know! I love it too. Aren't nice people so reassuringly nice!? Where were all these hilarious, clever, supportive bitches when I was moping around high school in ill-advised silver lipstick (this happened; in my defense, it was the '90s and I had a kickin' vintage leather jacket and orange hair).

I am at home with a bottle of wine, and I could comment on this post very happily for the next week. YA books and irreverent sign-offs just TICK. MY. BOX.

Yours in Everlasting Merlot,

Tailfeather

janedonuts

@MissM @Tailfeather

Anastasia! I need to reread those.

Also, all I need to do is think about Lowry's A Summer to Die and I could spend all day crying. There's a line in there about how they "heaped" the sister's grave with goldenrod that I think about all the time. Heartbreaking.

mustelid

@Tailfeather ALICE MCKINLEY OH YES.

I have two awkward Alice stories!

One, when I was a kid we were on a road trip and my dad had gotten an Alice book on tape from the library for me because he saw me reading them. So he put it in and within about ten minutes Alice was talking about all of her pubescent sexual feelings (I think it was something about going to a COED POOL PARTY) and oh god it was terrible and my dad turned it off and even took the books from me and I had to steal them back.

Two, when I was about ten or so probably, my grandmother purchased a LUNCH WITH PHYLLIS REYNOLDS NAYLOR at her church's silent auction (becase PRN went to her church). So I got to eat lunch with her and I actually don't really remember all that much about it EXCEPT she showed me her library, of all the books she's written. It seemed like there were a million, and she let me take three. They were all Alice books. I HAVE ALICE BOOKS FROM THE PERSONAL LIBRARY OF PHYLLIS REYNOLDS NAYLOR, JEALOUS MUCH?

Tailfeather

@MissM: If that's lame, I don't want to be hip. It not only sounds like an awesome birthday, but clearly WAS. Are there any other gifts that you got when you were 10 that you're still enjoying 20 years later? Unlikely.

Except Barbie, obviously, because Barbie is dope and those little plastic feet are still so nommable. Oooh, I just want to shave her head and then lovingly melt her leg over a candle flame. MEMORIES!

CrescentMelissa

@Tailfeather we totes would have been friends in high school.

No seriously you are cuter,

CrescentMelissa

thebestjasmine

@Tailfeather One of my most favorite things about The Hairpin is that any random post can be taken over by discussions of awesome YA books.

Tailfeather

@mustelid: OMG FUCK YOU BE MY BEST FRIEND I AM SO JEALOUS I JUST SHOVED MY FIST IN MY MOUTH AND GASPED AND MAY HAVE BROKEN A TOOTH.

Omg. OMG! Ignore the "fuck you" part. That came from a bitter place and I didn't mean it. Be my best friend and let me touch your books?

Side note: My ex-boyfriend has a jacket that Kurt Cobain TOOK OFF OF HIS BACK AND GAVE to ex-bf. Kurt. Cobain's. Personal. Jacket. I was allowed to wear it around the flat, which I did often, otherwise naked excepting my panties (I was lithesome, then - it would probably be less charming now).

The point being that I TWICE smoked cigarettes with Kurt Vonnegut but was too intimidated to talk about anything but the weather. Mostly, we smoked in silence while I died on the inside.

Seriously, I want to touch your books, because that was an awesome story and PRN is the shit.

Ophelia

@Tailfeather I was JUST thinking about Anastasia Krupnik the other day! I saw a house with a room that reminded me of where her mom would've painted, and I just wanted to BE her.

collier

@Tailfeather : Oh man, shaving Barbie heads. Raise your hand if you, too, had a transexual Barbie>Ken.

What was even better was cutting open a slit between Barbie's lips, and then if you squished her head between your thumb and forefinger she'd open and close her mouth (and also make a scary fish-monster face). Sometimes mine would eat a Smartee (DRUGS!), freak out, and jump off the roof of her townhouse.

DandelionTacy

@Tailfeather Love, love, LOVE Anastasia! I got to meet Lois Lowry at a very small book signing and was agog and couldn't speak very well. I had totally written her a little card thanking her for the books that made such an impact on my life, but I was too chicken to give it to her. And lest you think I was being an adorable child, this happened when I was about 26.

happy go lucky scamp

@Tailfeather love love love... i was (am?) so many characters from books.

mustelid

@Tailfeather I'll let you touch my books any time! "Touch my books" sounds like some kind of nerdy sex act.

Alice

@Tailfeather I can't even handle that I don't know about these books! I have a godmother who always bought me books with Alice in the title (cause that's my name), so I have a million Alice books. WHY DON'T I OWN THESE??

I just thought maybe I'm too old for them to have been out when I was a kid, but nope! There is no excuse at all for me not having read at least the first five!!

Kim Gianfrancesco@twitter

I've long since acknowledged that there is no good answer to this. One person's aloof-and-bitchy is another person's perfectly-professional and someone's just-the-right-warmth is someone else's creepy-as-all-get-out.

I sign all my emails "Thanks" because I only write emails when I'm asking for something.

Megasus

@Kim Gianfrancesco@twitter Me too! Or just my name or whatever.

Lady Pennyface

@Kim Gianfrancesco@twitter Yes, this! I keep reading all these comments about how x or y signoff is so juicebox-y, and I'm all, eep, really? I guess I'm being a bitch to everyone I email! Which is kind of okay because one of my goals for this year was to become more bitchy (my default stance is doormat). Progress!

fierce_pierce

I used to work for an international organization. One of my colleagues overseas, a late-50s man from Baghdad who spoke better English than 99% of the people I went to high school with, signed all his emails to me "Gentle touches."

Personally, I like to go with KCB with my colleagues. Kisses Comma Bitches.

Decca

@fierce_pierce

Oh man, I really really really want to start using "Gentle touches". Maybe throw in an emoticon or three.

fierce_pierce

@Decca I find it works best if your name is Khalid. Every single email: "Gentle touches, Khalid."

KCB.

Gnatalby

@fierce_pierce Gentle touches is sooooooooooooooooo creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy!

whizz_dumb

@fierce_pierce Soft whispers.
don't change. you're perfect,
- JLR

Saiko

@Tailfeather So great!! I may quote you:)

Tuna Surprise

Nothing like a good old fashioned "regards-off" in an email chain. You start with "regards", they counter with "best regards". You up it to "warmest regards" and they take all the chips with "Yours in Christ".

VictorVictrola

"Sent from my Blackberry"

erinzyme

I sign all my e-mails with 'peace' because I have spent too much time in yoga teacher training.

parallel-lines

@erinzyme that's better than namaste, which I see too often.

Nicole Cliffe

I got a super bitchy hate mail about being a baby-killer, and the writer signed off with "namaste."

leonstj

@erinzyme I end all my phone conversations with "Peace" cuz I spent too much time watching Yo! MTV Raps.

CrescentMelissa

I like "Best" because it secretly makes me feel like I am the best but I am dumb.

purefog

"yr obt svt" has its uses, but must be deployed sparingly and strategically. I occasionally use "ciao," which I would NEVER actually vocalize. Its breezy, superficial emptiness is well-suited to the e-mail medium (breezy, superficial, etc.).

Clare

I have a family friend who signs off correspondence (paper and electronic!) with "stay gold."

Stay. Gold. GAMECHANGER.

Stevie

@Clare Isn't that an Outsiders reference? "Stay gold, Ponyboy."

Clare

@Stevie It is...but why would you sign your emails with it?

Lily Rowan

@Clare Because you're awesome???

melis

@Clare I guess if you were always slowly dying from third-degree burns, it would work.

monicamcl

@Clare But...but....Robert Frost told me that NOTHING gold can stay.

waitykaitie

A British donor to the non-profit I work at recently ended an email with the sign-off (ahem, valediction) "As Ever, Daniel." Cue collective swoon from the ladies in my department!

Monkey

@waitykaitie I mean, swoon, surely, but I also adore the versatility of this: "[I hate you as much] As Ever"; "As Ever [you are being a complete jackass]"; "[this email exchange] As Ever [is futile and time-wasting for the both of us]".

CrescentMelissa

@waitykaitie no, but seriously? that is the hottest thing I have ever heard.

wee_ramekin

@waitykaitie Eh. I kind of feel like that valediction means "Just as I was before, and will always be, I am Daniel, and I am signing off".

Which makes me want to reply "Duh".

Melusina

@CrescentMelissa My nightmare boss with a very unsexy Brummie accent (sorry, Brummies!) also used that as his sign off. Caveat swooner.

ejcsanfran

I go with either "Neutral regards" or "FUCK YOU! (Strong letter to follow)"

H.E. Ladypants

I work in diplomacy and "Sincerely" is, sadly, frequently a must.

Every time I hear how out of vogue "sincerely" is, I can't help but be reminded how insanely formal my profession is.

SarahDances

@H.E. Ladypants Yeah. I just started my IR M.A., and we were sent very explicit instructions on how to format our resumes and cover letters so that they are deemed acceptable for the school's resume/cover letter collections. "Sincerely" is their preferred valediction.

thebestjasmine

@SarahDances See, I would only use Sincerely in a cover letter, or most business correspondence in paper form. But email is just a more casual form, so Sincerely sounds too overly formal for most places, I think.

nevermind

Thanks, or Thanks. or nothing. or "xo" for friends. Is "xo" bad? It's just like real life. Awkward hug, peck on cheek.

backstagebethy

@nevermind I think I'll start doing ox, so people think I'm referencing a beast.

Snood Mood

@backstagebethy Mr. SnoodMood sometimes signs emails to me "xo xo" and I always reply with "ox ox" because the idea of saying it out loud cracks me up. I'm easily amused.

Decca

@Snood Mood

"wildebeest wildebeest"

melis

@Decca Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Decca

@melis Neneh Cherry Neneh Cherry Neneh cherry

ejcsanfran

Also, anytime I get "Sent from my (Name of Phone Which I Think Is Presenting Some Positive Aspect of My Personality and/or Highly Refined Taste in Disposable and Easily-Procured Gadgets)," I want to punch the sender. "Sent via mobile" or any unbranded equivalent is just fine. Thanks. --Ejcsanfran

meaux

@ejcsanfran. How about "sent from my El Camino"?

sarah girl

This is mostly related, but isn't it the bitchiest ever when people send an email asking you what to do, and end it with "Please advise."?! For some reason it drives me up the wall, it feels so demanding.

sarah girl

@Sarah H. Also, I sign off 99% of my work emails with "Thanks!"

antarcticastartshere

@Sarah H. I only ever use that one when I'm e-mailing my boss about some problem because either (a) my way of solving the problem will not be her way of solving the problem so I am not even going to propose my solution or (b) the problem is making me so angry I cannot verbalize it.

ejcsanfran

@Sarah H.: I use "Please advise" when I'm being an a-hole to the recipient. "I haven't gotten the data that you were supposed to send me yesterday. Please advise." It translates roughly as "Get it together, you goldbricking douche and do what you were supposed to do. And learn the meaning of the word 'deadline' while you're at it, dumbass."

backstagebethy

@Sarah H. I love sending "Please advise"s to people I don't like because it makes more work for them. There's this one lady who gives me grief about something every month, so I like to just play dumb around her so she has to do everything. So good.

Hello Dolly

@Sarah H. I work in public transportation, and we have a driver who always calls in with some mundane issue and a 'Please advise'. I am often tempted to reply back with a 'I advise you to use your brain & stop bothering me with stupid shit.'

Xora

I do a project-management-sort-of job where I have to collect info from higher ranking people, and "Please advise" is my euphemism for "Get your shit together" when I email them. But I also use it to mean, "I don't know what the fuck to do here. Seriously, please advise me" when talking to smart higher-ups.

Xanthophyllippa

@Sarah H. Especially when they are not asking for advice. I used to have to sort/answer my (now former) boss's email, and her dad would send messages like, "I have forgotten the name of the doctor you said I should call. Pls advise."

Leslie Popplewell

@Sarah H. The schedulers at work suddenly all started doing this at once. It sounds silly -- I know you asked me a question, I just read your email. Please advise is like saying "see that question I just asked?". It also seems sort of fakey professional. "see how professional I am being?". I don't know why it is so annoying.

girl wearing glasses

i feel like everything is terrible.
i hate "best" and i sign work emails with "thanks" when i ask for something at the end. but i just let my work signature with name and title be the end to most emails.
to a couple of good friends i sign my first name with an ! (which i guess started as an inside joke)

but now i think i am going to write "Valediction" at the end of emails. and then blow everyone's mind.

DMcK

Too formal. "Valediction, BITCHEZ"

Beericle

@Clare stay gold is pretty solid. I may steal. I need a snazzy one for work - for friends I usually make it something silly that pertains to what the email is about.
Yours in the hairpin sisterhood,
Beericle

myeviltwin

How about:

Courage.

atipofthehat

@myeviltwin

I once heard about a young potato who fell in love with Dan Rather.

He was fond of her, too, but her parents insisted she break it off, since he was only a common tater.

jayessemm

Your opening sentence made my day!

As my niece taught me to sign off ...

Cha Cha Cha

Chickieboom

What, no commentary on "Ciao"

oh, disaster

@Chickieboom My favorite way to end emails in 1998.

Hello Dolly

@Chickieboom One of my co-workers & I say this to each other and make the 'driving a scooter' motion, in reference to Eddie Izzard.

karion

Well, shit, I thought we all agreed to stop with the valedictions and sign offs because of email.

I don't know why because of email, I just thought because of email, we were no longer signing things.

one cow.

@karion If you're like my mom & every other grown up, you'll be signing every single fbook post, gchat, & text message "love, mom." I know it's you, mom! Do you understand that I can see your name & picture on my screen right next to what you just wrote??

C_Webb

@karion THANK YOU. It's like ending a phone conversation, not a letter.

Tailfeather

@one cow: When my mom calls, she always says, "Hi, (TF), it's your mom." Which is nice and all, because she is polite, but it's sort of like, with the advent of caller ID and the fact that I've known her for nearly 30 years, I have never once picked up the phone and thought, who is this mysterious woman who is so concerned about my vitamin intake and offering to care-ship me socks?

thejcar

I like to use "Fond regards" sometimes in personal emails to creep people out, "Best regards" for all outward-facing emails, "Thanks[!]" for all internal emails, and secretly wish I could pull off "Kind regards," but let's be honest, it would read as sarcastic at least once and is that really an acceptable risk to take? I've definitely used "Multiple high fives," as a happy sign-off to friends, and have fantasized about using "High-fivingly yours," exclusively as an extremely sarcastic flourish on the eviscerating emails I compose solely in my head.

backstagebethy

@thejcar "Kind regards" is a little too Nigerian prince for me.

notandersoncooper

I find that, "death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people." is sensible for most business correspondence.

Tailfeather

@notandersoncooper: I think that works because, really, who is PRO fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people? It seems like a safe bet.

Unless you are corresponding with a giant mosquito, in which case you should probably exercise caution and sign off with a tidy "Bloodlettingly Yours."

Tailfeather

My former boss used to sign off with "Warm Regards" and I got him to stop because it made me feel icky. Like... unpleasantly moist, not sexy-time moist. Like, a sweaty, lingering hug from a creepy uncle at a family BBQ when you are 15 and wearing a tank-top and shorts and your mom gives him the shifty eye over the hotdogs and whispers that you don't have to talk to Uncle Jerry and you're like, GOD THANKS HE IS SO GROSS with his encroaching baldness and paunch in his snugly-fitted, tucked-in polo shirt with the pit-sweat stains and the SANDALS, and OMG, you are 15 and just want to flirt with your cousin's hot friend Ben and sneak off for an illicit cigarette.

Warm Regards.

RachelAnn

This crazy lady I have to email a lot for work signs her emails 'with lots of bear hugs' and also abbreviates it underneath that...WLOBH. Kind of like WWJD but even better, I guess?

melis

WITH LOTS OF BEARS,

Mallory

melis

@melis oh great now everybody knows your real name

ejcsanfran

@melis: Your name is BEARS? I like it.

Lisa Hanawalt@twitter

I like "all the very best" for business purposes, "all best beasts" when I want to change it up, and "Best breasts" when I feel like bragging.

Layla

It seems I'm the only one who had to stop using "regards" because 1 out of 12 times or so I'd type "retards," and only catch it at the very last minute and it just became too scary. Now I use "best" or "thanks" on work emails, but really the very best ever is "brgrds" (best regards).

janedonuts

My mom signs letters with "Fondly" sometimes. Her name is Martha. She signs emails with "Love, Mom/Mar"

ejcsanfran

@janedonuts: OMG - my mom, whose name is Virgina, signed a handwritten note to my sister and b.i.l. as Ma/Va. But they thought the "/" was an "L" - and it took them awhile to figure out who "Malva" was. Also, we all still call her Malva now - of course.

janedonuts

@ejcsanfran moms are so cute.

archetype

@janedonuts someone I work with signs her emails "fondly. fervently."
seems like a lot of emotion for updates on your project, etc.

workerbee

@janedonuts Yep! I get Love, Mom/Carolyn
Or as my Grandma would do..
Love,
Grandma aka Betty

What will MINE be??!?!? ......

frigwiggin

I read ALL THE COMMENTS, and apparently I'm the only person who signs almost every email with "have a great day!" or some variation? Mostly because I was instructed to by a mentor-admin. Sometimes "thanks!" if I'm asking for something.

Tailfeather

@figwiggin: Thoughts: Don't do the "great day" thing with Europeans, because they are totally cynical and thinks it sounds insincere. I have tried to explain that when peeps in shops/restaurants/etc. in the States say this, it's just being friendly and they DO hope you have a great day! They remain unconvinced.

Secondly, I use exclamation points in my emails as well, to add levity and make a pleasant tone clear. I am a proponent of this, as there's nothing more difficult to decipher than a flat email. Is she pissed at me? Just efficient? No idea. So, I am with you on this. However, I limit my exclamation marks to a maximum of two per email, just to ensure (hopefully) that I don't come across as patronizing or dim-witted.

In my personal opinion (which you asked for, right? Clearly I feel that you did), one should be careful with the exclamation point at sign-offs, because it might read as sarcastic or clueless, depending on the content of the message. I am, personally, a user of "Best Regards" for work shit. All this said, you sound like a savvy and NICE person, so go with what feels comfortable to you.

Saiko

@Tailfeather I use exclamation points too, for the same reason--prosody/tone. I work with *a lot* of grumpy, unfriendly people, one, and two, authoring bullshit apologias for the company's half-assed procedures is a *huge* part of my job, so I try to inject some humanity between the lines. I am somewhat conflicted about it--I fear that people may think I'm a ditz or trying too hard--but in the end I just write the way I would like to be written to. What else can ya do.

deannimal

My boss uses "Cheers" all of the time. He is neither British, of British descent, nor has he spent any great lengths of time in Britain. He is however, a tool.

Anita Ham Sandwich

Oh crud, I've just switched to "Cheers" after a long stint with "Thanks" for work e-mails. Sometimes I'm just not thankful AT ALL! And I'm not British at all! Can redheads get a special exemption on this?

Tailfeather

@Anita Ham Sandwich: You're approved. As a fellow "Cheers" person of American descent, I've been given the okay by my UK colleagues and hence may act on their behalf as Ambassador.

Keep Calm and Carrion,

TF

loudmouthedgirl

@Anita Ham Sandwich I usually alternate between "Thanks" and "Cheers" for work stuff. I had no idea that people thought Cheers was obnoxious! However I'd like to think that since half of my family is English that I can be given a pass?

happy go lucky scamp

@loudmouthedgirl I end emails with cheers, because that's how I hang up the phone.
I was always told never write anything that you wouldn't say out loud.
I never realised I was being a tool.

I do however work with somene who signs off emails K.-
It pisses me off no end. Are you really so busy that when you were setting up your signature you could type the 4 extra letters?

I'm forever trying to not passive-agressively correct her emails when I reply with the body of the text attached.

Kim Gianfrancesco@twitter

oh, also, somewhere along the line all my professors started signing their emails with their initials. wtf?

Anita Ham Sandwich

@Kim Gianfrancesco@twitter I think that makes a lot of sense. It's less formal than "Professor Johnson" or "Dr. Johnson" but doesn't invite the (over?)familiarity of using his or her first name.

apples and oranges

@Kim Gianfrancesco@twitter
I've had multiple environmental studies professors who did this. ONLY environmental studies professors. I was starting to think it was something they learned in gentle hippie environmentalist educator training.

Xanthophyllippa

@kayarr Nope. I've had elderly ossified history professors do it, too. I sign with my first name and then revel in how many of my students address me as "Professor" anyway because they're too terrified to take me up on the first name thing.

alouette

@Kim Gianfrancesco@twitter I have a prof who does this whose initials are OW. So, long verbose email, followed by an exclamation of pain. I generally can empathize.

Xanthophyllippa

@alouette AWESOME.

Tulletilsynet

Can you say cheers if your colleagues are all tossers?

atipofthehat

@Tulletilsynet

Go have a wank,

A Right Wally

melis

@atipofthehat

Do kindly consider fucking yourself,

Bears

atipofthehat

@melis

YOU WIN AGAIN !

homotextual

i'm a big fan of the preemptive "thanks in advance," or "looking forward to it,"... basically anything that implies an expected outcome. also there's always the definitive "right, [your name]", which feels quite final/indisputable.

janedonuts

@homotextual "thanks in advance" is so bitch. i'm not afraid to use it when it's called for.

cuminafterall

I didn't realize "Best" was so bad. It's been my go-to for a few months. I flailed around looking for a good professional valediction after leaving my last job, where "v/r" (for "very respectfully") was how we rolled.

What do you think of "humps and kisses"? Too familiar?

littlebopeepshow

@cuminafterall This gross guy I once made the terrible mistake of sleeping with signs all his emails "V/r." He even includes it in flirty/booty call emails. What the fuck? I find it unbearably irritating.

Decca

"Check your thighs in the mirror...and I'm done."

Ironika Leigh

i realized some years ago that the one trait every person i hated at that time had in common was signing emails "cheers."

beware

Hello Dolly

I sign with 'Best Regards' for formal, don't-know-you kind of emails, and 'Warm Regards' or 'Warmest Regards' for family & friends. Reading all of Tailfeather's suggestions, I think I may have to change my tune.

Watching the clock til I can blow this popsicle stand,

Spicy

Miss Zarves

DAMN YOU Hairpinners, I just had a mini-panic attack about an important email I sent because I used "best." Will they all think I'm a crotch now?

Am I a crotch now?!

Decca

@Miss Zarves

"Crotchly yours"

Oh bleak

And for when you're feeling like Shakespear's Sister: Hormonally yours.

More battenburg, vicar?

I'm late to the party here, but I like to sign off emails with either 'In solidarity', 'Confusion to our enemies' or especially 'With trepidation' (my PhD supervisor gets the latter a lot).

I've noticed that a lot of busy academics in my field sign off with bw for best wishes. Really? You're so important and busy you can't even type two short words? Pah!

Gnatalby

@More battenburg, vicar? I will be using "with trepidation."

Being They're

Nobody else uses "much love?" It's like "warmest" but alternates between fist-bump and hug depending on the reader.

thisisunclear

@Being They're I like "Many thanks," when I'm feeling warm-ish. Which is a little weird, I admit.

Being They're

@thisisunclear Not weird at all to my ear. That's what I use with those I don't love even a little bit...yet.

Xanthophyllippa

@Being They're: Because I am usually emailing a student, a colleague, or my department chair when I am emailing at all, I do not use "much love." No matter how much I want to. And now that I think about it, pretty much all my colleagues would think I was being flamingly sarcastic anyway, so.

The Widow Muspratt

"Best of luck in all your future endeavors!"

Also good to say in person right before you walk away from a crazy who has somehow engaged you in conversation.

Xora

The comments on this are making me realize why I come off as such a bitch at work. And yet I'm not going to stop.

P.S. In Texas, we will totally get emails signed, "Have a blessed day."

ru_ri

I use "cheers" so I guess I am universally reviled. Good to know! Not that I will stop, or anything...
Sometimes with friends/family I sign "YT" and just assume they will figure it out. I don't think any of them have read Snow Crash, though, so they just chalk it up to my inscrutability.

JaffaCakes

Thanks to this conversation thread, I hereby renounce my previous practice of signing all work emails with "Best." (Regards is icky, and I only use Thanks when asking someone for something.)

From now on, it will be:
"Texas Forever,
JaffaCakes"

Texian

@JaffaCakes Oooh, me likey!

Xanthophyllippa

@JaffaCakes

Hook 'em, Horns,
Xanthophyllippa

wee_ramekin

@JaffaCakes

Everything's bigger,
wee_ramekin

or...

Here Everything's Better,
wee_ramekin

ennaenirehtac

@Xanthophyllippa I had a professor who actually did sign off with "Hook 'em, Horns." It was kind of endearing coming from her, though.

JaffaCakes

@Xanthophyllippa I'll use the Hook 'Em, but only when corresponding with Aggies. Thankfully, that doesn't happen often.

Xanthophyllippa

@JaffaCakes It's best to keep contact with the riff-raff to a minimum.

Pocket Hercules

I like to use "thanks" when I'm not asking for something. It's breezy and slavish. It's also really passive-aggressive, like signing off with "YOU'RE WELCOME," but without getting fired for being a bitch. I also like "All best", because it doesn't really make sense.

With friends, I use a sign-off gently crafted through years of jr. high flirtation with MSN Messenger:

Peace Out,
Herc

PancakeBatter

It's common to sign off emails with "Cheers" at my work! (In New Zealand.) I use it for when I've asked the recipient to do a thing or take note of a thing, which is not arduous enough to warrant a "Thanks".

And I set the email from my phone to say "sent from my iPad 3" because I am a huge arsehole.

Xanthophyllippa

@PancakeBatter One of my colleagues once sent me a message that said "Sent from my iToilet" at the end.

extremely do not

"May the seed of your loins be fruitful in the belly of your woman"

A boy signed my high school yearbook with "love, empathy, desire" and my heart just about exploded.

Cara Motts@twitter

I get a lot of cover letters from lawyers that say 'very truly yours'. Maybe it's a lawyer thing? I'm not sure they need the 'very'.

fondue with cheddar

@Cara Motts@twitter Very Truly Yours (Until Your Retainer Runs Out),...

hannahc

@Cara Motts@twitter worked for a law firm and this was 100% the standard. i got corrected on my first day and was told it is ALWAYS "very truly yours." lame & impersonal, right?

Cara Motts@twitter

That's nuts. At first I thought oh, how nice! And now I'm like ugh a cover letter? ignore. ignore.

angelinha

@xianguik A little too long for my tastes.

Xanthophyllippa

@klibberfish WIN.

fiiierce

How do we feel about "Take care," ?!! I used to use Sincerely for anything formal (work, school) and now I feel like a doofus. THANKS HAIRPIN. JK but seriously. And do we really even HAVE to sign off? Isn't my name enough?!

Xanthophyllippa

@fiiierce Ask A Writing Teacher says that in a professional context, you do have to sign off - particularly if you are asking for something, clarifying something, or providing someone with crucial information. Otherwise, it looks abrupt at best and rude at worst - the written equivalent of just turning and walking away without saying goodbye.

As closers, I use a phrase/sentence/question that is relevant to the topic of the email. In trying to find meeting/appointment times with colleagues or people I don't know, I'll close with "See you soon;" when I set up appointments with students, I close with "Does that work for you?" because it indicates that while I'm open to discussion, they say no at their own risk. If I'm answering requests for information, I'll close with "Hope this helps" or "Did that help?"

If you're writing your friends and family, you don't need any valediction because they'll probably love you anyway even if they take the lack thereof to be rude or weird.

wearitcounts

i stopped using "regards" when i realized that the "r" and "t" keys are right next to each other. a typo on that second "r" can really send the wrong message.

collier

@wearitcounts : Dude, I have been on that exact ride so many times that I had to delete the word "retard[s]" from my spell-checker dictionary so it'd show up with the red squiggles.

wearitcounts

@collier: hilarious and brilliant.

Sparrow Morgan@facebook

One of my favorite people ever signs his messages, "there's love," which always just makes me want to hug him forever and ever, and my hippie art teacher from grade school signs off with, "peace," which probably would sound ridiculous from anyone else.

Also to be avoided, "god bless," unless you genuinely mean it and have the strength of character to say it without sounding like a sycophant, like if you're a priest or have ever been jailed for peaceful protest, or are over 50 and have never missed mass. (The sentiment is great, even we heathens need all the blessings we can get, but it doesn't make a good valediction. Woo $10 words.)

libs

Why not try, Oceans and Oceans...

Craving Brownies

I convey true bitchness by eliminating both my standard greeting and signature. Email format: their name, reasons I'm annoyed, my name. It only works if you email this person frequently enough that they recognize the change. In return, the my supplier will switch from their standard "Hi Craving Brownies" to "Dear Craving Brownies" and they will express "sincerest apologies" for ticking me off.

Xanthophyllippa

@Craving Brownies Oh, nicely done!

Pound of Salt

My last three were "Thanks," "All my best," and "Take care." Man I'm so boring.

Becca

I just thank everyone. You can't go wrong by just saying Thanks for no reason at all. And my emails all tend to have a really apologetic tone. WHY? Who even knows?

So: gratitude and contrition, I guess.

hannahc

@Becca i agree - sometimes it's just a nice way to say "hey, thanks for reading something i wrote you (and making it to the end)!"

hannahc

@Cara Motts@twitter worked for a law firm and this was 100% the standard. i got corrected on my first day and was told it is ALWAYS "very truly yours." lame & impersonal, right?

Maj
Maj

Cheers is a pretty common way to end emails in Australia but it's for casual emails, I guess. It's a common thing to say instead of thanks when you're buying something at a shop or whatever. I use cheers ALL THE TIME. But I remember when people first started using it a lot in Perth, in the mid 90's and it really annoyed me then.

Bambi

I've been using Cheers for a while now and am even married to an Englishman, who never once told me I was lame (or a tosser) for using it. But perhaps I am lame and he never told me because he was being nice/supportive. Oh god, I'm lame, aren't I?

Sorrowfully yours,
Bambi

lovelettersinhell

... so I tend to use either <3 or love when I'm writing to besties or family, and yours for... everything else that is not a cover letter. I am so pathetic.

Buddhan8r

I just stumbled across this article. I don't normally check out the comments when I'm breezing through a brief internet find...but these comments are great!!

I haven't read them all yet... It's like chilling out with some friends and a cocktail.....

7397832@twitter

WEEPING with laughter.

I came across this article whilst searching for some science to back-up a video I just made about how best to sign off your email (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voQeMM4fwM0) and HOLY, am I glad I did.

I like it so much I'm waiting until the morning to post it on all my networks - I don't want anyone to miss it! THANK YOU!

mans

A British donor to the non-profit I work at recently ended an email with the sign-off (ahem, valediction) "As Ever, Daniel." Cue collective swoon from the ladies in my department! Go to Steltix

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