View Full Version : The etiquette and dangers of signing off emails

Nov 28, 2006, 10:00 PM
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Category: News and Press Releases
Link: The etiquette and dangers of signing off emails (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20061128230027)
Description:: An article in The New York Times this weekend draws attention to the importance and dangers of how you sign off your emails. While everyone knows how to sign off a letter, the more fluid medium of email makes senders and recipients increasingly unsure how to read the signs. At sign-off that becomes crucial: "Those final few words above your name are where relationships and hierarchies are established, and where what is written in the body of the message can be clarified or undermined," the article claims.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Nov 28, 2006, 10:04 PM
while obviously not mac-specific, I went ahead and listed this because I'm curious what most people use on their email signoffs. I personally stick with the friendly "Cheers" as I find it both casual enough for signing off notes to friends, and professional enough to be an appropriate end for clients.

What do you use?

Nov 28, 2006, 10:17 PM
Just "Best" looks and sounds dumb.

I use "Best wishes". Sometimes, if I am writing to someone who has pleased me or similar, I use "With very best wishes".

God, this is amazingly interesting.

Nov 28, 2006, 10:20 PM
If it's personal or informal work communication, I just use my name or initial, "-Whosie" or "-w".

If the email is supposed to be a more formal memo, I'll either not sign at all or use
Whosie Whatsisface

For something that's supposed to be a formal letter, the whole thing gets traditional block style along with a traditional signature. If time permits, I'll skip the email and instead bring a printed version to a quaint little shop up the road called "Post Office" that can hand deliver it for a small fee.

("luv ya bunches! xoxoxo" ain't gonna happen here ;) )

Nov 28, 2006, 10:22 PM
"Best regards," works well, although I prefer "luv ya bunches! xoxoxo" AND I make sure to use HTML-formatted emails with white unicorns, pink hearts and yellow daisies to adorn the background.

luv ya bunches! xoxoxo

Nov 28, 2006, 10:25 PM
A person I was obliged to work with who signed off the most inconsequential notes to people he did not know:

Warmest personal regards,
Ima B*^^head

(the name has been changed to something more accurate).

Did not trust this person further than I could throw them... how can you trust someone on the big things if they are willing to skate on the small things?

Nov 28, 2006, 10:37 PM
I use "Best wishes". Sometimes, if I am writing to someone who has pleased me or similar, I use "With very best wishes".

What kind of emails are you sending? ;) :p

Nov 28, 2006, 10:42 PM
I use 'Best Regards' in most formal correspondence. Unless I actually know someone on a message board (rare), I do not use any closing remark, except any occasional variation of 'thank you'. It works for me.

Nov 28, 2006, 11:31 PM
Does a hyphen count as a sign-off?

- Fiveos22

Nov 28, 2006, 11:37 PM
I usually just end it with a simple Steve however if its family ill say Love,Steve

IJ Reilly
Nov 28, 2006, 11:56 PM
Thanks, Regards, Cheers, or something else -- depending on who I'm writing to, and the subject. I think no sign-off can be appropriate if the correspondence has turned into an exchange of brief, rapid-fire e-mails with one person. Otherwise, it can be kind of rude, especially if they also omit their name from the bottom of the e-mail.

You can always tell when someone has added the sign-off to their signature line -- it never changes. That's always struck me as perfunctory and cold.

Blue Velvet
Nov 29, 2006, 02:27 AM
I'm not entirely sure about this but 'best regards' doesn't seem that prevalent here in the UK. Sounds a bit clumsy to me...

Anyway, it varies with me and the situation. Internal work emails don't even get a warm and fuzzy sign-off unless they're longish and part of an ongoing discussion. External ones might get a 'cheers', 'thanks' or 'regards'... I tend to be quite curt but often prefer phone calls, internal and external, if the matter is not one of record.

Kind regards
Blue Velvet

Nov 29, 2006, 02:59 AM
I'm a "Thanks," or "-name" type of person. Sometimes I'll switch it up with "Regards". Don't use one if, as IJ Reilly pointed out, the exchange has become rapid clarifications or quick follow-ups.

If it's someone I know then I always try to vary the sign off in some way. Overcompensation for a lack of message, perhaps. :( For some time I became disinclined to use sign-offs in emails. As time progressed, I'd noticed a distinct lack in their usage, and so I had always felt odd in actually using them.

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I really appreciated this MacBytes. It's one of the more interesting ones to come up in a while. Thanks go to the submitter and MudBug for approving it.

Nov 29, 2006, 03:57 AM
I might say Best Wishes to someone I know but not closely. If I'm talking with a friend I usually say love and my name the first time but if we're sending emails back and forth about something I might just put love and my initial second time and then nothing at the end after that.

Nov 29, 2006, 05:57 AM
cheers is so versatile, you can use it for those akward situations like suprise e-mails, and you almost never see it in the u.s. so i wonder what they think about it....:rolleyes:

i use thanks, many thanks... i'm young, and it just doesn't sound right that someone my age (18) is using kind or best regards...

Jaffa Cake
Nov 29, 2006, 05:59 AM
I use...

<insert realworld name here>

Works for me. Everyone else here in the studio generally uses 'kind regards' instead, but it seems a bit, well, girly... :o

Nov 29, 2006, 06:09 AM
For work, I almost always use 'many thanks' or just 'thanks' followed by my name. If I'm sending a personal email, I'll usually just sign off with my name, but may add 'love' depending on who it's going to.

A lot of people at work use 'regards', which I quite like.

Don't know why this subject is so fascinating, but it is :o

Nov 29, 2006, 06:35 AM
Direct Link to the NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/fashion/26email.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all)

(I had to dig it up, as the link provided in the OP wasn't working for me.)

I think I vary a lot based on the person. But I never really use things like "best" or "best regards." For people I love, sometimes, "Hugs and kisses" or a simple "I love you!" For friends, usually something along the lines of when we can/should next communicate. For business, usually I just end with a concise statement of whatever it is I want. I tend to get rid of the hi/hello after the first message in business also.... But I don't know. You know, like you only really ever get feedback on this occasionally when you get to see the visceral response of the person you've been communicating with, or when you have a one-off experience where someone tells you. I think I do okay, but not necessarily excellently....

Nov 29, 2006, 06:39 AM
....or else, and remember; No cops!

Nov 29, 2006, 06:44 AM
....or else, and remember; No cops!

Or there's always, "You talk, I'll kill you!" :D

Nov 29, 2006, 07:24 AM
Personal emails usually have little to no sign off.

The bulk of my professional email involves either getting or answering Tech support questions for my companies products. There "Thanks," "Regards," or "Let me know if I can be of further assistance," (or some variation on that theme) seem to cover about 95% of the emails I send. The remaining 5% are either to co-workers who need a quick answer/document, those may end with a -name or nothing at all.

Nov 29, 2006, 07:33 AM
Warmest personal regards,
Ima B*^^head

(the name has been changed to something more accurate).
Do you butt heads often with other 4-legged grazers? :)

luv ya bunches! xoxoxo

Nov 29, 2006, 07:35 AM
"Yours, in anticipation"


Nov 29, 2006, 08:39 AM
Hi all,

This signing off with the own name seems kind of strange to me, since the FROM: already has the name in there.

Qapla (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=qapla)!

Nov 29, 2006, 08:51 AM
Usually just write


Simple and to the point.

Nov 29, 2006, 09:03 AM
Seems usual where i work to just say


IJ Reilly
Nov 29, 2006, 10:44 AM
A friend likes to close his e-mails with the wonderfully archaic "Yours, etc." I like this so well I've been tempted to steal it.

Curiously the old traditional standards for closing letters have completely fallen by the wayside. When was the last time you saw an e-mail closed with "Sincerely," "Sincerely Yours," or "Yours Truly"?

Loathe and Hisses,

IJ Reilly

Clix Pix
Nov 29, 2006, 11:29 AM
Most of the time in personal emails I'll sign off with

--[my name]

If it is a close family member, I'll use

[my name]

and if it is someone with whom I'm engaging in a more businesslike discussion I will sign off without the TTYS and simply put my name or sometimes

Looking forward to hearing from you,
[my name]

Nov 29, 2006, 11:45 AM
For personal emails, I usually use just my initials, or something like "TTYL" with my initials. If the subject is something more serious, I'll use something appropriate for the situation.

For business emails: If I'm asking for something, I'll end with "Thanks" or "Thank you in advance for your assistance". If I'm providing an answer to someone else's question, I'll end with "Let me know if you have any other questions or comments". Otherwise, I'll just use my initials, or no signoff at all.

Nov 29, 2006, 03:57 PM
For personal emails:



For official ones:

"<paragraph of general thanks>



Nov 29, 2006, 04:04 PM
I usually sign e-mails with:


mvh is a Norwegian abbreviation for "med vennlig hilsen" which more or less directly translates to "with kind regards", and work both on "official" e-mails and more personal ones. I usually sign with mvh even if the e-mail is written in English...

Depending on the e-mail I can use either my full name, first name and initial or just first name.

My most private e-mails are just signed "xxxL", without the mvh (which is implied in the kisses I guess ;)), with the L being my first name initial... :)

Nov 29, 2006, 09:30 PM
Usually I'll use "regards" or "best regards", but I used to make things more interesting by switching it up often. Others would join in and it would become somewhat amusing with things like "with sincerest sincerity". I keep it simple these days.

Charily Yours,


Nov 30, 2006, 03:07 AM
...My most private e-mails are just signed "xxxL"...
Do you put that in the 'subject' field too? I only ask 'cause I seem to get a lot of emails with that sort of subject and junk them, are you trying to contact me??

Nov 30, 2006, 03:18 AM
Do you put that in the 'subject' field too? I only ask 'cause I seem to get a lot of emails with that sort of subject and junk them, are you trying to contact me??Isn't that mostly without the 'L'...? I try not to add that to my spams...

Nov 30, 2006, 09:49 AM
If Fred hands you a screwdriver, you say “Thanks, Fred.” I think ending an email “Thanks, Jim” makes it sound like I’m thanking myself (if I’m Jim), even if "Jim" is on a new line. I’m always annoyed by this when someone ends their email like that.

Years ago, the only way you could tell who sent the letter was by the closing, but this isn’t necessary for emails - your email client keeps track of this for you. I propose we get rid of the sign-offs altogether.

Nov 30, 2006, 10:26 AM
I'm a "regards" or "cheers" man, through and through.

Nov 30, 2006, 11:10 AM
If I'm mailing to a friend I usually don't sign it.

If I'm mailing at work to people I work with a lot and it's a quick question I either don't sign it or I might put just my first name.

If I'm mailing at work and am actually appreciative of something somebody did I will put "Thanks, <my name>". A lot of people include it all that time but I try to include it only when I mean it so the word can retain its meaning.

If I'm mailing at work and I don't know the person I'll usually put my first and last name and extension. I also usually make sure to reply to those people with a kind note once the matter is taken care of so they know that they're done with me and to let them know I appreciate them helping somebody they don't know.

Sometimes sigs in peoples mails bother me but I understand why they put them there. Some people genuinely send a ton of e-mails a day far and wide around the office for business purposes so that makes sense to me. Quotes in peoples sigs are kinda boring in a work environment and having wallpaper in your e-mail or Smiley Maker 2000... sigh...

Nov 30, 2006, 03:13 PM
I've tried different things, but any sign-off can be taken the wrong way. I like the gun-finger-click-and-wink in person, but in email it's hard to get that degree of professionalism mixed with sensitivity.

Right now I use:

Watch your back,

Dec 1, 2006, 03:27 AM
...any sign-off can be taken the wrong way. I like the gun-finger-click-and-wink in person...
or where you slide your index finger across your throat then point at the person as you leave, often dragged backwards out of the court.

Dec 1, 2006, 11:07 AM
Is there any OTHER way to leave a courtroom? :confused: