What Our E-mail Sign-Offs Say About Us

Last Updated Jun 16, 2010 10:17 AM EDT

What is your e-mail sign-off? Do you end e-mail with "sincerely," "best," or "cheers?" Last year, I told you about a Washington Post article which contends your e-mail signoff can offend readers and hurt business relationships.

A lot of readers weighed in -- some called the very idea rubbish, while others admitted they were personally offended by some sign-offs. In particular: When a presumptive "thanks" is used as a standard closing.

That's not, it seems, the end of the story.

I was amused to see the topic flare up again, this time at WebWorkerDaily, where Dave Clarke evaluated the real meanings of the most common sign-offs.

  • Cheers signals a sense of worldliness. This sign-off says "I'm casual, yet professional."
  • Thanks can sound patronizing -- "Just do what I've asked in the body of this email, and let's leave it at that."
  • Best might literally imply, "I wish good things for you," but chances are that tone doesn't mesh with what you've communicated above.
Do you agree, or think this analysis is all bunk? Read the WebWorkerDaily for more bits of sign-off wisdom, and weigh in with a comment to let us know what you think.



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