diamond geezer

 Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hi Reader

I'm quite good at starting emails. If it's a personal email I invariably start with Hi, even if it's the first time we've spoken. With a work email my default intro remains Dear, just to be polite, because it's best to be on the safe side. But that's only until I see evidence my recipient uses Hi instead of Dear, in which case I switch and it's Hi, Hi, Hi all the way.

It's the end of emails I struggle with. The valediction to write at the end, to sign the whole thing off, just above my name. What to use, what to say, without looking like a complete plonker?

At school I was taught to use Yours faithfully and Yours sincerely. They formed the basis of many a grammar exercise, so it's been drummed into me which should be used in each specific opening context. But they're not for emails, not unless it's something terribly formal upon which my job depends. Email endings are different.
Kind regards. I can't type this without feeling vaguely uncomfortable. It's a bit too nice, a bit sickly, and nothing I'd ever say to you in real life. Indeed if you use 'kind regards' at the bottom of your email to me, I probably wriggle a little uncomfortably and wish you hadn't.

Best regards. This is more common, isn't it? It's almost the new Yours sincerely, to the extent where I can almost imagine it being taught at school. And I do use it sometimes, but I never enjoy typing it. It's bland, I always think, and a combination of two words that's essentially meaningless.

Regards. This is the ultra-brief option, with all adjectives removed. A quick sign-off, a mere placeholder, something to get the email finished as quickly as possible. As a side issue I never know whether you're supposed to add a full stop at the end - it looks wrong with, it looks wrong without.

Best wishes. This sign-off predates email, which gives it a certain authenticity. But still no gravitas, which is why I avoid this one like the plague. It's the sort of thing an auntie would write in a birthday card, not a final phrase I'd want you to remember me by.

All the best. I like this one. I shouldn't, because it's woefully hollow, with a word seemingly missing somewhere along the way. All the best what? - it's never clear. But I think this has an optimistic ambiguity that fits well in most situations.

Take care. Whereas this one's not so good. It may be only eight letters long, but there's an unspoken hint within that something terrible is about to take place. You might as well end your email with "Watch out!" instead. It's much too negative for me, and I'd hope for you too.

Cheers. A very chummy sign-off, and almost certainly over-familiar for professional use. I suspect it appears most frequently in terse emails dashed off fast, and in replies to replies to replies. I'm guilty of this one sometimes, but only if I'm sure I know you well.

Many thanks. This one's my favourite. It's chirpy and upbeat, whilst simultaneously respectful and deferential. I'll only use it if I haven't overdone use of the word "thankyou" earlier in the email. But I like to acknowledge my appreciation of the other person's efforts, and that's always a good note to end on.
Perhaps you're an old school writer who sticks to the more formal means of sign-off. Perhaps you have a stock phrase you use all the time to conclude an email, typed out as a reflex action without thought. Or perhaps like me you change your valediction according to audience, situation or mood. I'm probably thinking too hard here, morphing my email signature solely to reflect what I think you want to hear. I might even be better off missing out the last line altogether, rather than shoehorning in some limp phrase purely for the sake of it.

Things were so much easier in the offline days of Yours sincerely and Yours faithfully. But hurrah for the freedom to end our emails how we please, even if we sometimes sound forced, cheesy or false for doing so. All the best sign off with due regard, so take care.

Many thanks.

dg


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream