Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Best. Truly. Yours.

I had an editor years ago who was - to put it mildly - difficult.

Generally, I'm ridiculously easy to work with and rarely object when an editor makes word changes or cuts to my stories. But when this woman edited my work, I knew that a tussle would ensue. Let's just say that she didn't want the facts to get in the way of a good story. Her versions of my work often read more like creative writing. It was my job to reel her in and try to preserve the truth.

Anyway, you'd hardly expect me to emulate this person - right? But I did adopt one of her habits: She signed all her email with "Best." This was back when email signature files were just becoming ubiquitous and I was wrestling with how to sign off on correspondence.

Sincerely? Fondly? Good luck? Another editor used "Cheers," which is perky and rather British, but not always appropriate for my purposes. I know a business writer who made "Success!" both her catchphrase and her sign-off.

After some thought I followed the "Best" trend, figuring it is contemporary, professional and cordial, if a tad dull. Then the other day, I got an email signed simply "XOXO," which took me back a bit, considering I don't even know the signee.

Here's a fun discussion of email signatures and what they say about you and your business.


  1. Ha! Better a tad dull than pretentious. I remember in the beginning, when we were carving our emails on stone tablets, "Regards" was very popular. Which I found strange, because I've never actually heard anyone say "Regards" in real life.

    I'm not sure email needs to emulate a letter, as in salutation and closing. But I'm shamed into it if someone sends me a formal email.

  2. Or you know what? Given the title of your piece, what do you think of:

    Truly, madly, deeply,

  3. Karin, I think that one fits your "je ne sais quoi" ethos quite perfectly! ;-)

  4. I was just thinking about this same thing. How to sign off an email with something current but not too cloying and befitting a business scenario. I normally use "best", "best regards" or that old standby "sincerely". I do like using "fondly" for people whom I know and are close to, though. LOL at Karen's "truly, madly, deeply"!

  5. Lori, I have a dear friend (actually my elementary school best friend's mother) who signs all her cards and letters "fondly" and I always found that very endearing. Definitely better for personal relationships, however.

    Now I'm scrutinizing all the emails I'm getting! I just opened one signed "BW" and it took me a minute (duh!) to figure out that's "best wishes." Nice, though it sounds a bit more like something I'd use to sign off on a wedding or engagement card.

  6. I don't use any polite words in my email signature! I always thought those words were a visual cue at the end of a traditional letter. You had the Sincerely, then the scribbled signature (extra points for using a fountain pen), then the typed name. Oh, and maybe a P.S.

    For email, I include my contact info in case the recipient wants to call, and my social media links in case they want to know more. What shocks me is how many professionals do NOT have email signatures. I even blogged about it:

  7. How about Cheerio and pip pip!
    But then it sounds like you are at a British bar....

  8. Toodle pip.

    I guess it's not really me.

    I used to sign, "Be you," and still do in certain situations. But it's not a great sign off for a business email. I like "Best," or the old "Truly Madly Deeply" standby.

  9. Regards or sincerely; if I've known you over time, a single xo. Not to be confused with multiple xo's which strikes me as over kill. Lastly, never to a man despite how long I've known him. I don't wish to be misinterpreted.

  10. That's probably a good policy, Pasadena Adjacent, re men and misinterpretations!

  11. I've been doing "cheers" forever, and I type it by hand each time.

    Unless the situation calls for something different. So I'll use best or best regards.

    To him I do 'xoxo'

    I remember one I got from someone that was "love and rockets" (it was a business colleague, in the software industry, so it's totally cool)

    Or, in a moment of inspiration, maybe something else.

    OMG, now Imma gonna go do a search in my email app for the word cheers. Just to count the number of results. Thanks for ruining the next hour!



  12. search results for "Cheers" in my email app, looking in the "sent" folder: 3734

  13. Love and rockets. I love that. Might steal it, even though from me it's a non sequitur.

  14. Love and rockets - that sounds like it'd be perfect for Susan's Jan, no?