Sincerely, Truly Yours…Or Are You?

Some email signatures are so ridiculous.  Why doesn’t anyone use ‘Yours Truly,’ ‘From,’ or ‘Sincerely’ anymore?  It seems like everyone tries to be lovey-dovey in a last attempt to create a bond with someone.  Honestly, some lines just make me want to vomit.

Here are some closing lines that I can’t stand and my interpretations of them:

Cheers
– Well I don’t know about you, but there isn’t any Bailey’s Irish Cream in my coffee this morning.  By the way, thanks for getting my after work drink in my head at 9 am.  Are you even from England? Cheerio, yo.

God Bless
– Unless you’re writing for the Chattanooga Christian Family Magazine, there is no reason to ever write this to someone.  Thanks for rejecting my pitch, but it’s okay! God will forgive you.

Best Wishes
– What is it, my birthday?  I really appreciate the thought, but my birthday is September 10th [Editor’s Note: That’s in a few days folks…be sure to wish CT the ‘Best Wishes’].  Are you being sarcastic and really don’t want to wish me a Happy Birthday?  Best wishes to you on finding another closing line.

Warm(est) Regards
– Warm? Seriously? Am I not good enough for Hot Regards?  You can only give me a moderately cooked regards? People, I like my apple pie warm and a la mode style, but not my regards.  Gee, thanks for using the half-way adjective when e-mailing me.  You could have at least heated my regards all the way. Are you trying to make me all cozy inside and ‘warm’ up to you?

Deepest Sympathies
– Wow, thanks for making me think of my dead family member while you were rejecting my e-mail to you.  Apparently rejecting an e-mail requires the same responses that are used to convey the message that your lover is dead and was hit by the NJTransit train.

K? –
Can you be any more of a snot? I got the message, and your attitude is definitely not appreciated after I just read through your junk that you sent me. Take your K? and shove it.

Queries! –
No shit, Sherlock.

As for me, I usually stick to a simple ‘Best’.  I’ll let you decide what word you want to add into the mix, whether it be ‘Best Thanks’, ‘Best Regards’, ‘Best Fun’, etc.  Every single closing line can be interpreted the wrong way, except for one.

However, someday I will use this line with every e-mail that I send – ‘May the Force Be With You…’

Share the lines you use, and I would love to hear ones that you hate!

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  • Now CT – you know I love you, but I have to disagree with “cheers”. I don't know why but I really like this one. I don't use it for everyone but I do use it with a “close colleague” or a journalist I have a good relationship with. It's lighthearted – and less serious, maybe that's why I like it.

    (Maybe I just really want to be British).

    What annoys me more than e-mail signatures… are the people that shorten your name to your initials as a nickname or give you a nickname without asking! Rude!

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  • Danielle Cyr

    This post literally made my morning. I wholeheartedly agree about 'cheers.' IMHO, if you send an email without a greeting, you may as well forget the closing line, since there has already been a rude tone set for the email.

    I think the biggest issue with closing lines is that they are sometimes too soft and emotional, therefore, they lack the professionalism appropriate for business correspondence.

    Now…CT…when you switch your closing line to 'May the force be with you' perhaps I will switch to 'Play nice in the sandbox.' It seems the closing line may be the one place where you can get away with brutal honesty and have readers find humor in it.

  • I vote for “best.”

    Stina, you do just want to be British.

    I never really had my named shortened by someone addressing me. There is the occasional KO…ha ha…double meaning. But I usually shorten it to just a ‘K’ when writing to colleagues or friends.

  • Paxtman

    Man,, I REALLY dislike “Best.” I usually go with thanks.

    I'll agree with Christina K, I really like “Cheers.” I wish I'd catch on

  • Thank you Paxtman!

    And Danielle you would say “play nice in the sandbox”

    Cheers,

    CK 😉

  • Marie Baker

    LOVE this post CT! However I'm going to have to agree with Christina about “cheers.” I'm a total “cheer” offender.

    Every time I sign “best,” which is my usual go-to, I still feel like I'm being generic about it.

    Anyways, fun post and thanks for the laughs!!

  • I probably should have ended my comment with:

    Cheers,
    Pete

  • Warmest regards? I LOL'ed.

  • I'm glad you all got a laugh on this tuesday back after a long weekend….

    May the force be with you…

    CT

  • Mrs Kolors

    guess who…love the writing – keep it up so you can get famous and rich and take care of me when I am old gray. Heres my closing line,
    MWAH – love you and remember the bull frog and the freebird.

  • I love that you say exactly what I'm thinking. My own personal pet peeves are “warm[est” and “kind[est]” regards. There's just no room in business for warm or kind or fuzzy anything. These make me cringe every time I use them.

    I'm a “Best” kind of girl, and I add “regards” if something more formal is needed. And when appropriate, I also use “Thanks.” The rest (and here I'm focusing on “G-d Bless” in particular, where there's simply no room for religion…) – well I wish they would just disappear.

  • Great post! I can't say I've ever come across an email ending with “K?”, but I have to say I'd probably delete it without responding. Nice blog, just head a read through a load of articles on here. Keep it up!

  • jrcvirginia

    May the Force be with you?! This is only relevant to a Jedi!

  • Anna Morell

    I HATE 'Best'. It's lazy. Why only an adjective? What does it MEAN? Nothing. It's a terrible yuppy-sounding, rushed-but-lazy sign-off. I use 'Thanks', 'Many thanks' or 'Kind regards' or ' I look forward to hearing from you soon' depending on context.

  • Duh, I am a Jedi…

  • jrcvirginia

    You may be a Jedi, but not me; I'm not even a Padawan. As a “non-believer,” the Force will never be with me.

  • You are Darth Vader 😉

  • MollyO

    I first came across “Cheers” when it was used religiously by the un-cheeriest, grouchiest, snottiest, most clueless co-worker ever. When he resigned, “Cheers” was replaced by “cheering” — everyone else's.

  • jrcvirginia

    I am more like Han Solo. Even Darth Vader was a Jedi. He probably signed his e-mails with “Yours in Darkness…” Hey, that may have potential!

  • Thanks for being a hater on this subject – I love it.

    I had three professors use “cheers” and when my friend used it, I thought he was acting like a smug professor. No good.

    The most ridiculous one I ever used – “Pleasant Thoughts and Good Beginnings” – haha! I got it from some Russian lit and thought it was nice, which it is, if you're a self-righteous asshole.

    Take care? Who cares. Take it easy? Too informal. Thanks? mediocre. I just refuse to write anything besides my name. Sometimes a dash.
    -Dan

    Maybe all PR folks should agree to casual Fridays – you must sign internal emails with a movie quote. “May the Force be With You” is clearly epic. There are so many possibilities.

  • CT, you have identified an issue that has slowed me up for years. It quite often takes me a full 10 minutes to end an e-mail, because I struggle with the signature. Best wishes? Well, maybe, if this is someone for whom I really wish the best. Cordially? Sounds a little stiff to me. Sincerely? I'm a writer, I feel obligated to come up with something more original. For a while, I went with “Peace.” Then I started to question whether it was appropriate to make such a political statement.

    Judging by the e-mails I receive, and confirmed by your post, no one has come with a consensus-driven way to handle this.

    Life seemed so much easier when we were all writing formal business letters. According to Mrs. Hanson, by 10th grade Business Skills teacher, we had only two choices: “Sincerely” or “Cordially.”

  • I love it!!!!!!

  • Peace! Ha I never thought about that one! When I say the word 'Peace' I am in an angry mindset and I feel like I just put someone in their place. With always having the last word, I would drop the word, 'Peace' And walk away with my nose in the air. Great comment!

  • As most of the PRBC knows I'm guilty guilty guilty of 'Cheers.'

    Rarely am I sincere (or if I am it should go w/o saying), 'Yours' – erm, no. Best…heck half my emails deliver bad news, seems contradictory…Cheers for good news, Thank you for anything else.

    Tho, there's 6-7 weeks of the year I love – the week before Thanksgiving through new years. Every email (provided it's not a long back and forth) also gets a “Happy Holidays” – everyone's so warm and fuzzy anyway it usually gets a positive response.

    Cheers,
    P

  • I like the dash. Can be taken as “i'm to good for a closing line” I like that. I may start using the dash!

  • Aidan

    I can't stand when people set up their automatic e-mail signature to contain their standard closing word or phrase. I counseled a colleague on removing the Sincerely, from their auto-signature because it was the most insincere thing ever. If you don't even type the word, how can you be sincerely signing off?

    I usually just thank the person and leave it at that. But now I am thinking “Live long and prosper” might be in order. Or better yet, “Make it so.”

  • ellenporter

    Well I should feel good. One of my least favorite editors blew off a pitch with “best regards” awhile back.

  • Anna Morell

    I think there IS room for emotion in business. The first thing you sell before your product or service is yourself. Wishing someone kindness is a good way in.

  • and here I'm trying to avoid being smug by using something minimal, but it still conjures up “I'm too good…” haha, I'm glad you like it, but Man o Man. It's hard to be original and not a jerk simultaneously.

    I try to go for the refusal-to-participate-in-this-little-game angle.

  • beccaprice

    Cheers also means “thanks” in the UK so maybe working a little harder to understand multiple meanings might help you with some of this anxiety you are venting? I cheer for the use of cheers. And while we're at it, I'll pitch my favorite word “ya'll.” Ooh, I bet that will start another rant!

  • What's your point? Merci means Thanks in France. So maybe becoming a dual citizen is my next step to understanding multiple meanings of words?

  • Great comment – really laughed out loud.

  • So did I 🙂

  • The craziest signature I ever saw was from a college student. (So realize, we weren't in the “real world” yet.) He seriously had a string of lyrics from a Pink Floyd song.
    … “Shine on you crazy diamond! Come on you price, you piper, and SHINE!”…

  • “Cheers” makes me cringe; it's akin to “Ciao”. I almost always use “Best,” if I don't know someone well, or sometimes just “Thanks” if it's more casual. I used to use Sincerely and Warm Regards or Best Regards when I wrote printed out pitch letters, but in email they seem too formal and stuffy.

    I actually get “xoxo” a lot, which makes me laugh. I work in a specialized industry and so have known some of these editors for years, but I guess I'm old fashioned and find it odd to see in a work email.

  • Tash

    I must admit that I'm a “cheers” offender. Will I phase it out altogether? No, but I'll reserve it for less formal e-mails and stick to “thanks” or “regards” for the others.

  • Ann

    How about “Generically yours”?

    I'm guilty of both “cheers” and “best”

  • Ann Walker

    How about “Live long and prosper”?

  • peace out or peace annoy me. we're not at war. how about xoxo?

  • Alexis

    I'll be honest, I was a “Best” person until I was told it's kind of silly. But, I get hung up on “Thanks” — thanks for what? If I'm asking for something, it makes sense. But, what if I'm delivering bad news (as Cog pointed out earlier) – isn't “thanks” kind of tactless?

    I've tried just a dash, and then my name, but I feel kind of aloof doing that.

    You use your Jedi one, Danielle can say “play nice in the sandbox,” and I'll stick with the tried-and-true “live long and prosper.” Done, done and done.

    @Lex_D

  • jrcvirginia

    I would prefer stealing from Mork — “Nanu, nanu.”

  • olivea

    Best Wishes! Errrr, I mean, Happy Birthday, CT! I simply enjoy “Have a Great Day”

  • I'm a dedicated 'Thanks, Matt' user – but I occasionally delete the 'thanks' if the mail is inappropriate.

    A one-liner, thanking someone for information does not need another 'thanks' at the end of it… but I will not just send my sig in place of that, I prefer a personalised response.

  • I'm a dedicated 'Thanks, Matt' user – but I occasionally delete the 'thanks' if the mail is inappropriate.

    A one-liner, thanking someone for information does not need another 'thanks' at the end of it… but I will not just send my sig in place of that, I prefer a personalised response.

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