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Salutations February 13, 2009

Posted by Emily in Uncategorized.

This may seem a little random, but can someone please tell me how they end letters and especially emails? Letters to friends I’ve got down. Or I just sign, no salutation necessary.

But lately, I’ve needed to write a score of semi-formal emails and every time, I struggle with how to end it. Sure, “Sincerely” is the classic, and you can’t go wrong there, I suppose. It’s the one I use on job applications, etc.

But what about those sort of awkward “networking” messages? I can’t exactly say “catch you on the flipside” or “Later alligator,” but I also don’t want it to be the modern version of an engraved envelope. “Yours sincerely” or “Yours respectfully” – weird, right? Then there’s the professor go-to salutation: “My best” or just “Best.” Which, hey, are OK, but not great. I refuse to let perfectly good and well-edited correspondence end so awkwardly. It’s like the online version of the awkward man handshake Connor is always talking about. “Do you man hug? Do you do some weird handshake/signal? Does it include a pound?” Ugh. But hard to avoid, nonetheless.

A little help from the internets?



1. megan - February 13, 2009

i’ve seen ‘kindly’ thrown around quite a bit to close formal/business emails. Not a show stopper, but simple enough.

2. mego - February 14, 2009

When signing work emails, I usually use the following hierarchy. That is if I don’t just use “Thanks!” (mostly used with volunteers).

I like them and want them to like me: “Warm Regards”
I don’t know them but want to have a positive relationship: “Best Regards”
I don’t really care what they think about me or I don’t like them: “Regards”

I also use “Best” occasionally. You probably don’t encounter as many crazy people over email as I do day-to-day, but I thought I’d give you the whole gamut and let you choose. 🙂

3. miamired - February 15, 2009

thanks, Megans! I’ll add those to my arsenal.

Another frequently used closer is “Cheers” and I sort of like it, but occasionally worry that it’s too alcohol-linked. It’s the go-to response for almost everything in the UK, practically replacing Thanks–and I like its use there, pretty removed from the pub. Is it weird to use here? Pretentious? I don’t think so, but maybe.


4. Carol - February 18, 2009

I like Mego’s ideas. Once in awhile I’ll try All the best, but I don’t much like that. I usually just try to end with a short closing sentence, which is obviously just that and varies by the tenor of the email, then sign my name.

As to Cheers, I’ve come to hate it. I see it too much and, in the case of one colleague, on every email she writes, no matter what the subject. It seems to shout “phony!” to me. When I first saw that on an email, which was well more than 10 years ago, it seemed cheery. Now? Not.

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