Column

How to choose an email sign-off that’s not too highfalutin

Following is an excerpt from this week’s column on AL.com. The link at the bottom takes you to the full column.

The other day, I found myself staring at an email, wondering how to end it: Sincerely? Regards? Best? Bye, y’all? Because it was an email to a professional but not directly related to my work, I was stumped. I needed to find the right balance between “Let’s go out for drinks sometime” and “I’m just writing this because I have to.”

I looked up some advice from the likes of Forbes, Business Insider and Grammarly, which weren’t a lot of help because they all disagree. One says never use Sincerely. One says it’s not so bad. One writer even says she’s OK with “Bests” with an S. Bests? What the heck is a Bests? Short for Besties? Nuh-uh. There is no such thing as “bests” and we shouldn’t be closing emails with it. It’s kinda like signing, “Bigfoot Truly,” or “Chupacabraly yours.”

I don’t even like “Best” in its singular form as a closer. What does it mean? Best what? Best bet? Best in Show? Father Knows Best?

And then there’s “Take Care.” Will Schwalbe, author of “Send: Why People Email So Badly and How To Do It Better,” tells Business Insider “take care” makes him “a bit paranoid. Like you know I’m in danger and I don’t.” To me, it’s a little more threatening, like “Take care because you never know when a I might dress up as an evil clown and talk to you from a storm drain.” (Insert demented laughter). Here are some options these writers discussed, along with my feelings on them … Click here to read the full column on AL.com.

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