Sunday, June 7, 2009

You can't judge an emailer by their sign off (or can you?)

It used to be the handshake that was a telling introduction to the kind of person you are. Now, it's the email farewell, according to Tracy Spicer, who claims "how you sign off your emails shows more about your personality than you realise."

I'm a 'cheers' girl if I'm writing to a friend or acquaintance; and quite like 'regards' on a professional basis, or even 'kind regards' if brown-nosing is required.

But I may have to reconsider my favoured farewell. Spicer is also a 'cheers' fan and reports that one of her friends reacted with this: “You’re not one of those ‘cheers’ girls are you?” she gasped in horror. “I can’t stand those people! We’re not in a shout at a pub. It’s unprofessional.” Oops."

Oops, indeed. What's your choice of email sign-off? And what does it say about you?

27 comments:

Bells said...

i hate cheers sign offs with a passion. I have tried to work out why and I'm not able to articulate more than that it feels dismissive. I think I associate it though more with, as you your friend said, a pub, not the written word. I don't think it belongs in sign offs. Sometimes my husband signs off to me with cheers and I think, geez I'm not one of your mates or an acquaintance!

Bells said...

oh and professionally, I'm a 'regards' girl. Not warm regards. That just sounds silly.

Kristin said...

Best, for professional emails and xoxo, for my peeps. Bet people hate that too.

Liss said...

So exactly WHAT is the ettiquette and what do you say?

I'm a bit of a cheers girl myself and kindest regards or regards at work, sometimes I'll vary it depending on the purpose of the correspondence 'Look forward to hearing from you soon' or 'Keep up the great work' etc etc.

If it's more personal or friendly I will just do my name and some xx

Anonymous said...

Oh my lord! I was on the receiving end of a Best, email. I was furious with the content of the email and Best at the end just left me thinking Best What? It was Best try at making you annoyed?

Best wishes, Best regards, Best of luck. Best is an adjective, you need to add something to it for it to make sense.

Anonymous said...

The worst I've seen recently is 'Rgds'. Like it was too much bother to type those three extra letters to spell 'Regards' in full. But I am a committed 'Cheers' girl so suppose I shouldn't judge others too harshly!

Alycia said...

Oh shizens.
I use kind regards for professional and cheers for casual or semi-professional... (i.e. once I've established a relationship, or businessy type personal ones)...

Hmm. Hadn't really thought about cheers being annoying.

I find thanks to be very dismissive, so won't use that.

Alycia said...

Oh shizens.
I use kind regards for professional and cheers for casual or semi-professional... (i.e. once I've established a relationship, or businessy type personal ones)...

Hmm. Hadn't really thought about cheers being annoying.

I find thanks to be very dismissive, so won't use that.

Anonymous said...

I only send emails to friends and relos, so it's "love from here' and 3 OR 4 xxx's ! FROM FENDER4EVA

M said...

I'm a Cheers girl with friends, Regards for external business and Kind Regards for business with people whom I'm particularly keen to build a (business) relationship with.

For close friends, generally girls, I will sometimes just sign off "M x"

I think 'cheers' is completely fine.

M said...

But I wouldn't want a 'cheers' from my husband. Just an initial.

m.e (Cathie) said...

oh, oh, I like a bit of cheers & some x...is that a bad thing :)

Permanently twenty three said...

Kill me now, I'm a 'cheers' girl at work with nice clients. If you're a client I think is a pain in the arse, you get 'regards'.

'Best' sounds unfinished. Best what?

My pet hate, is finishing with nothing. Or starting with no 'hi' / 'hello' etc. How hard is a hi?

MummyTime said...

Guilty as Hell too...But I am a proud and out CHEERS girl. Besides email is supposed be a less formal way of communication these days. So until then I shall and forever remain a Cheers girl.

Jaime said...

In the industry I work in 'cheers' is practically the sign off rule. Everyone has it and I've never thought anything of it.

For more external emails it's regards and my girlfriends - J x

Super Sarah said...

I haven't had to write a professional email in a while, but when I did, I was a 'regards' girl. Personal emails I have always signed off 'x S' and I do it without even thinking now. Not sure how I will break the habit when I get back into sending work emails!

Tuesday Malone said...

Professionally, I go with the 'reflection' school of thought and sign off in the same way as the person who has written to me, which either makes me the ultimate sucker-upperer or just some kind of mindless zombie-like follower. I blame being Libran. Harmony or bust!

Cerry said...

I'm also a cheers hater. I've just never worked out how it's some sort of sign off, since most people use it as a substitute for "bottoms up"
What I use depends on the situation. The default signature on my email account is "Peace out, Cerry", followed by a quote (at the moment, I think it's a Mark Hoppus Tweet about fridge lights and Earth Hour). I remove it when I need to maintain some sort of dignity, and in that case, usually just use my name, possibly with a regards/yours sincerly or whatever before it. Or if I'm really lazy, just a C, or nothing at all, depending on how well I know the person I'm emailing.

alivicwil said...

I use cheers - even in work emails.

Close friends (during a back and forth email exchange) might just get an "A."

I was zoned out the other day, and signed off on a reply to a student's email as "Cheers, AliVic." Whoops! Highly unprofessional!

I find a lot of the professional emails I receive don't have a sign off, just a signature... often in colours and crappy fonts like Comic Sans... (Teachers: bah!) My sig is professional-looking (I hope) in plain font, so I feel somewhat justified in finishing with "Cheers, AliVic."

ninaribena said...

Hmmm, I very often sign off with cheers, and have never thought of alcoholism while doing so! If I don't know the recipient so well, then I might go for a best regards, except when signing off on my blog, where every reader is clearly my best freind,

Love Nina x

ps: my pet hate is 'bless'. Or worse "god bless"

Amy Sheaves said...

I was a guilty 'cheers' girl - just like Jaime, it was the acceptable sign off for the industry I worked in - part of the culture I suppose! BTW...cheers was for internal emails only.

I personally love a friends sign off; 'shrugs & misses' it cracks me up every time.

Can I add...I HATE those automatic signatures that come up on emails. I find it so irritating. OK, if it's used for work, but come on...not a friendly email!

I don't work in an office anymore, so most of my emails are personal and here it is...

Amy xxx

Anonymous said...

Or does it just depend on how much you actually like or not really like the person sending the f*cking email? Are we getting too petty about every thing or perhaps spending way too much time online. Cheers, best, see ya, hooroo, thanks mate, whatever!

Linda said...

I have a few different sign offs I guess it depends who it is and how long you have known them it is hard to find just one though. What could it be I wonder??????

stepforddreams said...

I can't even remember my professional sign off. Oh dear, has it been that long? I think it was just Carolyn. Or the old yours faithfully and my name.
Now it is either my name or xC or nothing at all. I don't like cheers. For me it is only for pub use!

Bethwyn said...

I'm a "cheers" girl too, and also an "ooroo" girl. I like a good old "ooroo!" thrown in there, but man it confuses my overseas friends!

potty mouth mama said...

Professionally I write Kindest.. Friends it's usually xxx.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely HATE the use of "cheers" as an email sign-off. When you send an email to someone you don't necessarily know how their day is going - the person may be having a tough day - they may have gotten laid off from their job the day before, or they may have a child or parent who is ill. If one signs an email with "cheers," I think it's saying that you don't really care what's going on in the person's life - things are peachy with you, and that's all that really matters. I think it's simple minded and borders on being narcissistic.
If you want to use a closing that demonstrates that you care for the person, "take good care" or "hope all is well," or some variation, seem a lot more sincere. I'd love it if people stop using "cheers" as an email sign-off completely - anyone out there who can help in this endeavor - thank you.
I think "cheers" should only be used when toasting one another (and toasting one another can be done with non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic drinks of course). It's a cool term when used in the way it was intended. As the closing to an email it's offensive.