on January 19th, 2015

When we have a moment to reflect, I suspect we sometimes wonder whether our sign offs on our emails are appropriate or a little bit tired. Perhaps not? Naturally at the end of your email message, you should avoid lengthy quotes, massive corporate logos and a brief signature.

I also wonder about the significance of these overly lengthy legal disclaimers that are often included at the bottom of email messages. Who has ever relied on this and why would you include it (apart from a corporate requirement)?

Some of the sign offs used include:

  • Regards – fairly brief and probably the most common (in Australia and the UK)
  • Best Regards – somewhat more formal.
  • Rgds – I use this but some complain that it is a bit pretentious as it is trying hard to be abbreviated for three additional letters.
  • Warm regards – a little over the top. And sometimes used cynically when engaged in a tense email exchange.
  • Warmest - I think this too loving. Unless used with someone you are close to, perhaps.
  • Best - widely used in North America. Not so common in Australia.
  • Best regards - somewhat more formal and common in usage in North America.
  • All the best - also fairly common in North America.
  • Bests - a bit synthetic. To be avoided.
  • Take Care – fairly meaningless. Surely the person you are writing to knows that she should take care and doesn’t need further instructions?
  • Thanks so much - I quite enjoy this but some suggest it is a tad over the top in terms of gratitude.
  • Thanks -a fairly warm and simple way of ending of an email. An exclamation mark after it (Thanks!) can appear to be a bit pejorative though.
  • Many Thanks - a simple expression of gratitude which goes well.
  • Thx - A bit too SMS-text like. Unlikely to be too businesslike.
  • Thanks for your consideration – a bit too servile. Although, you are probably asking for no action or disinterest. Often used in seeking employment (and expecting a rejection letter).
  • Hope this helps - it can appear a little patronizing; but generally it can sound helpful.
  • Looking forward – a little too gushing but it does work.
  • In haste - when you are in a rush and want to excuse typos.
  • Be Well -a bit unusual and irritating for many.
  • Peace - grating on many people as it doesn’t appear sincere.
  • Yours Truly or Yours sincerely – perhaps good for a letter correspondence but unusual for emails these days.
  • Ciao - somewhat too clever and appearing pretentious. Perhaps, you can use it if you are one of the ‘beautiful people’ (communicating to another beautiful person).
  • Make it a Great Day! - pretentious and unnecessary. Do you run my entertainment schedule for the day for me?
  • Thanking you in anticipation - this doesn’t go down well for some – it effectively means that I want something from you.
  • Cheers - works well in a UK-English context but to an American it appears to be related to hitting the pub.
  • Peace and Love - perhaps appropriate for your 60s hippy buddies. But I am not so sure it will go down well otherwise.
  • Not signed due to electronic transmission - too formal and irrelevant. If you don’t know your email is electronic, you have some serious problems.
  • Much appreciated - a warm to neutral safe sign off to people you know.
  • TTFN - Tata for Now. Too obscure. No one would have a clue it means this.
  • Sent from my iPhone - seemingly pretentious; but what is the significance of this (perhaps the fact that they one of the chosen few who possess an iPhone)?
  • No Sign off - only your name or initials. Perhaps too terse unless you know the team well.
  • Smiley Faces - avoid unless it is part of your playful team. Unless you are one of the ‘beautiful people’ of course.


For a wonderfully detailed list of sign offs go to: forbes.com

Perhaps, Erica Jong's comment is applicable to the use of unusual email sign offs: If you don't risk anything you risk even more.

What have I left out? Have I irritated anyone?

Yours in engineering learning



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