Please, don’t regard me warmly. I’m not that nice. And why are you offering your best wishes? It’s not my birthday.  I enjoy ‘cheers’, but it makes me feel like a drink, even in the morning (and that can’t be good).

How you sign off your emails shows more about your personality than you realise.

‘Warm regarders’ tend to be touchy-feely types who used to watch Oprah (but are now ‘turning’ for Ellen), do scrapbooking and believe in reiki.

If aged over 40, she’s an eccentric middle-aged lady, draped in purple, muttering quietly to herself.

The under-40s are PR babes with too-white teeth and poker-straight blonde hair, pretending they have a heart. 

CEOs aren’t too comfortable with this on their signature block, especially in the current economic climate. 

“Dear (insert name here),
Sorry to turf you out on the street, but someone had to pay for my $1.8m bonus.
Warm Regards,
Sue Morphet,
CEO Pacific Brands
P.S. Hope you enjoyed the hot cross buns.

Netiquette experts (“O brave new world, That has such people in’t!”) say ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Best wishes’ are the most professional options.

Some mix it up, using the clunky ‘Best regards’, often shortened to BRGDS.

It took me ages to work out that this doesn’t mean Bloody Ridiculous Gassy Dip Sh*t.

Let’s be honest: you’re not conveying your best regards if you can’t take .02 of a second to type an extra seven letters.

One email I received last week ended with VBW (Very Best Wishes), which I thought was Very Bloody Wanky.

Academics tend to use one simple word - ‘Best’.

It’s kinda ironic, given that the preceding email probably took 400 words to say what most people could say in four.

Perhaps it’s a subconscious way of saying “I’m the best, just ask me”.

I always thought ‘cheers’ was a fun, inoffensive option until a friend confessed that she immediately deletes all emails with this sign-off.

“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.

Even more telling than the sign-off is the signature block.

A hilarious email doing the rounds begins with the name of a constable from Victoria Police in royal blue, 24-point flowery script, followed by ‘Dux of Academy Squad’.

The subsequent email trail reveals the laconic humour of the boys in blue, as each response lowers the bar of achievement.

A sergeant from Tennant Creek proudly signs off as ‘Second fastest grade four student at Trafalgar Primary School over the 80 yard dash – 1984’.

Another boasts he’s the ‘9th fastest one finger typist west of the Victorian border’.

My personal favourite is:

Reece Baldwin
Senior Constable 2375
Computer Crime Unit
Northern Territory Police
‘Biggest head in Computer Crime’.

The technical term for sending bloated, clichéd or annoying signature blocks is ‘warlording’, with ‘sig quotes’ fast becoming the bumper stickers of the 21st century.

Gen Ys are the worst offenders, inserting inspirational quotes – “Excellence is its own reward” – at the end of emails full of grammatical and spelling errors.
“Jazz comes from who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn”. (Name supplied but withheld due to risk of ridicule.)
So what’s the answer? How do you end your emails without being a complete nob?

Busy colleagues sign off with their initials, but that just confirms tosser status.

The most important thing is the content of the email. Your respect, regards and wishes should be evident from what’s in the body copy, not the tag at the end.

Ditto those annoying emoticons. I get the joke, OK?  I don’t need canned laughter to signal the punch line. 

One friend can’t bear it when “people start playing with the background of their emails, or getting creative with the text so that you get flashing lights or marching ants or some cute bloody bunny which hops across the screen. To me, any of those things convey the mind of someone who should be colouring by numbers, or someone with way too much time on their hands!”

So, in conclusion,

Warm regards,
Best wishes,
Get a mullet up ya!

Tracey Spicer is a journalist, newsreader, media trainer, MC and keynote speaker with The Fordham Company.


Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • Paulus says:

      11:11pm | 05/07/11

      I’m confused as to why you should sign off fully in an e-mail anyway? Unless you are working for a large nameless company who has a crappy e-mailing setup, your name is already on the e-mail, so why the double emphasis that it was you who sent it? I got it the first time! Now if your first name is, say, Constatiopolus, but you like to be called Con, and then sign off at the bottom with (insert whatever you’ve decided best from this article,) ....Con.
      And a contact number of course- That’s not in the e-mail header.

    • bam says:

      03:52pm | 22/03/10

      “with love and respect”.... that’ll shock em.

    • Mel says:

      09:58pm | 26/10/09

      love, peace and chicken grease.

    • PeterMontee says:

      08:16am | 03/07/09

      The valuable information

    • Charles says:

      10:03am | 03/06/09

      Yes Robert, no one will ever know what “boomshanka” means, it is better to write it out in full.

    • Republic of Fun says:

      01:57am | 03/06/09

      I simply end it with

      ....Love and Big Ideas!!! ..What the reader makes of it depends on them.

    • Rob McKibbin of Wynn Vale SA says:

      11:00pm | 02/06/09

      All way tooooo deep for this old fart! Where’s my Tardis.

    • Robert says:

      10:56pm | 02/06/09

      @Charles “May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman”

    • Peter says:

      06:39pm | 02/06/09

      Hi Trace,
      I write my emails as if I were talking to the person face-to-face.
      I do this as a matter of COURTESY (yes, old-fashioned, I know), regardless of who the recipient is.
      When ever I talk to someone (face-to-face) in the first instance, I will always say “Hi/Hello (insert person’s name)” and then begin the communication.
      But, I am a baby-boomer who was taught that grammar, punctuation and spelling correctly was something to aspire to. It all started in Grade 1 and kept going until I Matriculated. Maybe that’s the problem!
      I know it’s hard to shake off old habits, but I don’t care!
      I will continue to write emails within that linguistic framework and I’m not sorry about it!
      One thing I can’t stand though, is people who don’t put anything in the Subject line and then launch straight into their dialogue and then, just to top it off, don’t bother signing off!
      I don’t want to get too ‘precious’ about it, but I do feel like I’m being shouted at when this happens.
      As you’ve probably already guessed, I’m a ‘Cheers/Cheersfor now’  kinda guy.
      So all that’s left to say is….


    • Charles says:

      05:13pm | 02/06/09


    • Academic says:

      04:15pm | 02/06/09

      “Regards, Me” if it’s someone I don’t know and/or if it’s a serious email.  “Cheers, Me” if it’s someone I know or if it’s not serious.  Really, who gives a toss?  As long as work/serious emails sound professional, I don’t think it matters whether you use “Regards” or “Sincerely” or “Thanks for your time” etc.

    • Brendan says:

      04:10pm | 02/06/09

      Graig, “nob” is a colloquial word used to describe a sort of “wanker”, it’s not a knob like in a door.  Nob, nob end, etc, all acceptable uses of the word nob.
      Embarrassing?  I think not.

    • Craig of North Sydney says:

      03:29pm | 02/06/09

      You snidely say of Gen Ys ...

      ” ... the worst offenders, inserting inspirational quotes – ‘Excellence is its own reward’ – at the end of emails full of grammatical and spelling errors.

      Two paragraphs later you misspell knob as “nob”.

      I’d be embarrassed, Tracy.

    • A.Guy says:

      03:26pm | 02/06/09

      I’ve always been a “cheers” kind of guy but I also throw in the odd “Thanks for your time”
      I like to mix things up.

      Keepin’ it real,

      A. Guy

    • John Littleboy says:

      02:17pm | 02/06/09

      Trace is right, people can be so annoying.
      I happen to dislike “cheers”  either at the end of emails, or weirdos raising their glass to a camera.

      I don’t think I saw “Later” mentioned.  How’s that suit you all?
      If I want to be particularly nice to someone I don’t know I might go as far as
      “Regards”.  (The capital is a hint that I touch type.) 

      But when in my usual surley mood, people I know and love just get “Friggen ‘ell.  It just seems to fit after all my whingeing.

    • Jess says:

      01:39pm | 02/06/09

      I hate:


      John Smith

      Best what?

    • Shawn says:

      01:22pm | 02/06/09

      I fall into a few of those categories, so now I’m just confused.

      That may be the new sign-off.



    • verimaz says:

      12:50pm | 02/06/09

      as hilarious as those police signatures were at least they included a signature.
      I may well be an unprofessional ‘cheers’ person and a tosser signing off with their inital but at least i’m not one of those retarded people that don’t include contact details in their email…

    • Paul Melville says:

      12:31pm | 02/06/09

      I cant understand why “Live Long and Prosper” isn’t the universal hello/goodbye. I think the news service that introduces the Vulcan epigram will be number one with a bullet

    • Maureen Box says:

      10:55am | 02/06/09

      Anyone signing their emails with ‘Werd to ya mother’ is obviously clinically insane.

    • James Baker says:

      10:50am | 02/06/09

      Dear Tracey

      Great work.  Although I’m embarrassed to have been a “Cheers” type… Your article was passed to me by colleague, and I am mortified, but not as bad as him (He confessed to initials “tosser” status).

      So here’s the new me.

      Smugly yours

      (Tallest 41 year-old in the year seven)

    • Vasko says:

      10:39am | 02/06/09

      Those complaining that “Cheers” is unprofessional in the work place,  are clearly an academic or English professor pushing their ideals of the modern workplace without any relative workplace experience!  Either that or waaay over the hill.

      Werd to ya mother,

    • Ben says:

      10:23am | 02/06/09


    • Megs says:

      10:00am | 02/06/09

      In a general setting I almost always use ‘Kind regards’ exception being emails to colleagues when it is a very brief or informal message, then ‘Cheers’ or ‘Thanks’ depending on the situation. I agree that I instantly lose professional respect for anyone that has animation, large pictures or crazy fonts for their signature. Don’t even get me started on ‘inspirational’ quotes, they make me gag…

    • Tom Krause says:

      09:36am | 02/06/09

      Trace, I have been signing my emails “Cheers” for years. Your friend, who deletes all emails which sign off “Cheers,” is unprofessional, as I know many people, from writers to business professionals to chief executives (not that I know many of them), who use that sign-off. So she’s probably lost a bit of business, as well as job and project offers by deleting emails ending in “Cheers.” And after reading what she said to you, I wouldn’t shout her a drink in a pub either! All I have left to say, of course, is:
      Cheers, Tom

    • mary-anne says:

      08:47am | 02/06/09

      interesting trace…not sure what the latest lingo is?
      so long, farewell, can’t spell alvederzane, adieu?
      like to read what the
      chk chk boom girl
      where is she now? Punch contributor? I’d like to read that!

    • Steve Carey says:

      07:52am | 02/06/09

      So what DO you suggest then, Tracy?

      [This space left intentionally blank]



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