Email sign-offs: Cheers, best, farewell, get a mullet up ya
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.
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:
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,
Get a mullet up ya!
Tracey Spicer is a journalist, newsreader, media trainer, MC and keynote speaker with The Fordham Company.
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