Friday, January 28, 2011

Email signoffs. Weigh in, please!

I read "Ask Amy" in the Chicago Tribune every day. I love her down-to-earth, thoughtful responses and I generally agree with her advice.

Today, however, a reader wrote in to complain about email signoffs. He claimed to find the signoff: "Best" to be grating and pompous.

Amy agreed.

Somebody tell me what's wrong with "Best." I use it often - I see it as a safe, easy way to sign off on emails to friends, acquaintances who may eventually become friends, as well as business contacts.

At least I thought so until now.

Have I been unintentionally offending people all this time? The last thing I want to do is come across as grating or pompous.

What's your take on this?

Best always, and with warm feelings toward all,


Jonathan E. Quist said...

Somebody needs to give Amy a fountain pen and a box of stationery, and teach her how to use them.

"Best", as a shortening of "All my best", in turn a shortening of "All my best wishes", has been perfectly acceptable for generations.

Geesh. What kind of lout finds an informal form of a standard closing "pompous"?

Yr. Obt. Svt.,


Julie Hyzy said...

Thank you, Jonathan. You made me laugh!
Warmly, and with kind wishes,

Michael Allan Mallory said...

Gee, I've been using Best or All My Best for years. Does that really tick off some people? I think it's rather nice that someone offers me his or her best: best wishes, best thoughts.

Julie Hyzy said...

I agree, Michael. The idea that I may have been coming across in a way that's opposite from my intent is giving me the willies this morning. By and large, people seem to be voicing support for "Best" but ... is there a seething minority out there cringing at every use of the signoff? I'd like to know what the issue is...I'm curious.

Julie Hyzy said...

BTW - this conversation continues on FB today, too! Join in.

Dru said...

Depending on who it is, I use "All the best" as my signoff.

Marcia said...

Hmmmm! Maybe I am much older than you all....I use 'always' when I don't know what else to say. If it pertains to my meeting up with someone new I use 'looking forward to meeting you' then my signature. To my very best girlfriends who I have known for longer than I want to say we use 'hugs' May be cheesy, but we like it. Think I like 'best' now. Will try it.

Shel said...

I see nothing whatsoever wrong with using "Best". Matter of fact, I'm looking at an autographed bookmark of yours that says, "Best Always". I took it as a compliment, LOL. I read Amy too, and don't usually agree with her, for what that's worth.

Julie Hyzy said...

Dru - I may start using that one, too. Or "Best always." The last thing I want to do is offend anyone!

Marcia - I use "Hugs" on occasion, too. Not cheesy at all. I like it!

Shel - Yeah, I don't see the problem. And so far, no one here or on FB has seemed bothered by it. Could it be that Amy and "Codger" are the only two who don't like "Best"?

BTW - "Best" was the name of my fraternity pledge class. I've always liked it.

Shel said...

Anything/Everything you say is going to bother *someone*, Julie. The best you can do is be yourself. If you obsess about never offending anyone, you'll drive yourself crazy. Of course, this is easy for ME to say..I'm not a bestselling and highly rated author in the limelight!

Julie Hyzy said...

How right you are, Shel! It's too easy to offend these days. What I was looking for, mostly, was an understanding as to *what* makes "best" offensive. So far, everyone here and on FB likes the signoff. So, no explanation for me!