Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

This common email sign-off is actually 'charmless, impersonal and abrupt' according to one expert


By midday, you’ve probably sent fifty emails, using ten different signoffs, ranging from emojis and kisses to your office BFF, to a “Kind Regards” to your scary manager, and then, to everyone else, a simple “Best”. “Best” is best, right?

Wrong. The succinct, timeless email signoff is now being trashed as “vulgarised and lazy”. A Bloomberg report said that “Best” is safe and inoffensive, but also “completely and unnecessarily ubiquitous” – and in another series of affronts, "Best" was called “charmless, pallid, impersonal, or abrupt”.

Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, careers expert and PR director, told i100.co.uk that the now omnipresent use of “Best” reflects our tendency to talk in “text-speak” and dumb down the English language.

“In general, the tone we see used in emails today is more relaxed than it once was. Part of the reason for this, I believe, is the increased popularisation of so-called ‘text-speak’. This has had the effect of diluting and, arguably, dumbing down the language we use,” he said. “Ten years ago, for instance, few (if any) emails would end with ‘BW” (‘Best wishes’) or “KR” (‘Kind regards’), yet these are widely used today.”

“‘Best’ is another that has seen a rise in use over the last few years, but ‘best’ what?” he added. “It hangs in the air leaving the recipient waiting with bated breath as to what is to come. Some people leave off any closing noun altogether.”

So how should we end our emails then, if “Best” is lazy, “Yours sincerely” is too formal and “Cheers” is too merry?


According to one etiquette expert, William Hanson, it’s best to sign off with a simple “Thanks so much” – but he also recommended ending emails with “With every best wish” or “With all good wishes”, which just sounds rather time-consuming and overly formal when sending multiple emails to the colleague who sits beside you.

According to the original Bloomberg report, it’s best to end your email with nothing at all. After all, with texting, Facebook messaging and office chatting software like Slack more widespread, who really needs a formal signoff?

“When you put the closing, it feels disingenuous or self-conscious each time,” Liz Danzico, creative director at NPR, argued. “It’s not reflective of the normal way we have conversation.” Barbara Pachter, a business etiquette coach, agreed: “Texting has made e-mail even more informal than it is”.

So next time you’re trawling through the hundreds of messages in your inbox, think of all the time you’ll save just signing off with a full-stop. No name, no formal goodbye, no “Best”. Never “Best”. “Best” is worst. 


Photos: Rex Features



Five ways to stop people interrupting you in the workplace


Sleeping 9 to 5; why going to bed early could revitalise your career


Are you constantly comparing yourself to others?


What your Facebook status says about you


Debate: ​Is it ok to call out social media braggers?


Three easy ways to carve more time from your stress-filled day



Gin lovers, we have distressing news for you…

And there we were thinking 2016 couldn’t get any worse

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

The new Gilmore Girls trailer has us very worried about Lorelai

Lorelai and Rory fans, prepare for a series of bombshells…

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Our kind of cauldron: darkly delicious Halloween cocktail recipes

Jacked-up Negronis and chilli-laced concoctions

by Amy Swales
25 Oct 2016

“Why we need to remove the term Essex Girl from the dictionary”

It's time to reclaim the term once and for all

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Oct 2016

Revealed: the 20 most fashionable baby names in France

These melodic French baby names are très bien

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

Small fibs could turn you into a full-blown liar, study finds

“What a tangled web we weave...”

by Anna Pollitt
25 Oct 2016

Bake Off’s Mary Berry confirmed for brand-new cooking show

And it’s hitting our screens in time for a very Berry Christmas…

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

This 'Very British Problems' Twitter account is all of us

"Best weekend activity: a really nice sitdown"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Oct 2016

13 Going on 30 is the latest film to get a musical makeover

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

This streaming service is so boring it will send you to sleep

Forget Netflix and chill

by Harriet Hall
24 Oct 2016