Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

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

rexfeatures_4553667a.jpg

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?

workplace

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

Related

9to5_53.jpg

Five ways to stop people interrupting you in the workplace

5988_062080_rt.jpg

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

main_01rt.jpg

Are you constantly comparing yourself to others?

ThinkstockPhotos-465112058_edited-1.jpg

What your Facebook status says about you

louiseabdalla.jpg

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

busy-work-table.jpg

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

More

The best and coolest gluten-free restaurants, cafes and bakeries in the UK

We bring you 29 places to chow down sans gluten

23 Aug 2017

Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner unveil their Ned Stark impressions

Spoiler: they’re hilarious

by Amy Swales
23 Aug 2017

Sylvanian Families has been given a seriously adult makeover

We’re obsessed with these furry foul-mouthed critters

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Aug 2017

The second series of Victoria has an important mental health storyline

The ITV show is tackling issues as relevant now as ever

by Amy Swales
23 Aug 2017

This terrifying new TV series relives the horror of Trump’s election

Lena Dunham, Sarah Paulson and Emma Roberts will star in the new series of American Horror Story

by Moya Crockett
23 Aug 2017

Woman ghosted by her ex gets ultimate revenge by becoming his boss

Revenge is sweet

by Megan Murray
23 Aug 2017

Former Lioness says women’s football has a toxic culture of bullying

Ex-England player Eni Aluko has spoken out about her time on the team.

by Moya Crockett
23 Aug 2017

Thought-provoking illustrations reveal hidden secrets of strangers

The artist was met with “unexpected confessions”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

The most annoying Tube habits, as ranked by irritated Londoners

“Could you move down, please?”

by Amy Swales
22 Aug 2017

These are the main reasons relationships end, according to a new study

...and the reasons couples stay together

by Megan Murray
22 Aug 2017