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What is Your Email Sign-Off Actually Saying About You?

What is Your Email Sign-Off Actually Saying About You?

Person typing out an email on her computer

Ah, the good old email signature. It’s a source of stress for many a business professional and a provider of anxiety for the socially unsure. And while you may think nobody’s really getting to the end of your emails anyway (who has the time, right?), you’d be surprised how many people are not only reading all the way down to the sign-off, but reading into it, too. Don’t rub someone the wrong way just because you couldn’t be bothered to do the bare minimum for the sake of manners – we need a little humanity buried in our mountain of never-ending emails, thanks!

A guide to decoding common email sign-offs

What you say at the end of a digital exchange definitely matters, so what exactly are you saying? We’ve put together a handy guide to help you translate the underlying message of all your possible email sign-offs.

Warmly,

“I’m over-eager for you to feel quickly comfortable with this business relationship and will definitely cross a couple of socially-acceptable lines to get there! I hope you think about a two-seconds-too-long hug when you read this.”

Best,

“I’m not entirely sure what to say to you, and I’m not entirely ready to commit to any of my options. So instead, I shall throw you a single superlative and leave the rest to your imagination. Best what? What is the best? I’m not sure, but I wish it upon you, I guess.”

Cheers,

“I am definitely not English but definitely want you to imagine me holding champagne in a museum in Europe, toasting our new business venture into the new year. I do (or have at one point or other tried to) wear a monocle.”

Thanks,

“I’m expecting you to do the thing I just asked you to do. I’m not quite “Thanks in advance”-ing you (because that would be aggressive), but I am passively nudging you in the direction of doing the thing I have essentially thanked you in advance for. So, thanks.”

Sincerely,

“Dear diary, today I had to write a whole email to someone I don’t very much enjoy speaking with and this act required that I bury all of my feelings beneath per my last email’s and hope this finds you well‘s. Blegh. To finish things off, I mustered up the strength to end with a perfunctory sincerely, despite that nothing about the message was, in fact, sincere.”

Sent from my iPhone

“I read this in line at Subway.”

Regards,

“I am a time traveler from the 1800s barely concealing myself. Please help. I don’t know how to reopen the wormhole.”

No sign-off

SAVAGE.

Ciao

Okay, rather than translating this one for you, we’ll give you a word of advice. Do NOT be this person. Never under any circumstances are you to be this person, unless, of course, you’re Italian, although we haven’t actually fact-checked the acceptability of this signature with any native Italian speakers, so you’re better off resorting to literally anything else. Even an ‘xoxo, Gossip Girl’ would be funnier and probably less cringe-worthy under any conceivable circumstance. Do not. Sign off. With ‘Ciao’. Get it? Got it? Good.

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A quick review

Okay, so now that we’ve established the meanings behind these sign-offs, it’s time to make sure that these translations stick.

In case you forget your new go-to or just want to strike an extremely specific tone, Twitter user Julia Burnham has created a handy guide to emailing your way to success.

Armed with this, you’ll be well on your way to sending signatory subliminal messages over the email in no time. (Though, to be fair, the whole point of this is that you already were, so now it will just be purposefully.)

Thanks for reading. Ciao!

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