Valedictions

Tony and I agree on most of the big and important issues in life: How to raise our children, how to spend money, what kind of car we should have, politics (mostly), but one thing that we do not see eye to eye on is the best use of valedictions. You know, those end-y things at the bottom of emails.

The specific valediction that we disagree on is the use of “Cheers” at the end of an email. I find it folksy and disrespectful, and I don’t know exactly why, but a little bit condescending too. I feel it has no place in work or personal email, unless you are emailing your friend from the bar. Finding just the right way to end an email can be difficult though, and so the following is a recent email conversation that Tony and I had with some of his colleagues regarding this important issue:

Hi Finola,

We’re having a debate today (mostly Rick and Liza) about appropriate valedictions for emails. Seems Liza hates “Cheers” as much as you, while Rick uses it regularly. Rick has now researched several hundred alternatives (apparently he doesn’t have enough to do today). Seems we have a winner. There is much interest here in your opinion.

Toodle pip,
Tony

************

Dear Tony,

Thank you for your recent email, and while I did laugh out loud, I believe that further research may be warranted. Perhaps this following reference would be of use?
(link to book of valedictions)

Keep your teeth,
Finola

************

Dear Finola,

Thank you for your valued response. However, I will have to strongly disagree. Toodle pip is perfect.

Toodel pip,
Rick

************

Dear Rick,

Now I hate to quibble, but you have misspelled “Toodle” in your valediction. I do trust you will pay more attention in the future.

Courage,
Finola

************

Thank you all for your input. I think I’ll get back to work now.

Hermetically,
Tony

************

Now you’re just making ’em up.

GLHF,
Finola

************

AcronymGeek.com only lists three possibilities…
Griffin Leggett Funeral Home
Georgia Local and Family History
Great Lakes Fur Harvesters
I’m stumped.

Keep on truckin’,
Tony

************

Rick wrote:
Go lick her foot or good luck have fun.

************

Hmm… plans for tonight.

My therapist says you don’t exist,
Tony

************

It was the second one. Nice try honey.
I’m thinking this is a blog post.

Bloggingly yours,
Finola

************

I think we’re scaring them now.

May I always live to serve you and your crown,
Tony

************

Dear Tony and Finola,

Liza and I can’t decide if we are sad for Tony, that foot licking is out of the question, or weirded-out that it seems to have been an option.

Toodle pip,
Rick

************

After that there really was nothing left to say. So, bloggy people who likely write a lot of emails, I am interested in your thoughts on this one. How do you sign emails, for work and in your personal life? A lot of productive people would like to know.

Cheerio,
Finola

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
This entry was posted in toodle pip, valedictions. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Valedictions

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well for work it's either “regards” or “kind regards.” Personal emails are love & kisses πŸ™‚

  2. Kelley says:

    That was me ^ πŸ™‚

  3. Laura says:

    I laughed aloud throughout this post. Brilliant post! So…I am guilty of over using “cheers” but in my defence, I am almost always sitting in a bar when I respond to emails.

    I struggle with how to end most emails. I’m not a fan of β€œBest” or β€œTake Care”…but other valedictions don’t wow me either. I look forward to reading other comments for creative ideas.

    Later skater.
    Laura

  4. I use regards or many thanks for work related emails (depending on the nature of the email), and cheers for personal – maybe because in all cases I'd rather be clinking glasses in a pub with the person than sending a note:)

  5. Lara says:

    Hilarious. Also, can I go work with Tony, rick and Liza? Sounds like fun! πŸ™‚

    I use a lot of
    Sincerely,
    Look forward to hearing from you,

    Boringly yours,

    Lara

  6. Amy says:

    I might just leave today's blog reading at this and call it a day!

    I often use “warmly” if it's business related (personal business since I'm not working). I especially like this if the tone of my email is less than warm… πŸ˜‰

    Although faith is a big part of my life, it bugs me when people sign off with “In Christ” or “blessings”, etc. Seem contrived.

    With many thanks for the bloggy gem,
    Amy @ Muddy Boots

  7. Anonymous says:

    Awesome post! I confess to using cheers much more than I perhaps should; I also use best or best regards. Hmmm. Ponderingly yours, cathy

  8. Alicia says:

    I use Cheers all the time at work. I think I picked it up from an older colleague a couple years ago and I haven't found anything better. Now, I'm 2nd guessing. Sometimes it doesn't feel right though so I will usually say thanks or regards. I had a colleague that always signed his emails “health, name” and that drove me batty. Haha.

  9. Erica says:

    I write correspondence for public servants and politicians, and several of them sign off with “Yours sincerely.” I find this “yours” completely ridiculous, particularly in letters about how we don't have any funding or programs for the recipient.

    In my own emails, I am wholly informal. If I'm signing off my emails at all, it'll be “-e.” unless I'm asking for something, in which case it becomes “Thank you for [whatever]! -e.”

  10. Brilliant post! Enjoyed it so much. I also bristle at “cheers” … it just gets on my nerves. I tend to use stock-standard things like “thanks” and “best.” However, my DH likes to end phone calls with “Keep your legs together!” so maybe I will try that one in future.

  11. Sasha says:

    “valedictions. You know, those end-y things at the bottom of emails.”

    Well, no, I didn't know, but now I do.

    This made me laugh out loud. Repeatedly. Thanks!!!

    Valedictively yours,

    Sasha

    PS. No cheers. Duly noted.
    PPS. Except from the bar. Definitely doable πŸ™‚
    PPS. How do you feel about post-scripts?

  12. Chantal says:

    I am boring and often use Thank you. When dealing with work customers I use 'Thank you kindly' which I picked up from our customers in the Caribbean who sign off that way often.

  13. Liisa says:

    I have no use for “Cheers”. What does it mean? Are we virtually clinking glasses about a potential future meeting date?

    In a work email, I often leave it to just my name because I can't think of anything appropriate. If it's something more formal I'll add “sincerely”.

    If it's personal but formal I'll add “warm wishes”. Otherwise, again, I just use my name with a line above it indicating next steps like “can't wait to hear back from you” or “bye for now” etc…

    And again, I really strongly despise “cheers”.

    Bye for now.

  14. Lynn says:

    Hee hee hee! I am madly in love with Toddle Pip. I just wish I had the balls to actually use it. πŸ™‚

    I usually sign my emails with just my name; business type stuff I use “Sincerely.” Does this mean I am cold-hearted and snooty? I'm so embarrassed!

  15. Sid. says:

    Wow, who knew people felt so strongly about “Cheers”? I use it all the time in a business-casual manner (i.e., not a formal email but in day-to-day colleague-level emails). To me it simply replaces “Thanks” and conveys a friendly tone.

    My personal email pet-peeve is people who put their entire education in letters in their signature block (like PhD, LLB, MBA, RMT, BSc, etc.). To me it's completely irrevelant and smacks of pretension.

  16. Elliot Ross` says:

    I howled Finola ! – loved it!

    I have occasionally used Cheers with aquaintences

    But for business, depending on the recipient it will be Regards, or Sincerely.

    Coworker types that you have 'asked' something from I will just end with 'Thanks!' or even Tx for a close one

    If it is family – I don't use one at all

    I think my laughter has finally subsided πŸ™‚

    Sincerely,

    Elliot

  17. Capital Mom says:

    Too funny! I somehow always manage to close an email with Thanks.

  18. Allison P. says:

    Now I'm going to be on the search for an excellent sign off (like Toodle-pip… I do like that!). But I do want to cast another vote AGAINST “Cheers!” Can't stand it!

  19. ezmy says:

    Yep I think Toodle Pip is what I'm going to go with from now on.

    I use 'Cheers' if I don't know the person but it's still a casual email. I don't know when I started using it because I do know that there was a time when I hated it…huh. I use 'Best' a lot. Or 'Have a lovely day' which seems long but when others use, it makes me smile, so whatever. Work emails require 'Sincerely' or 'Regards' I think.
    But none of this matters anymore. It's Toodle Pip from here on out.

  20. jenny gee says:

    Huh… little did I realize. I tend to use Cheers for colleague level/non-official emails because I feel it's friendlier than not having a valediction and just signing one's name – which I find brusque, like one couldn't be bothered with a nicety at the end of the email. Or, if it's been a repeated back and forth, I'll go with -j.

    Otherwise, I will use Thanks if I'm asking a work colleague something. Then when it's an official type email to bosses/people I don't know, I will use “Best”, “Regards”, or “Many Thanks”. I also save my signature block for official emails because I hate the amount of data/space it takes up.

    And I can completely blame Queen's University for teaching me to use Cheers as a valediction. πŸ˜‰

  21. Hilarious!

    How about just,

    Finola

  22. This is your best post ever! Hilarious! It's so nice to add some humor to the business email, no?

    I hate signing my emails. I usually just do my name. Sometimes, “Sincerely,” but that's so sincere. Professors of mine used to do “Best,” so I sometimes do it, too, but my husband hates it, so I can't get him out of my head.

    I try “Regards,” but that might sound warmer than I actually am. If I do like the person, I've tried “Take care.”

    It's a real friggin' dilemma. I think I like Toodle-pip, though. That would really confuse some people.

    But I think “Cheers” is okay in the right company.

  23. Tony says:

    I use cheers frequentlly in short friendly emails with colleagues who also use it. It seems to work well as “you're welcome”… i.e some one sends a request and signs off “thanks” you send back the answer with “cheers”. This only works though if you know the person. It's especially common in academic circles.

    Best regards is usually shortened to either best or regards; I don't know now which is better.

    Snap, Crackle, Pop

    Tony

  24. Eileen says:

    I don't mind 'Cheers' as a signoff from people who mean a lot to me (Hi, Tony!). To family, I always use 'Love', and to friends 'Regards'.

    One signoff I love, but don't use is 'So Long'. Stuart McLean uses it on the Vinyl Cafe. Clyde Gilmour always used it too on Gilmour's Albums, and I wonder if that's why Stuart carries it on. (His programme replaced Gilmour's Albums.)

  25. Finola says:

    Wow, I love all of the responses I have gotten to this post. Thank you All! I think I will be asking Rick, Liza and Tony to provide more material for future posts!

  26. Cindy W says:

    Oh my. I giggled throughout this read. I'm guilty of using cheers, but like ezmy, I remember a time when I didn't enjoy reading it but can't remember why I went to the dark side. I also use warm regards or just regards depending on the situation, but I think it's toodle pip going forward.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  27. Urban Girl says:

    Love this post!

    Valedictions (and what to use) makes me think of Notes from the Universe – the messages here have great sign offs.

    I always look forward to reading them for that exact reason! : )

  28. Sara says:

    snort. Love this.

    See you soon,
    Sara

  29. DaniGirl says:

    Oh dear, apparently I have been cheezing off the seething masses with my perky “Cheers!” at the end of many, many e-mails. It seemed a little less happy than my former favourite sign-off, TTFN. Do you think it helps that I also usually put a smiley emoticon in front of my name?

    (BTW, this is a BOLO post if I've ever read one. Just sayin'.

    Cheers!
    πŸ™‚ Dani

  30. Pauline says:

    I like the “My therapist says you don't exist” one. LOL

    I sign most of my emails Thanks/Thank you, Later or Take Care, depending on who I'm speaking to. πŸ™‚

  31. Mccu11och says:

    I don't like all of this cheers bashing. It seems to me that people are reading cheers in a way other than I intend it. To me, when I end with cheers it means “thanks” and “good day” all in one, with a positive, friendly tone. I am not picturing wine glasses as I write it.
    I do like Tony’s idea of random adjectives and statements as valedictions though. Hermetically is pretty great. It is one small step from inventing a meaningless word for the task.
    In the face of all of this controversy I think I will stick with cheers. I'm going to save Toodle Pip for toasting.

    Cheers,

    Rick

  32. This was hilarious!
    Sorry about cheers – I've been using it for years πŸ˜‰ only with peers with whom I'd go out for beers. πŸ™‚ See, I'd take you out for a beer, so it works, except, you don't like it πŸ˜‰

    Not close friends or fam, that's Love or Later!, more like close colleagues I respect. For all other biz it's sincerely or Thanks, Usually does the trick.

    Of course, here, I could be super irritating, and just go,

    YKWIM?

    Heather

  33. JuliaR says:

    I like “yrs” or “yrs etc.” which I think I got from an old Georgette Heyer novel.

    I love the other suggestions and who knew there was an entire book on this – thanks Jeff!

    I shall rethink the whole thing for friendly emails. Business ones are almost always “sincerely”. I noticed that while you don't like “Cheers”, you signed the last one “Cheerio” which is in the same family, no?

  34. Greg says:

    Yay, I get to revive the commenting following BOLO!

    I use Cheers. Often. But “Cheers” is an informal way throughout the British Isles and Australia (and I suspect other former protectorates of the UK, of which we are one) of saying any number of things, including (primarily) “Thank you,” or “You're Welcome” depending on the context.

    It's not a virtual glass-clink, though many people would also use it in that way throughout the world.

    I can't feel badly about saying “Thanks” or “You're Welcome” at the end of an informal email in which either of those would also be appropriate. πŸ™‚

  35. 1qtnewf says:

    Oh gosh, mine isn't really an actual sign off at all…it usually looks like this:

    xoxox
    ~J

    Except at work. They recently told me it was unprofessional. Harumph!

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