Back last century when I did a secretarial course, it was all so easy – if you started “Dear Sir” you ended “Yours faithfully”. If you started “Dear Mr Bigby” you ended “Yours sincerely”.
Emails have changed all this, throwing our written leave-taking into confusion. Now our business correspondence is largely via email, and this is so much more informal, what is appropriate? And how do we differentiate between business and more personal emails?
For a while, I noticed “Best wishes, regards or kind regards”. All was fine and I tended to reciprocate in kind. “Love” as a sign-off was reserved for my family and close friends – loved ones.
But somehow people can’t leave it at a standard sign-off; or perhaps, tempted by a loosening up of conventions, their creativity and self-expression has started to blossom. Anyway, when stuck in the company of my computer and unable to ‘people watch’, I started noticing the variety of closing messages:
Some people seem to have started varying the warmth of their closing sign-off, perhaps in an attempt to make emails more personal. So I have received ‘warm wishes, warmest wishes and warm regards from those who wish – well, to add more warmth to their sign-off. Today I received “fondest wishes” in the first communication from a new acquaintance, which prompted these reflections.
Some seem to want to add a spiritual element, or to show their spiritual allegiance, by signing ‘Namaste’, ‘Bright Blessings’ or ‘Angelic blessings’, while others seem to have an urge to be creative, to personalise or to make their own individual mark.
I was suitably impressed some years ago by the NLP Master Trainer who started signing off with “Be Well”. It was the most original and unique sign off and, better still, a positive suggestion. Others must have liked it too, as this particular signature statement has been much copied amongst the NLP/personal development community, who have taken it up, or tried for their own variations of “Stay Well” (not so good if the recipient is not well) or “Get well” (equally unfortunate if they regard themselves as already well) or “Be Well Now” for added emphasis!
Meanwhile the originator continues to use his sign-off, probably secure in the knowledge that ‘us NLPers’ all know where this one originated…
So what is your experience? What is the most unusual, meaningful or interesting closing wish or greeting you have received? And does your own signature statement reflect the message you wish to convey?
Wishing you, dear reader, the most stimulating blessings of mind, body and spirit you could possibly wish for on this bright and cheerful day,