Wednesday, 11 October 2017


-| Last Impressions |- 



Forget what you’ve heard about first impressions; it’s the last impressions that count. Last impressions — whether they’re with customer service or a date — are the ones we remember. They’re the ones that keep us coming back. But there’s one kind of final impression that people seem to forget.

Were this 1904, according to A Dictionary Of Etiquette: A Guide to Polite Usage For All Social Functions, standard conclusions were: I remain sincerely yours, or, Believe me faithfully yours.


The email signoff — that line that you write before you type your name — has been all but forgotten. Go take a look at your inbox: you might be astonished at how little attention people pay to the closing lines when writing email. This underrated rhetorical device is so frequently disregarded that many people have the gall to simply attach an automatic one to their email or mobile signature.


Closing lines vary from the possibly self-conscious (“My warmest regards,”) to the often charmless (”Best,“). They, at least in my inbox, revealed the following:



Tnx


Best


Later


Laters


Thanks


Cheers


Cheery


Take care


Feel better


All the best


Safe travels


Love you all


Super great


Best regards


Get well soon


With gratitude


Your weary friend


Thanks in advance


Thanks, all the best


Don’t work too hard


Hope to see you Thursday


Hope to hear from you soon


Warm regards right back at ya



It seems there are patterns in closing line types. If ordered another way, they look like this:


Expressing gratitude:



  • Tnx
  • Thanks
  • Thanks family
  • Thanks in advance
  • Thanks, all the best


Expressing general sentiment :



  • Best
  • All the best
  • Best regards
  • Word
  • Later
  • Laters
  • Cheers
  • Cheery


Expressing affection :



  • Love
  • Love you
  • Love you all


Expressing state :



  • Your weary friend
  • With gratitude


Imperatives



  • Feel better
  • Take care
  • Safe travels
  • Get well soon
  • Don’t work too hard


Wishes :



  • Hope to see you Thursday
  • Hope to hear from you soon!
  • Warm regards right back at ya



With all of these, the intensity and — dare I say — sincerity varies depending on punctuation. A warm “Thanks!” can have quite a different sentiment than a flat “Thanks,”. We can’t be expected to neatly tie up every email every time. But once in a while, it would be delightful if we applied the same sincerity to the last impression that we do to the first.



Yours.

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