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Triggered by a business email I just sent and by various musings on my f-list:

I really hate people signing off emails or messages "With kind regards". It's not up to me to describe myself as being kind, it's up to the recipient of my supposed kindness to decide if I am getting it right.

I much prefer "With best regards" to someone I don't know, or "Best" to people I do know. I am better placed than anyone to judge if I am sending them my best. Sure, "best" has something of the value of "most favoured nation" about it, but that's still not bad.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
I don't like 'regards' so never use the phrase. I think you can reasonably consider yourself to be thinking kindly of someone and thus 'kind regards' could be justified, although it doesn't mean quite what's intended!
May. 29th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
Mine tend to either 'yours sincerely/faithfully' for people I don't know or 'thanks' with people I do know, mostly because I think science tends towards less formal email endings.
May. 30th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
I go with the 'yours sincerely/faithfully' too. It's what I was taught to do in letters many moons ago.

For people I know it tends to be TTFN - Ta-ta for now.
May. 29th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
At least it's better than "Please sincerely/kindly accept our regards" which has found its way onto some form letters through lazy transposition.
May. 29th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
To quote from Catch-22:
Dear, Mrs, Mr, Miss, or Mr and Mrs Daneeka: Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father or brother was killed, wounded or reported missing in action.
May. 29th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
*giggles in the library*

Yesterday I expressed strong views against naming children after characters from Greek mythology, and was told "I have more power than you since I'll be the one filling in the certificate while you're recovering from the birth... remember Major Major Major Major!"

Poor Doc Daneeka. If I recall correctly, she moved to Lansing, Michigan and gave no forwarding address.

May. 29th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
Dear Dr. Whyte,

The etiquette of written communication is purely conventional and phatic, is it not? The recipient of a business letter is rarely dear, Members are Parliament are not always honourable, Mayors are rarely worshipful, and writers are perhaps not always as sincere or faithful as they claim to be.

Yours sincerely,
Gareth Rees
May. 29th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
k thanx bai
I don't know: I've stuck to the ys/yf convention for ages on business letters. KR just seems an extension of this, when I actually mean something more, erm, friendly/sympathetic/grateful than the usual closing convention.

Written communication is so difficult to get right, especially in a business context: I think that the address and closing words do not have their exact meaning anymore. If translated, the most horribly amusing results come out: my H had a letter from a recruiter addressed "beloved Mr W" which was entertaining :)
May. 29th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: k thanx bai
...I long for the fruits of your warm employment?
May. 29th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
but isn't that saying that your regards are intended kindly rather than that the writer themselves is kind?

When I first started at IKEA, I was confused that everyone signed their emails "bregs" and I thought that it was some odd Swedish saying until I realized that company culture had collectively shorted "best regards" for email purposes.
May. 29th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
I've no problem with someone using 'kindly'/'with kind regards'...to me, it comes across as polite. I don't like people using 'best' with nothing following it. 'Best wishes' is fine, I use that a lot when contacting lecturers/postgrads/etc and I've had no problems in that regard. But when it's just 'Best' on its own, you're sometimes left thinking 'best what?'
May. 29th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Are these people using the kind regards thing from English speaking countries? Because they do it around here sometimes and I always thought it was a case of translation slippage, maybe from the "friendly greetings" Germanic signoff.
May. 30th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC)
Darling Fascist Bully Boy

Give me some more money you bastard.



May. 30th, 2009 11:34 am (UTC)
I have a feeling that "kind regards" dates back to some longer archaic expression from a time when "kind" meant something a bit different. Still, I tell my students it's *more* formal than "regards", and advise them not to use it. I never use "best regards" - I have a feeling this is American English, and I'm not convinced it's not muddled with "best wishes". I discourage my students from using "best" - as someone else said, best what?

The only thing that I actually don't like, though, is when someone addresses a letter with just my name - no "Hi", "Hello" or even "Dear", just "Liberaliser" - as if they're shouting at me in the street. But, er, *coughs* I only know one person who addresses their emails in this way. :-D
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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