Discussion in 'English Only' started by malgosia, Nov 22, 2010.
Is it correct to sign off a letter / email like this:
It's informal and perhaps a little abrupt, but perfectly acceptable in many situations. Whether or not it's correct is something no-one could judge outside the context of the particular letter or email.
It's a very common closing in the US, for anyone with whom you are friendly (whether on a personal or business basis). You would not properly use it in a formal communication with a stranger.
It is understood to be short for "best regards," or "best wishes".
It entirely depends who you're talking to, Jane. It always feels very abrupt/lazy to me (personally).
See my grumpy views on this in Letter: Closing - 'Best,' vs. 'Bests,'
Far back in the history of the transmission of newspaper stories by wire, i.e. telegraphy and Teletype, operators had a standard set of codes to use in order to economize effort and wire time.
Many people are aware of the traditional '-30-' signifying "end of story." There were, however, more codes such as '-95-' meaning BULLETIN and, finally getting to the point, '-73-' meaning "Regards, best wishes and all that." (See HERE for a wider discussion)
The practice continued for a while in the industry. And even after computerized message systems came into existence, we kept messages terse out of habit from sending inter-bureau messages on Teletypes.
Gradually, we became wildly verbose and started signing off messages with things like 'Rgds' and 'best' instead of '-73-'.
It never occurred to me that some of my esteemed acquaintances might take offense at my somewhat abbreviated, but nevertheless heartfelt expression of camaraderie, e.g. "Best."
So for those folks, I shall, in the future, sign off my messages with "With all the heartfelt regards that any mere human could possibly muster with every good wish for your continued good health and happiness"
Since I really am far too lazy to write all that drivel, I will, of course simply copy and paste from another source, but the appearance will be good, no?
In the meantime,
Oh I wouldn't say I find it 'offensive', SDG ~ just 'abrupt and lazy'.
I'm pretty certain that the vast majority of today's 'besters' wouldn't even know what wireless telegraphy is (or was). I certainly had no idea about all those numerical codes and stuff. In future I'll look upon your 'Best's as quaint archaisms But I'll carry on considering young folk's 'Best's lazy and abrupt
Wireless telegraphy ? Isn't that an oxymoron or perhaps it's WiFi?
Actually, ships at sea used it quite frequently, e.g., ... --- ...
Despite being an ardent addict of all things 19th Century*, I've never managed to get my head round the technology or nomenclature of telegrammery.
*Oops ~ I'm not saying you're that old, SDG
Separate names with a comma.