Cheers - alternative complimentary closing

Discussion in 'English Only' started by laustralienne, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. laustralienne Member

    le pays des kangourous
    I'm a real hater of the "Cheers" phenomenon: I personally like it only as a clinking-of-glasses thing, but not as an alternative to a spoken "Thank you", or even worse, as a closing to an email or letter. I find it really sloppy, especially in informal business relations *shudder* :(

    What could be used, other than "regards", "thanks", "best regards" for the closing of a business email or letter where "yours", "yours truly", "sincerely", "faithfully" would be too formal?
  2. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    I'm not sure why "Yours truly" would be "too formal" for a business correspondence. "Sincerely" and "faithfully" sound too old-fashioned to my ear. I can't think of any other alternatives than the ones you've already listed. I agree with you about "cheers", though - sounds much to "chipper" for business correspondence.:)
  3. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hi there laustralienne

    In business emails (in the days when I wrote them), I actually preferred no sign-off at all.

    Regards, thanks, best regards


    EDIT: I agree with panj (below) about letters.
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I have adopted two approaches to this.
    If the communication seems formal enough to be something like an official letter, I used the official letter forms - usually Yours sincerely ...

    If the communication is less formal, it simply stops and I add my name. In some contexts this may seem ungracious. Sorry about that, but I mean no offence.

    Clearly, Loob and I communicate by sub-etheral, faster-than-light devices. She's right, and so am I.
  5. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    Traditionally, business letters were closed with "yours truly", with a more formal alternative of "very truly yours". "Sincerely" and "sincerely yours" were considered inappropriate for business letters, and were instead used for social letters only. Nowadays, of course, one can find high-level executives who sign business correspondence to complete strangers with the inappropriate "cordially", or the absurd "warmest personal regards". In such circumstances, I am quite content to have e-mails arrive with no complimentary close at all.
  6. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English

    Dear Laustalienne,

    Well, you should move to the USA, we never (almost never) sign off with "cheers". (I never have--sounds too British).

    When I started writing e-mails I began each with "Dear ____" and signed off with "Regards, Packard". I was told that my e-mails looked too much like letters. So now I just write the person's name and a dash and sign it with "Packard".

    "Regards" seems sufficiently neutral that it could be used anywhere (sort of like a 2 button blue suit--suitable for any occasion).

    When people write to me I generally insist that they do so while genuflecting on bended knee out of respect. They generally sign off with "With deepest respects for one of the great minds in the universe".


  7. Probably off-topic, but younger posters may be interested to know that up to about fifty years ago, we ended business letters thus:

    And oblige.
    I remain, sir,
    Your obedient servant,

    I bet some letter-writers still do.
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  9. scrotgrot Senior Member

    English - English
    I find that, at least in Britain, most modern business correspondence e-mails finish with regards. Personally, as I'm just a student and not yet in "business" of any sort, I prefer to write a simple thanks.

    Cheers is more of a "bro" or "faux-bro" sort of thanks and I can imagine it being used between quasi-friends within an office, but not when talking to someone from outside the company or in another office.
  10. Jam on toast

    Jam on toast Senior Member

    British English
    Although it's a bit cringeworthy, I often see "kind regards". I don't like it though.
    I'll decide if you're "kind", sender!

    Personally, I use just a simple "regards" when I feel for some reason I have to add my name.

    Normally I tend to just finish with no trimmings whatsoever. They know who they got the email from, after all. The text itself should convey my emotions, not the flim-flam at the end.
  11. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I always sign my e-mails with "regards" and I've been told by my coworkers that it is rude. I disagree.

    Their argument is that I am damning by faint regards.

    They say, do you send your "best wishes", "good wishes" or just "wishes"?
    They tell me that "good wishes" and "wishes" would be insulting because people would expect "best wishes".

    I still sign off as "regards". (Of course this is the same guy that tells people to "have a day". I would not presume to tell someone what type of day they should have.)
  12. Copperknickers Senior Member

    Scotland - Scots and English
    I wouldn't use it in a formal letter, but it's a must in most British dialects. 'Thanks' in Glasgow at least sounds almost too formal for someone you know.
  13. Eva 22 New Member

    English-US, French-Belgian mom in US
    Ok, I have come to the ultimate conclusion on the subject of how to end your emails.


    That's right. When you write best regards, someone will say it sounds weird and should be kind regards, when you write kind regards, someone will say it sounds weird and should just be regards, when you write regards, someone will say its rude and should be best wishes, if you write best wishes, someone will say it's too informal and it should be yours sincerely, if you write yours sincerely, someone will say it's outdated, then if you don't write anything people will say it's just wrong.

    So, because you can never win, and you can never make everyone happy, just stick to whatever you've been writing and to h*ll with everyone else!!

    Cheers! (decided to end with cheers since this is in fact the subject of this thread)
  14. linguos

    linguos Senior Member

    I use it often when I'm writing to someone who is older or simply more experienced than me and I need their help or when I just want to thank them for something they had done for me. Do you think it's inappropriate?

    As a non-native speaker, I learned it form a website for ESL students. According to it "Best regards" should be used in formal context as opposed to "Best wishes" for informal correspondence. "Kind regards" was meant to be even more formal.
  15. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    Actually, I know a great many people here in the US who sign off with "cheers"; it's by no means exclusively British.

    An alternative that hasn't been mentioned: Use something specific to the message. It's not always possible, but when appropriate, one can close with something like:

    Looking forward to your reaction,
    Hoping for better weather,
    Good luck on your exams,
  16. Jam on toast

    Jam on toast Senior Member

    British English
    hi linguos,
    I personally don't like "kind regards", but I doubt that anyone would take serious offence. I see "best regards" and "kind regards" a lot so you're not alone. I just find it somewhat unpleasant to try to sweeten the message with such an ending when the message itself is really supposed to convey your emotions to the receiver.

    I've received a good number of business emails with unpleasant or aggressive contents, finished with a "happy" sign-off message like "kind regards" or "best regards" (added without thought I'm sure), which tells me that the sign-off message is meaningless.

    But perhaps I'm just cranky!
  17. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    Most of the e-mails I get have no salutation other than my name, and no closing other than their name.

    I see most e-mails as nothing more than a jotted memo that used to be used for office communications. Often the name would be replaced by a capital letter as such:

    Get this letter out as soon as you can.


    And for e-mail messages within our company usually do the same.

  18. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Erm, yes, I'm one of those people who might do this sort of thing in friendly email:

    • Take care,
    • See you soon,
    • Speak to you later,
    And I use 'Cheers' too - and am not apologetic about that. So there! ;)
  19. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    For those interested, there's a previous post regarding regards: "regards" rude?

  20. pygn New Member

    Lisbon, Portugal
    US English
    I like "All the best," or just "Best," as all-purpose closings.
  21. L‘Ar du diver

    L‘Ar du diver New Member

    Hi, all
    I work in a international college in Beijing China. Based on what I get from this thread and my work environment, I think which sort of closing would be singed off depends on the personality and position of a letter writer. For example, the Headmaster of my college, a British guy with great sense of humor, usually sign off "Best wishes", "many thanks" or just name. And the head of ER, a woman with bad temper, sign only name forever. As an common staff, I leave best regards for closing which I think may be appropriate.

    Of course, just a small part of people care about the closing, the other big part of them never have look at it. I believe persons in this thread belong to the former.

    Best wishes,
    L'Ar du diver
  22. voca88 New Member

    English - American
    I still don't understand the phrase "Cheers" because it may substitute a "thank you" but the proper response to it is "thank you." What does it mean??
  23. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Welcome to the forum, Voca:)

    For cheers = 'thankyou' (and appropriate responses) see here >>>
    [h=1]Cheers for thankyou[/h]
    This thread is about cheers = 'goodbye'/'best wishes'/etc.

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