Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Friday, July 8, 2011

My, What Sincere Emails You Have

You know how sometimes an email or a letter will be signed, 'sincerely, so and so'? That's always set me a little on edge, to be honest.

If you have to tell me that you're being sincere, it's just going to make me think that you're not. It's Shakespearean really- methinks you protesteth too much. I am sincere, really, really and truly I am.

And also, it makes me think, okay, you are being sincere NOW, but what about all the times you don't say 'sincerely'? Is that when your wooing me into your web of lies? Huh? Answer me that.


Bonnie said...

My mum's mantra for my teenage years and early adult-hood: Never trust a man who says 'trust me'.

Similar idea, I guess. If you need to say it, you probably aren't.

Christine said...

mum Mother said the same thing to me Bonnie :)

Wendy said...

I know what you mean. We've had visitors in our house the last two weeks and the 9 year old boy keeps saying "Trust me". It is driving me crazy!!

Karen said...

What would be your alternative suggestions? (in emails I tend to use "kind regards" for people I don't know well, and "cheers" for more familiar people...)

KIM said...

It's American!! That's how you're SUPPOSED to close letters! Besides, what are the alternatives?

Kind regards: perfect if you're a kindly 50-plus moderately professional (i.e., church secretary) woman.

Best regards: perfect if you're writing to tell someone they didn't get the job, you decided not to tell them you want to publish their manuscript, etc.

Yours faithfully: perfect if you're British.

Yours sincerely: perfect if you're a romantic 19th century fictional character.

Best: perfect if you don't actually care a hoot about the addressee.

Regards: also perfect if you just don't care.

Best regards: how much more perfectly passive can you get?

Yours: perfect if you're actually married.

Cheers: perfect if you're Australian.

Kirribilli Kim

Ben McLaughlin said...

You're right, only dodgy people say 'trust me'. Real estate agents. Used car salesmen etc.

Kim, thanks for the indepth exposition, I appreciate it. What you say is all well and good, but the fact is, all of those sign offs sound silly and unnatural. The problem remains is that there is a big hole in the market, we need a regular sign off that suits the majority of situations. I use cheers, but that's silly too, because I never use it in spoken speech. The real issue is that I want to say 'love Ben', but that's too lovey and over familiar.