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best, possibly not the best

Isn't it just fantastic when the newspaper gives you a new, almost entirely meaningless thing to worry about? It's even better when it re-inforces an existing paranoia. And it's the best when this all comes from the New York Times Sunday Styles section:
What’s in an e-mail sign-off? A lot, apparently. Those final few words above your name are where relationships and hierarchies are established, and where what is written in the body of the message can be clarified or undermined. ... Mr. Troutwine is not alone in thinking that an e-mail sender who writes “Best,” then a name, is offering something close to a brush-off. He said he chooses his own business sign-offs in a descending order of cordiality, from “Warmest regards” to “All the best” to a curt “Sincerely.” [nyt]

I have found writing most of today's e-mails to be especially paralyzing endeavors.


i wonder what kind of circle this man travels in. If I get any sort of sign-off at all it's like a gentle kiss on the cheek, even if it's a "hoping you are well" or a "thinking of how I'll kill you" or a simple "fuck off and die." That last one is a favorite round the holidays in my family.
the NYT style section is its own strange universe only tenuously connected to the real world, which is what makes it so oddly fascinating.


you know, i hate to say it but a certain someone that i know has signed their emails to me as "best, *****" and i really hate it because it feels so cold.

Re: eek!

I don't know. Some people really mean it [lj]

Re: eek!

but i wasn't talking about ellen!

I really like "best" -- I actually only use it when I really mean it.

I don't know who that person is who signs business emails "xoxo," that's creepy.
Not only creepy, but signing off with an "xo" seems a lot too Elliott Smith.
Dearest Josh,

Please get back to me ASAP about the files I asked for. I need an ETA by EOD Thursday.

I wish that I could rock the "Love in Christ", but I'm pretty sure that no one would really get it.

fondly yours,

/ josh
Oh fuck, yeah, another thing to worry about. Especially since I'm well-known around the department as the email bitch. I'm a nice person I swear! :'(

I usually end with "Thanks!", although if I'm pissed off it's just "Thanks." Maybe people find it insincere, but it's not--I'm from Kansas, after all.
pretty much everyone at my office signs off with a "thanks". Sometimes to the point of an e-mail consisting only of "josh, thanks, $personsname". at first, I found it odd, but now it's so ingrained that I hardly notice.
Better than my boss, who just forwards emails with no comment and leaves me to divine the meaning. "Wait, am I supposed to fire that person?"
Oh, my favorite was the woman at the NIH who accidentally lost our $11 million grant application, then sent me an email ending with, "Have a safe and blessed weekend!"
Wow. People shore read a lot into things, no?
I suspect that some people have too much time on their hands.
The thing that gets me is that this crap gets into the NYT.