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06th Sep 2019

What your email sign-off says about you

Ciara Knight


May I present to you the greatest email-themed tweet of our generation:

With the greatest respect to Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of electronic mail, emails suck ass. They’re boring, they’re lengthy, they bring out the worst in people and they distract us from what really matters in life – trying to look busy at work while you hand-pick funny tweets to send to your favourite colleagues.

The chilling notification tone that floods your ears midway through the admittedly quite mediocre Discover Weekly playlist is a real buzz killer. “This better be important”, you think to yourself as you open the mail, learning that the work kitchen will be off limits during lunchtime today for a presentation about gluten-free gluten. Feel free to attend 🙂

Typically, the real meat of any email comes at the end. The sign-off gives away far more than the entire body of text. With just one word, the sender can convey so much, especially if they’ve been forced at gunpoint to send the message.

Here’s what your go-to email sign-off says about you.


Well pardon me for stealing your attention, your majesty. I can clearly sense that you’ve barely got enough time to read this important body of work, so I’ll keep it brief. You are a high-flyer. You eat, sleep, drink, breathe and fuck business. The email icon on your phone has no fewer than 3,000 notifications right now as you simply haven’t got the time to clear them all. “If it’s that important, they’ll call me”, you tweet from the phone that hasn’t rang in five years.

You refuse to acknowledge climate change because it’s simply not on your daily agenda that you write out each morning and are in complete control of. Your work desk is littered with papers to make you seem important, but the pages are blank, just like your heart. Each night when you get home from work, you scream into the abyss, hoping something or someone will scream back. “We’re all alright, we’re all alright”, you hear, but it’s just a rerun of That 70s Show starting. You’ve seen this episode before, but you find comfort in the monotony of everyday life. You say it best, when you say best.


Finally, some sincerity in this godforsaken world! The body of your email was an excruciating waste of time, detailing an innovative new system whereby recyclable items should actually be placed into the recycling bin, something that absolutely needed to be said and shared en masse around the office. But you needed to really hammer home how serious this whole thing is, so you did a quick Google search of ‘good ways to end an email’ and bingo, seven lines down, ‘sincerely’ snuck its way into your eager little heart, burying itself there until the end of time.

You love to share important causes on your Facebook feed, which reaches an estimation of about six people. When someone offers you a piece of chewing gum and you notice that it’s their last one, you make a big deal about refusing it. They insist, you decline and it ends in a performatively polite standoff. You’ll end up taking the gum, but it’ll taste that little bit sweeter knowing that everyone in earshot considers you to be a caring and considerate person who is reluctant to strip someone of their final piece of gum. You are a never nude and your personality is a culmination of everyone you’ve ever met that you consider to be cool.

Warm Regards

You needed something a little spicier than ‘Regards’ after sending a particularly heated email and it has to be respected because you’ve absolutely nailed it. “We regret to inform you that your position in this company is no longer required. Your contract will be terminated with immediate effect. Warm regards”. That’s a classy touch and the recipient is sure to appreciate it as they pack up their desk after seventeen loyal years with the company. You really have a way with people. You’re a leader, but when the situation dictates, also a follower. No one can ever say that you’re cold.

You’ve read countless books on how to manage people and it shows. In times of conflict, you’re always the first to suggest that we all “park it there for now”, ushering everyone out to an early subsidised lunch so you can avoid having to do any real work. Regardless of the average temperature on the day in question, your warm regards are always well received by all that they touch. You will die alone, surrounded by healthcare professionals who are contractually obliged to be there. You final words will be “Warm re-” and everyone will just assume you were going to say ‘Warm refried beans”. RIP.

Best Wishes

Relax, champ. Are we signing a birthday card or sending an all-staff email reminding people of the importance of clocking in and out on time? Your over-familiarity is suffocating. How dare you wish the best for anyone, that is not your place. Stick to what you know, which is constructing admittedly very impressive lunches in the extremely limited work kitchen. To see you slice a butter knife through a perfectly ripe avocado every day at precisely 12.45pm is to truly live. You are excelling in life, but don’t be afraid to reel in your infectious positive vibes a little from time to time.

You did well in school, landed the Uni course of your dreams and have gone from strength to strength ever since. You’re on track to lead a perfect life, except for one small thing. You’ve got an abnormally short nose. It doesn’t impact your respiratory system in any way, it’s just an area of concern that you notice in every photograph. You’re convinced people are laughing at you, calling you ‘short nose’ behind your back, so you overcompensate with niceness. Relax, you’re doing great. Blow the nose reduction surgery fund on expensive seafood. Live your life. Be free. Best wishes!


Inspired by one of Journey’s better songs, you’re an optimist. You’ve had the good sense to recognise that a potential meeting could very easily be condensed into an email, and we thank you for it. The very pressing matter of remembering to lock the office door and set the alarm if you’re the last one out is something you take with the utmost diligence. People need to know and you’ve certainly told them. Insurance-wise, we’re in the clear. If a break-in happens now, your hands are clean. It’s all in an email, which you definitely sent, flagged with high importance because you simply love the drama of it all.

You’re a rule respecter. If there’s a sign that says ‘Caution – wet floor’, you’ll slow your stride and take great care not to slip. If the ticket inspector hops on the bus, you’ll frantically search for the ticket that you’ve bought, eager to allow the inspector to do their job as promptly as possible. You choose to see the best in people and always root for the underdog, especially on Love Island. You had a real soft spot for Doctor Alex and regularly check his Instagram to make sure he’s still doing okay. You will die from a mysterious illness in six years. Coincidentally, Doctor Alex will be the one to pronounce you dead.


It’s all business with you, sunshine, sarcastically or otherwise. You haven’t got time to exchange pleasantries when it comes to closing off an email. You need something done, or else you’re absolutely furious that something you need done hasn’t actually been done yet. There is no middle ground, those are your two moods. “Thanks” is a warning, but also a necessary formality. “Thanks”, you close off an email to your colleague, reminding them that there’s a bake sale coming up, which they are expected to participate in. “No store-bought goods, you complete sack of shit. We can taste the difference. Thanks!”.

You hate your job. It emanates through your vibes. This was meant to be a stepping stone for you, a spring board from PE class that propels you up onto the aggressive looking wooden installation from which you’re expected to somersault off. Now it’s three years later and you’re still here, still dealing with the same morons each day, longing for the sweet release of death. At least your outside work life is buzzing. Remember that book you got at Christmas that you thought you’d lost? It’s actually under the coffee table. You thought this weekend was going to be boring. You big idiot. It’s time to feel alive! You can read for precisely two days, then return to work every day until you die. Thanks.


Woah steady on there, buddy, at least buy me dinner first. I know you’re trying to get a favour off me, but this is not the way to go about it. It’s honourable of you to offer yourself up to the recipient of every mail you’ve ever sent, but you need to understand that your particular brand of personality isn’t for everyone. Your emails are a little gif-heavy and the humour could use some work. Remember that time you used the subject line ‘Free Pizza’ but it was actually an email about a fundraiser for your cousin’s girlfriend’s dog groomer’s friend’s aunt? People are still annoyed. It was 5pm on a Friday, we were hungry.

You lead an adventurous life, always off doing things and spamming various social media feeds with evidence of your activities. But there’s something missing. You’re lonely, and it shows. Being in your own company scares you. You’re terrified of dying alone, or with your asshole cat who wouldn’t hesitate to eat you in an apocalypse situation, or in any situation that involves going 3-4 hours without food. You’re fun to be around in small doses and your car is always very clean. Please use less fragrance and learn to floss. The world is yours.


Welcome to the forum, big banter enthusiast. Thank you for joining us. You are a massive legend who refuses to conform to the limitations that society puts on us all. You’re a free spirit, a rogue vagabond who simply cannot be tamed. You’ll walk across busy roads before the green man permits you to do so and swindle eleven items into the ten items or less express checkout in the supermarket. “Rules are made to be broken”, you justify to yourself as you use the faulty vending machine that accidentally gives out four-fingered Kit Kats for 35p.

People admire your lunacy in the workplace, always counting on you to write ‘Sorry to hear you’re leaving’ on birthday cards that get passed around. You’re a hoot to work with, especially in meetings where you use the opportunity as a safe space to workshop some new jokes you’ve stolen from the internet. Recipients of your emails can tell that they’re dealing with the kind of person who thinks outside the box, mostly because you start every email with “You know me, I like to think outside the box”. Keep on being you (because nobody else wants to). In 50 years when you look back on your unremarkable career, much like Mark Zuckerberg always wearing the exact same clothes to work every day, signing off emails with a manual emoji will have proven itself to be the defining moment of your success. Party on, party man 🙂