Mind Matters: Signing off the write way

I used to close letters with "sincerely, John”. I decided to warm up a bit and changed to "regards”.

Recently, some young friends have told me that my closing is too formal and cold. I need to warm it up some more. 

I sometimes use “kind regards”. Aussies seem to like that. A friend uses “all the best”. I tried that and did not feel comfortable with it.

When someone writes and asks me for a copy of a journal article I have written, I write back and close with “best wishes”. I have mixed feelings about that because I used to receive messages with that closing from someone who I thought had just the opposite wishes for me in reality.

Recently, I ended an email with “merrily yours”. I enjoyed sneaking a mood message into the closing.

No one ever uses "farewell" anymore. You are more likely to see "may the force be with you”.

Want maximum heat? Try these: Love, affectionately, or yours wearing absolutely nothing.

I would like to see more creativity in message closings. We could go for a bit of humour: Faithfully yours, obsequiously yours, yours in delirium, yours in a manner of speaking, happy trails, over and out, long live the Queen, Godspeed, buh-bye, yada yada.

It is also possible to use a closing that sends a religious message. I have seen yours in Christ and God bless. 

Symbols can enliven a closing. You could put a heart. A friend told me that I could put a wink, but that it might be interpreted as aggressive or sexual. I will pass on that. 

Bitmojis at the end of a message can add some pep. Bitmojis look at bit like you in cartoon form. With those, you can leave out your name.

A pair of pals could create their own private set of closings similar to XOXO (hugs and kisses). My ideas here: use the infinity symbol to express infinite affection; put #1 to indicate that you are the person’s Number 1 fan. 

Want maximum heat? Try these: Love, affectionately, or yours wearing absolutely nothing. 

A strategy I sometimes use for closings involves using the same closing as the other person uses in emails to me. So, if the other person closes with a name and nothing else, I do the same. Being the way I am, I sometimes jazz up my name. So, while on an ocean cruise recently, I typed my name at the end as "South Seas Johnny”. In a message to a person who has worked in preschools, I closed as John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.

Since almost all our messages now are sent by email, with our name at the top, we could go naked, so to speak, and have no closing. No "respectfully yours", no name, nothing. That would save time.

Nah, where is the fun in that? Let’s use quirky closings until people tell us to stop. Your humble servant, John.