Copy Talk

Conversations with Eric: The Sign-off

My friend Eric has a brain like a Superball: it’s smart and quick and ALL OVER THE PLACE OMG WATCH OUT. So when he has an idea for us to collaborate, I like to say yes and see where it goes. All that’s to say, please enjoy this very first installment of Conversations with Eric.

BROOKE:

No one signs off on a text message (except my mom), but sign-offs are still common in longer messages like emails. I’m not talking about the formal attached “signature.” I’m talking about the actual goodbye.

Thanks, Brooke

Yours, Brooke

Best, Brooke

What do you use? And if you go between several sign-offs, how do you know when to use which? Professionally, I use “Thanks, Brooke” a lot. I hate “Yours, Brooke” because c’mon. I’m not yours. Personally, I use “Love, Brooke” and “<3 BR” but with different people. There’s a fine art that goes behind who gets what and when. Or is that just me?

 

ERIC:

I think I will side with your mom and also date myself in other ways too. You see for me the sign-off is also about the understanding of “where did you go”. The frantic side of the internet designed by the, dare I say timeless, AOL INSTANT MESSENGER!!!! Remember “away” messages? I remember the days where someone would ‘leave’ a conversation and me wondering: was it something I said, what does that message mean, is that message for me?

I really want to know your best sign-off. Also old screen name. I think we owe it to the world.

Professionally, I opt for “Best, Eric”. I think this is how it all started. I used to say “Sincerely, Eric” because I had no idea what was appropriate. I also became incredibly annoyed at the “- (insert name)” sign off. Like, “what….you don’t have the time to say something nice, add a comma and your name?!?!?!” Maybe I’m too personally attached, but I later transitioned to “Best regards, Eric” and realized I had no idea what regards I was giving. The best of them all? I think we should be specific.

How about: Sometimes I look in the the mirror and see, Brooke

That’s a cool sign-off.

 

BROOKE:

Damn, that is cool.

Unlike my very first, and most embarrassing, screenname: peacockpenguin6. I don’t particularly like peacocks, penguins or the number six, so I’m not sure how to explain this monstrosity. Call it a silly phase? And yes Eric, I fully expect you to share yours now.

I’m guilty of the “-Brooke” sign-off. It’s so easy! No mixed messages! No confusion! But a total cop-out. Personally, my favorite remains the old heart + name. I rarely type the heart, so digitally it becomes “Love, BR.” Professionally, I’m sticking with “Thanks, Brooke.” What can I say? I’m just so darn full of gratitude.

 

ERIC:

I half wonder if the reason why people don’t like peacocks, is because it’s the only acceptable giant animal to have outside of a cage at a zoo. I mean I like cats, so I would love to have a tame tiger just hanging at Brookfield Zoo, but instead I walk around wondering when I’ll spot the peacock. So while the beautiful feather-full intimidation act is occurring, I’m giggling thinking about oversized cats. In the face of danger, I giggle.

Penguins are weird, but at least they look put together. Super slick.

My screen name forever is/was: Kingofallerics. King of all erics. Often I was asked what an “alleric” was. At my most omnipotent, it is I. Otherwise I explain the spacing issues. How can I be King of All Erics? Have you heard another claim? Didn’t think so. Rappers do it all the time.

I think the “-‘name’ ” sign-off is the most professional. It’s weird, because I want to say so much more, but I tend to wonder what the person on the other end will think. Imagine signing “Love, Brooke” to your boss hahahahahaha. Or typing “Sincerely” like I used to do when I had my first office job. I felt like if I didn’t continue, they’d get one email and be like “wait……the first 500 emails he was sincere, but now…..now I don’t know WHAT to think.”

Do you ever feel like you deserve a sign-off? I feel it’s odd to get emails from clients and co-workers without a sign-off. Were you too busy to say goodbye? Couldn’t you commit to an ending? Is this open-ended? Are we in some sort of open-ended email relationship?

What does it really mean? Are we done? I don’t know. I’ll always sit……wondering. Waiting for a reply with closure 😦

 

BROOKE:

You know, some emails are open-ended. It’d be annoying if we were talking in person and after every thought we “signed off.” Imagine:

B: I love your shirt today. From, Brooke

E: Thanks! I got it as a gift. Best regards, Eric

B: I know, stupid. I gave it to you. Sincerely, Brooke

Naturally, we end up dropping these sign-offs in quick, back-and-forth emails. But when the conversation is just beginning or just wrapping up, a good sign-off is always polite and professional.

Can a sign-off alone ever provide closure? Probably not. It has one job and that’s to say, hey this message is from this person and they’re saying it with _______ (love, good wishes, envy, spite?). You get to fill in the blank. And filling in the blank is all the fun/work.

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One thought on “Conversations with Eric: The Sign-off

  1. brookerandel says:

    Some people are disappointed I did not “sign off” on this post. Would that have been a better ending? Or a little heavy-handed? I don’t know, but you guys are vultures.

    With some hesitancy,
    Brooke

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