Tag Archives: netiquette

[Not] Fanning the Flames

My inbox is nearly on fire this morning. Two email lists are very active with heated discussions. One centers on a proposed cell phone tower at the local high school and the other discussion is about accessible PDFs. While I have opinions about both issues I’m not going to participate in either discussion because I really don’t think that the folks with one view are really listening to the folks with an opposing view so participating in either discussion would be a waste of time, energy and emotions.

Passionate discussions on email lists and bulletin boards all seem to follow the same pattern. Someone posts a topic — sometimes it might be a little inflammatory, but many times it is simply an innocent question — which is true of both of the cases that are being discussed on the email lists today. Then someone answers the question or statement with one point of view and someone else responds to the person with another point of view. Then the really passionate folks start chiming in and often someone makes fun of someone on the other side and then someone from the other side defends their position using stronger words and before you know it, unless the moderator (or a seasoned list user) steps in and tells the folks to calm down or take it off-list or cease and desist, someone is being referred to as a Nazi. I’ve seen it so many times that it is actually sometimes fun to watch.

Signing off

I’m never sure how to close an email. Some closings sound impersonal, some sound pretentious and some sound just too gushy. I end up often not putting anything before my name because I don’t know what to put.

If I’m asking a question or for a favor, I’ll usually write, “Thanks,”. But then after a while it seemed too abrupt. If I really am grateful I’ll say, “Thanks so much,” but that sometimes feels too gushy. I tend to write “Thanks,” even when I’m just sending information sometimes, meaning, thanks for reading this, but I need something else.

I know several people who close with, “Cheers,” but unless the person is actually Australian or British, it doesn’t make sense to me. I’d feel pretentious using it, although I did for a while.

Someone I know who always seems to be barking orders at others signs her emails, “Cordially,” which feels as cold as most of her emails. Ending her emails with “Cordially,” sends shivers up my spine – for, in my dictionary, someone who is cordial, is not friendly. I see the Queen of England (or Dame Judy Dench) when I think of “Cordially.”.

I don’t like to use formal letter closings such as  “Sincerely,”  “Yours Truly,” or “Respectfully yours,” to close an email because that, I think,  lessens the formality of formal letters.

For a while I’d sign off my emails (usually on email lists) with: Dona <—who <insert witty and topic appropriate comment here>, but that got to be 1) difficult to think of what to say and 2) annoying to other folks.

My husband signs off with “Best” in his business emails. I kind of like that, but not sure I could pull it off.

Other closings I’ve come across are, “Bye,” (too curt),  “Regards,” and “Kind Regards,” (eh, ok I guess — a little formal for an email though)

Oh my — someone’s done a study on this.  And this website does a good job of explaining what to use as a closing depending on the type of email being sent.

So Kind Regards, and Until Next Time, I remain Your’s Truly and Sincerely,

Dona <–who will probably continue to use “Thanks.” or nothing at all.