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Subject: A Highly Scientific Psychoanalysis of Email Sign-Offs

Dearest INDY readers,

Are you one to overthink your go-to digital signature? Rightfully so. Let’s get into it:

“Sincerely”: Starting off with a classy classic. “Sincerely” brings a touch of old-worldly charm to modern digital correspondence. You’re probably a well-composed individual who has mastered the art of letter-writing, and you take subtle pride in that. There is a non-zero chance you had a fleeting but intense romance with the dark academia aesthetic during high school; you still look back on it with some Byronic yearning to this day.

“Thanks”: The signature of choice for burnt-out college students. It’s easy and gets the job done, albeit with the most snippiness of its sibling variants. You’re a weary soul who imbibes their caffeine religiously, and every so often you’ll get a colorful or caramel-ribboned treat in order to feel something. All things considered, “Thanks” already means a lot coming from you.

“Thanks so much”: The anxious sibling of “Thanks.” Typically used by those worried that “Thanks” alone sounds too passive-aggressive and feel the need to prove the depths of their sincerity with some extra padding. Your favorite email function is the schedule-sender. You crave both the sweet relief of hitting send and the security of being able to say “never mind” and backtrack to keep editing arbitrary details in your email.

“Thank you so much”: And when “Thanks so much” isn’t feeling personally thankful enough, throw in a pronoun for affection. As though to declare, “It is you, to whom I am indebted. I perhaps have never met you—nor may I ever—but know that your kindness is seen by me despite this faceless, digital chasm that yawns between us.” All jokes aside, you’re a sweet, considerate person who probably holds the door open for people in real life.

“Best”: Elegantly minimalistic. You navigate the world of professional correspondence with a silent, sure-footed confidence. You are undaunted by hierarchies, regardless of where you may stand. Professors, administrators, prestigious IB recruiters—"Best" is all they’ll get from you. You own a New Yorker tote bag and enjoy solving their crosswords over your morning coffee.

“Best wishes”: The more cheerful cousin of “Best.” You were the one signing “HAGS!” in yearbooks back in elementary school. If only bestowing good tidings was that easy. Moreover, best wishes for what? Passing my economics midterm? Finding a parking spot at Costco on the weekend? Winning a fistfight against God? How delightfully ambiguous. Anyways, you’re a wholesome, well-intentioned person, and corporate America needs more of your friendship-is-magic sparkles.

“Cheers”: Whereas “Best wishes” feels genuine, “Cheers” has an inexplicable edge to it. People who opt for this signature probably think being funny or being British are valid coping mechanisms. You have to restrain yourself from sending unhinged, 2 a.m. emails to your professors just for the comedic bravado of signing “Cheers!” at the end. The digital-letter embodiment of someone who shares deeply concerning things about themselves while pointing finger guns. I wonder what tragic canon event lies in your past. Maybe it was you wanting to be British.

“Warm regards”: An underrated sign-off of choice, considering how loved I always feel when I receive this. You’re sending me your warm regards through this cold, impersonal void of digital communication. It’s like being handed a virtual mug of tea. Know that I will always imagine you holding a cozy mug of tea as you send this. Something sophisticated but homey, like Earl Grey.

“Regards”: For your sake, I hope you are only ever on the delivering end of this. If not, you fucked up bad somewhere, especially if the sender is usually of the “Warm regards” variety. If you’ve managed to rattle their saintliness, you are either a certified asshole or incompetent beyond salvation. I’m handing you a virtual mug of consolatory tea. Get better soon (in all senses of the phrase).

“Respectfully”: Continuing on the same note as “Regards,” I have never once used “Respectfully” with respect in my life. Reserved for email chains in which you have truly hit your limit. The barest facade for maintaining a cordial, professional demeanor in the face of utter ineptitude. With all undue respect. With utmost disrespect. Respectfully, fall down a hole.

“Looking forward to hearing from you”: You’re not signing off; you’re issuing an ultimatum. “I’m looking forward to your response, and I’ll be waiting right here, refreshing my inbox every thirty seconds until you do.” Remember to wait 2-3 business days before sending a follow-up. Perhaps go outside and smell several dozen roses in the meantime (and bring “Thanks so much” with you).

“In eager anticipation of your favorable response, I remain, with utmost respect and admiration”: Over-eager MSB freshman, or Chat-GPT response to the prompt “Write a recruiting email from a consulting firm using the language of a lovelorn Austen protagonist?” I will let you be the judge. Either way, if Deloitte isn’t professing how ardently they admire and love you during their recruitment cycle, they don’t deserve you.

And with that empowering word of advice, we conclude this highly scientific analysis of email sign-offs.




Claire Tsui is a junior in the College studying Political Economy. Try to guess which sign-off she typically uses.


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