Regards or Cheers?

Lifehacker on signing-off emails: The Yanks might think “Cheers” is too “mock-Brit”, but Australians are comfortable with it.

Personally I use Cheers on most. Regards on formal stuff. Or nothing when I’m talking to a regular correspondent and am in a hurry and/or on a mobile.

An older Lifehacker article noted “Best” was awkward. I hate “Best”. What does it even mean? Best what? Maybe in American English it has some inherent meaning, but to me just reads like it means “Best regards” but that the sender is too damn lazy to type “regards”… in which case it’s not really best, is it.

And starting off emails? I often say “Hi X,”. Some others say just “X,” then go on with the message, which I think sounds a little curt, but I guess it isn’t, as plenty of people, even those I know well and get along with famously, use it.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

11 replies on “Regards or Cheers?”

I was on a bulletin board where one member was taken to task for starting all of his posts with Yo! People are just touchy about odd things.

To be safe though, I would advocate the method of “The Young Ones” where letters open with “Dear fascist bully-boy” and end with “Broomshankar” (sp?).

I generally start with “Hi xxxx” or “Heya xxxx”, for emails. For signing off it’s generally “Cheers”, or “take care”, or “regards” if formal email. I personally think “best” is just plain lazy myself, and haven’t seen that usage myself ever. “Best regards” would be acceptable I think. or “wishing you the best” – sounds like you’ve taken some time to bloody well write it out.

I find Aussie and Canadian usages somewhat similar with regards to emails and the like.

For business emails i start with “Hello Xxxxxx”. I save “Hi” for informal emails.

I use “Cheers” as a sign off, but generally only where some sort of thanks is warranted, either when making a request, or when actually writing to thank someone.
I generally use “Best Regards” for business emails, “Warm regards” for formal emails where I wish to imply some sort of warmth of feeling.
For informal emails I use a range of closes, including “Ciao,” “Byefornow,” “Love,” and “Hooroo,”.
“Yr Obedient Servant,” is fun to use on extremely short, informal emails.

I’m much the same.

For most emails, even those at work, I start with “Hi {Name}”, and end generally with “Cheers” or for more formal “Regards”.

Unless it’s something somewhat unpleasant (disagreements, taking someone to task, etc). – Then it’s “{Name}” and “Sincerely”.

All my e-mails start with “Howdy”! I’ve more or less done that ever since I started e-mailing! I think, from memory, I used “Greetings” initially, as that was what Data used in Star Trek First Contact, and I liked the way he used it! But it sounded and seemed quite cheesy, so I chose Howdy, which in of itself is quite cheesy too, but I like the cowboy feel of it! So it stuck!
With regards to the ending, drumroll please………………… “Have fun”! I think it’s a good one- what better wish for a person!? It actually came about when I was using e-mails at uni, and many of my friends at other places used to crap on about how bad their days were! So, sarcastically, I used to tell them to “Have fun”! It really was a joke on my part, but the phrase stuck!
Have fun!

“Cheers!” is only said in the USA when people are clanking their glasses in a toast and I have not heard it said at any other time. It is never said in place of a “thank you” or “good bye” and I actually did not understand the meaning of it when I heard it used this way for the first time while in England. I don’t write that many e mails but I usually start them with “Hi so and so,” just end them with “Jed”. More formal business letters and e mails are started with “Dear so and so,” usually ended with Sincerely, Jed Davis and indeed this is how I was taught to write a letter in school in the days long before e mail.

I’d never really thought about our use of “Cheers” until Americans remarked on it.

For the record, for e-mails I normally begin with “Dear XXXX” and end with “All the best”.

I have a signature file but people using OE (I use Turnpike) tend to “miss” it, I understand.

I use ‘kind regards’ at work, only because usually the person I am replying to says regards and I like to think I am a nice person. So my regards are kinder.

Or thanks. On personal emails just ‘jen’.

And on those things I used to write on the internet…what was that called? right, a BLOG. it was – jen

It does take a bit of getting used to, that of people saying “cheers” when they mean “thank you” – whatever it used to mean in the UK, that’s what it means now!

I generally use “G’day x” to start – not that I want to imply I’m an ocker ‘strine, but if I’m going to say it in person, I’ll say it in email. Sign off is “cheers”, “regards” or “thank you / thanks” depending on the formality or context of the email. Personal emails I just sign off with a “C” (now how lazy is that, not even fully typing my own name?)

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