Best, Mike

Best-of-the-best

I get a kick when I see the in-vogue e-mail closer Best, (as in, “Dear So-and-So, Thanks for the info. Best, Mike.“)

Because this one-word phrase is used so readily, I’ve learned to tune it out. But I sometimes wonder what precise message it’s intended to convey to its recipient.

Here are a few possible meanings for “Best,” that are worth considering:

YOU’RE the best. [Of all my friends/family/acquaintances/colleagues, YOU lead the list. Congratulations. Well done, top-shelf e-mail buddy.]

I’M the best. [Let’s not beat around the bush, I’m pretty awesome. In fact, I believe I’m the penultimate e-pal and want to make sure we’re both clear on that point.]

EVERYONE I meet is the best.” [Because I’m feeling extra generous, I hereby bestow “best” status on all of creation.]

THIS MESSAGE is the best.” [Pay close attention to this virtual document, my fine friend, as it’s chock full of greatness.]

I’m quite hip.” [The actual meaning of this word really doesn’t matter. What’s most important is that you are connected with someone who is downright hip and trendy – and communicates accordingly.]

I wish you the best.” [OK, so this seems like the most likely meaning for the word. But is there a time period it’s intended to cover? Just the exact moment it’s read, or throughout an entire day? Or is it a wish with no expiration whatsoever? Really hard to know.]

I must admit I’m pretty impressed by the efficiency of a sign-off statement boiled down to a single word of four measly letters.

It’s even more efficient than my preferred one-word e-closer: “Thanks,” (or if I’m feeling extra cheeky, “Thx,“)

Now I’m starting to wonder what I’m thanking everyone for: Reading the message? Staying awake? Not bashing me with a snarky reply? Breathing?

Guess a little ambiguity never hurt anyone.

Regards,

Mike

  • Marjanne Pearson

    As one who has adopted “Best,” as my email-closer of choice, I’m glad that I have been able to send you a little kick with each missive. And who knew that I’d be extra cheeky with my “Thx.”Personally, I find all of the regular “complimentary close” forms to be a bit stifling in a letter, let alone an email. For reference, seeDixie’s Full Block Business Letter http://sbyd.es/oQOvpGYours faithfully,Chief NextMoon

  • BradFeinknopf

    OK Mr. Snarky. ;-)I have been signing my emails for years with “All the Best, Brad” as a well wishing to those I deal with. It is rarely, “BEST”. Sometimes I will says “Always the Best” and if I am feeling particularly warm & fuzzy, it is “All the Best to You & Yours”. If I am not feeling so warm, you will get a “Sincerely”.Please let me know that which you prefer. Don’t wish to mess with your snariness.

  • threefourteen

    I have taken to switching it up MANY times… depending on my mood, time of day, week, etc.. Here are some of my favorites:Kind Regards (works well in many situations)Warm Regards (similar to the previous but reserved for southern climates)Cheers (when enjoying a craft beer while writing late night emails)Have a great weekend (duhHave a good holiday (assuming you know they are not jehovah witness’)Take Care (when you fear for their safety)Yours Truly (For times when I’m feeling infamous)Wags (when I am sending emails to pals and want to sound cool)F-you (when I am sending emails to pals and want to sound sarcastic)F-you (when I am talking to contractors) (okay so I could use this one a lot)Thanks,JasonP.S. : I also have a habit of typing “If you need anything else please let me know”. in my emails near the end. Usually most work emails are delivering information or files. This covers my ass in case they later write back “you didn’t give me all the information I requested” To which I end with F-you.

  • Mike Plotnick

    Such wonderful commentary! Thanks, Marjanne, Brad and Jason. Truly, Madly, Deeply, Mike

  • Cindy Frewen Wuellner, phd, faia

    Mike, watch out for better… better than who?? that’s cheeky, ya?I thought best was short for best regards. best wishes. I’ll be watching my bests now. although its a bit like a place holder. and many times, that’s all I want, sign off, get going. so… paying a bit more attention now. Yr truly the best,Cindy

  • Barry Sutherland

    Even more than those, I love it when people want to show that they are absolutely too busy to type a multitude of letters (2 or 3 is seem as too many to some people) and they condense it down to one letter, such as

    “I can’t wait to talk again.

    B,

    Me”

    It’s even better when their name is condensed to one letter, as well.

  • Jeannette

    I know…although I do sign my name with a single letter (since it is 9 letters long), I always did wonder about the whole “Best” closer…best what?

  • Just received an email with the sign off “sinceriliciously.” It’s way better than best. Sinceriliciously, Valerie

  • Sinceriliciously is definitely a new one to me!