Common Writing Errors: Kind Regards

Kind regards

Tired of ending your emails with “Kind regards”? Here are some alternatives

In the good ol’ days of typewritten (or handwritten) letters, only two quandaries existed:

1: What’s the rule for “Yours sincerely” vs “Yours faithfully”?

2: Whose address should go on which side of the page?

Both questions could easily be answered by asking Google a knowledgeable friend, so they weren’t really anything to get in a tizzy about anyway.

Email, on the other hand, causes a wide range of dilemmas and uncertainties – especially when it comes to business emails. Should the tone be friendly or formal? Are emojis naff or necessary? Do exclamation marks convey enthusiasm or lower the tone? Is it best to start with “Hi”, “Hello”, “Hey” or “Dear”? When it comes to paragraph length, should you take your inspiration from a listicle blog post or a novel?

And how, oh how, should you sign off the bloomin’ thing?

The curse of “Kind regards”

Have you ever received an email that closes with something like this:

“Thanks so much! All the best,

Kind regards,

Anne Smith”

That’s the work of someone who thought they’d save a milisecond of time and effort each time they wrote an email by putting “Kind regards” into their email signature (and then forgetting they’d done so).

“Kind regards” has become the default closer for emails throughout the English-speaking world – but it isn’t and shouldn’t be the only way to sign off every email.

Not only is it often unsuitable, but its ubiquitousness means it comes across as bland, meaningless and nothingy –  like the “Hey how are you?” we hear constantly on the other side of the pond.

So before we get started on alternatives, pretty please remove “Kind regards” from your email signature. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever use it – just that you’ll save yourself from “double sign-off” silliness whenever you opt for something else.

Alternatives for every occasion

To both prove you’re a human being and avoid immense boredom, here are some alternative sign-off suggestions:

Failsafe options

You’re unlikely to offend anyone with these:

  • Warmly
  • Best wishes
  • Speak to you soon
  • See you tomorrow/next week/etc
  • All the best (although it verges on “Kind regards” territory by being just a bit too “default” these days)
  • Thanks (be aware that it might be considered too informal for use with a boss/superior)

Handle with care

If you know the recipient well and are the type of person to use these phrases in real life, these options can be considered:

  • Cheers
  • Have a great day
  • Have a good one
  • Take care

To express appreciation

“Thanks” is more of a generic closer these days, so you’ll need to use something else if you really want to show appreciation. Something like:

  • Many thanks
  • I owe you!
  • Thank you/thanks for everything
  • Thank you/thanks for all your help
  • Thanks a million
  • Thanks so much
  • You're a lifesaver

For other context-dependent situations

  • Hope this helps
  • Good luck!
  • See you tomorrow
  • You're a star
  • Enjoy!

Too similar to “Kind regards” to be considered valid alternatives

But here they are anyway:

  • Best
  • Best regards

To never, ever, ever be used: abbreviations

Seriously… how hard is it for you to actually spell those words out properly? If you’re really that pressed for time, install some text expanding software on your computer and avoid coming across like a doofus.  

  • Thx
  • Rgds
  • ATB

Have we missed anything?

Are you a huge fan of “Toodles” and think it should be included in the list? Do you end every email with “xoxo” or “xxx”? Is “Yours sincerely” just plain wrong for email? Let us know!

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