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I would like some guidance on the use of "best" to end a letter or e-mail. As the recipient of this close on letters and electronic mail, I always want to ask "best what?" but my manners won't allow it.

It seems to be a closing that is used by young people who don't want to use the more formal "best regards." This is the same group that wants to put periods in the middle of phone numbers ( 555.123.4567) which is very European but we don't live in Europe and the phone company hasn't switched over yet.

Is "best" a proper close for a letter?

Thanking you in advance for your help, I remain

Sincerely yours,

An Avid Fan of EnglishForward.com
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The posting action seems to take a bit of time on this site. Do not click on the post button a second or a fifth time if it has already been "highlighted". I've deleted the other posts that came up accidentally.
I suggest "All the best".
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Using the work "Best" sounds like a brush off if anything. My advice don't use it at all. My realtor used it and it almost made me want to change agents. It sounds pomupus.
It means best regards.
This drives me crazy too! It is a very lazy, and incorrect way to end a letter.
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If that's the case - you should probably do something about that chip on your shoulder. "Best," is frequently used in business letter and is accepted short-hand for Best Regards or Best Wishes. There is nothing pompous about using it. Any sort of ill-will hinges on your own inference of the situation.
Why would someone use shorthand for best regards? Are people really too busy to type the original? I run a business and I think its lazy. I think it's less effective than best regards or best wishes. I would prefer a thank you instead of a thanks, but at least thanks is complete. Best tells me that the person doesn't have enough respect or patience to sign off appropriately. As you can see, many people don't like it, so why risk rubbing the recipient the wrong way?
I know this is an old post, but I wanted to chime in. I recently started a new job at a college and nearly everyone signs their emails with "best" or some variation of it and it drives me crazy! This was not a term used at the previous college I worked for. Within a week of working here I was tired of seeing the word; I can't believe how many people use it here. It's like one person started and everyone else jumped on the train. I've vowed never to use it as a sign off.
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