I’m not sure if I’m slow on the uptake, or if this is a recently agreed convention, but it seems that someone has decided that all emails must now finish with “Kind regards”.
I don’t like it. It’s hypocritical. Here’s why.
“Yours sincerely”, the de facto standard for finishing letters, was neutral in tone. 99% of my written communications are sincere. I can be sincere writing congratulations or condolences to a friend, or drafting a vituperative letter to a shop complaining about appalling service. (A well-known PC retailer springs to mind).
“Kind regards” fits with the first case, but what do I do for the second? If I’m 99% sincere, a much lower percentage of my recipients get/want my kindness or regards. In the case of the aberrant shopkeeper, I have no intention of being kind. “You asshole” sums up my feelings perfectly, but falls short of the outraged, icy dignity that I’d like to convey.
So what’s the new catch-all ending for emails? Or letters – should you still write them these days. Any suggestions?