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Complimentary Closes That Aren’t

These complimentary closes often appear at the end of professional emails:

Best regards,


With thanks,

Best wishes,


In the past week I have received messages with variations on two of those closes. What do you think of these?



KR is an abbreviation for “Kind regards.” Rgds, I assume, is shorthand for “Regards.”

graphic showing "Kind regards," shortened to "KR" and "Rgds"

Do those closes come across as professional to you? Do they belong at the end of business emails? Are they complimentary?

You know my view! I would love to hear yours.

Syntax Training


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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

28 comments on “Complimentary Closes That Aren’t”

  • Whenever I receive an email with these closes, it strikes me that the sender believes they have better things to do than communicate with me, and they want to get the email out as quickly as possible. Or perhaps they’re just lazy.
    Given that most email clients allow you to pre-define one or more signatures, using a fuller close automatically inserted would actually save them time.

  • I think we need an update to our wording for closes. I agree with the others that the abbreviations are inappropriate but the other words are stilted and out of fashion with the way we speak. I would never use tese words to sign off as I walk away from someone. Can you suggest a more updated close that is both professional and comfortable?

  • It seems a little lazy. How much more time does it take to type “Regards” as opposed to “Rgds”? I agree with Helen, this is more text-speak. While they aren’t unprofessional, they certainly don’t belong in business correspondence emails.

  • Personally, I do not like guessing at meaning. Being of a certain *ahem* age, I often find myself Googling text-speak to figure out what the heck it means – not exactly effective communication IMHO (In my humble opinion – see, you can teach an old dog new tricks). 😉

  • I would agree with you. I don’t believe they have any place in business writing. Sometimes text-speak can come across as lazy or even disrepectful. Business communications should be just that…business. Professional.

  • These abbreviated closes remind me of the song, “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” by pop-punk band Fall Out Boy, in which the chorus clearly communicates that the title is sarcastic with the line, “Thanks for the memories/Even though they weren’t so great.” I believe the band chose to use text-speak in the title for that very reason- even to those of us in the younger generation, it does communicate some sense of insincerity and sarcasm.

    So, to me, abbreviating “Regards” or “Kind Regards” comes off as just the opposite of kind regards- and it almost seems sarcastic and disrespectful.

  • I do not think that abbreviated responses in business communications are appropriate unless it is with a peer who communicates with you in the same way. Even then, it can look odd if the e-mail gets forwarded to someone who finds it unprofessional. I prefer no close to rgds.

    Any of our communications could end up in court or the media at some point. Business communications including “Thx” can make one look foolish or detract from a defense when we least need to look like we use bad judgement.

    Thx fr the topic, it was gr8. (I’m no good at l33t speak.)

  • We don’t know how lucky we are: in France 30 years ago, a friendly professional letter had to close with something like “I ask you, sir, to please receive the expression of my most devoted sentiments.”

  • I agree with you and definitely that abbreviated responses are not for business emails. They belong to a text message or online chat message.

  • Thx fr the gr8 cmments! No, I am no good at text-speak either.

    I appreciate your views, Helen, Yolanda, Issam, Paul, Kelly, Stacey, Vicki, Cathy, Veronda, Lisa Marie, Jennifer, George, and Zoila.

    Let me single out a few remarks for comment:

    Yolanda, many people use closes on their emails. Although a complimentary close is not required, it is almost standard in professional emails.

    Issam, I believe your comment was published before you finished it. Sorry about that!

    Paul, I like your idea of including a close in your email signature. It’s a good idea to vary it now and then so it does not come across as rote. Someone used to have “Thx and have a great day!” on every message. Often the sentiment did not fit.

    Kelly, I don’t think of a close as something we would say as we walk away from people. “See ya” would never work! Newer closes are “Best,” “Regards,” “Cheers,” and “Ciao.” Of those, the only two that do not come across as informal are “Best” and “Regards.”

    Cathy, I guessed at “KR” for a while. If it had said “K r,” I might have gotten it sooner.

    Lisa Marie, thanks for the song reference. Very interesting!

    Jennifer, I agree about the risk of having a message forwarded or read in a legal case or the newspaper.

    George, thanks for the smile you brought me!


  • I honestly have never received an email with an abbreviation for the close. I think you tailor the close to the topic — if I’m writing to congratulate someone on a new job I might say, “All the best,” or if I’m writing to someone I don’t know, I would close with “Sincerely,” which is more formal. The close should fit the topic.

  • What complimentary closing could be used if the business letter or email is signed from a group? Sincerely doesn’t work (recipient does not believe everyone in the group is sincere).

  • I really got to wonder a lot if why did my teacher use the name of the school as a closing. Is it really possible? What are the justifications of this? It’s kinda confusing. But thank you for sharing that we are not aloud to use abbreviation. Another, are allowed to use acronyms in complimentary close?

  • Can “I hope to see you soon.” be part of a complimentary close? It clearly ended with a period and complimentary close are supposed to end with a coma. My english teacher said that “I hope to see you soon.” Is already part of the complimentary close.

  • Hi Lynn – what do you think of using “Professionally” as a complimentary close? I have started receiving emails from a colleague who closes every email to me, and customers that way. I have never seen that before – is that considered professional?

  • Can you offer some “non-complementary” closing suggestions?

    I’m writing a member of congress with whom I’m very disappointed and I would like that inferred in the closing to keep the tone of the letter consistent.

    “In Regret” doesn’t seem to fit because I didn’t vote for him.

  • Chris, I admire your involvement in the political process, and I understand your desire to keep the tone consistent. “Sincerely” can work even if you are expressing strong disappointment. Your feelings are sincere, correct?

    I suggest “sincerely” because it closes the message maturely and professionally. An unusual, more colorful close doesn’t do that.


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