What’s Wrong With This Complimentary Close?

Today I received an unsolicited email with this as the close:

Complimentary close

Can you identify what’s wrong with it? Think about what you would change before scrolling down to my ideas.
















I’d change several things. But what’s definitely wrong is the capitalization. Only the first word of the complimentary close should be capitalized. It may be hard to accept that capitalization rule since so many people capitalize all the main words in the close. But the style manuals agree–capitalize only the first word of the close. There’s simply no reason to capitalize the others.

What did you think of the combination of “Thanks” and Best regards”? I’d change that too so the sentiments don’t compete for attention. If the writer wants to express gratitude, the thanks can come across more sincerely in a closing sentence such as “Thank you for considering my request.”

If the writer insisted on combining “Thanks” and “Best regards,” I’d do it this way:

With thanks and best regards,

Without the interrupting comma, that close flows better. And it feels more sincere to me. What do you think?

These blog posts also deal with complimentary closes:

With Best Wishes includes a list of closes for letters.

“Thanks” As a Close Has Gone Too Far highlights ways to end emails.

Complimentary Closes That Aren’t discusses text-speak in closes, and it features lots of reader comments.

What Is a Salutation? It’s Not a Close! defines salutations and closes and tells and how to punctuate both.

Do you see strange complimentary closes in the messages you receive? Please share them.

Grammarly approved this blog post. Try it.

Syntax Training
New Self-Study Classes



  1. Thanks for stopping by, Ellen, Iris, and Becky.

    Ellen, I agree. That version is too choppy. I like to see “Thanks” in a meaningful sentence.

    Iris, that close is unusual and very old-fashioned. I believe it would have been acceptable 100+ years ago in a formal setting.

    Becky, the reason for “Best regards” is to add a professional close, just as “Warm regards” is a warm professional close. It’s traditional, like the bow on the package or the parmesan on the pasta. By the way, “Best regards” isn’t an oxymoron. Those appear to combine opposites, as in “jumbo shrimp” or “deafening silence.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here