Best of the Best

Dear Miss Snark:

Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to correspond with a variety of agents, editors, publicity-types, producers, etc. I've noticed that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM (except one male editor) used "Best"to end their emails, letters, cards, etc. Do you, Miss Snark, use "Best?" I've never this used in any other industry. I prefer "Sincerely" myself.

If you are my agent, please disregard.

Okay. I will go back to writing again.

Best as Miss Snark can tell, it derived from "best wishes" or "best regards" and in fact is the universal sign off in publishing. Miss Snark of course does not use such a mundane closing, no no.

If Miss Snark likes you and hopes the conversation will continue she closes with "fondest felicitations from your most devoted correspondent"

If Miss Snark is hoping you will lose her address both street and email, she closes with "Farewell Oh Amazing Delight", hoping the subliminal message will register.

Snark On!


Anonymous said...

I've noticed the "best" thing too.

But it's better than what we did in my old line of work, the legal profession. We'd send each other nasty lawyer letters and then sign off "Yours," as if we were all having secret affairs with each other.

Bernita said...

I prefer "I look forward to reading the complete novel,(signed, editor.)"
Short and to the point.
Now that's "best."
None 'o this "Best ( you get lost)" stuff.

Bibliophile Bitch said...

Maybe they don't sign "sincerely" anymore because they're not! It's very possible that they find us authors annoying.
Reading the stiletto wearing snarky Miss Snark makes me think we're viewed like toddlers in the back seat of the car.
"Am I pubbed yet? Am I pubbed yet? I got writer's block." Whine whine.
Maybe getting a "Best" whatever is better than "Quit calling me".

Mindy Tarquini said...

Man! I wondered about the 'best' thing. If I answered and said 'sincerely', I'd get 'best' again. If I answered back and said, 'Kindest regards', I'd get 'best' again.

One day, I said, 'best' and worried the recipient would think I was being too familiar, or too ambiguous.

Best what?

Best regards, best wishes, best in show, best of luck?

So - no subliminal messages?


Off to obsess over something else.

GC said...

i have recieved about 21 "Best" i believe, usually in response to a query letter. this seems to occur more often when NOT a form letter. just an observation ...

lizzie26 said...

Yeah, I've seen "Best" in so many emails and snail mails from agents and editors. In one instance, the editor was having a hard time opening my attachment she requested. Every email from her ended in "Best." Huh? Best of luck in my fifteenth try? Oh well.

I favor "Best," though, over "Yours truly." "Yours truly" sounds a little too romantic....

Anonymous said...

"Best" is the standard sign-off in academia, too. It's so common it's virtually invisible (if, as people note, entirely meaningless).

But there is this one fellow at my university--a well respected scholar and fairly genial guy--who signs his correspondence, "with warmest regards."

There is, of course, nothing wrong with this. But every time I get an email from him, I stop and think about it. Other colleaugue have mentioned it as well: "Have you noticed how Peter always signs his email 'with warmest regards'?"

It's funny how such tiny deviations from the norm can stick out.

Another Sheep

Mark said...

I use sincerely, but then I'm not an agent.

Anonymous said...

I've encountered 'all best' for letter closings as well as author signings. I assume it means 'all my best regards.' But then we all know what 'assume' means too...

Elektra said...

I had a band director who signed everything "Musically Yours"

Word veri: wapiqin

Anonymous said...

You mean I shouldn't expect--love@?!

My sincerest best,


Anonymous said...

Perhaps it means "Best of luck." Cause you're sure as hell gonna need it. Now for that 2nd cup of Starbuck's.

Georgia Girl

Jim C. Hines said...

Much snarfing on the subliminal message. I notice it's not trademarked. Does that mean we're free to borrow? :-)