Monday, November 27, 2006

Signing Off

Another post inspired by a New York Times article, 'Yours Truly,' The E-Variations. The article talks about how one signs off on their e-mails, what's warm and fuzzy, what's a cool blow off.

So sometime ago, I received an email from a colleague that was signed simply B. B? I knew who it was from, and in fact, the "Yours Truly" closer was very friendly, but I was left to wonder, why B? B is an important and busy man and maybe he signed "B" because he was too busy to type out his whole name. B, I will tell you, is short for for Bob, and just how busy could he be? Does it really take less time to type B then Bob? Around that time, another friend wrote some newsy e-mails addressed to "D" and signed off by "C." Another soul too busy to type out his own name??? I was a bit put off; I always have time to spell out my own name and I began to feel that to do so sends out the message that I'm not that important, I have all the time in the world, everyone else is working harder than I am. Finally, I got an e-mail from "T." Now T is a long-time good friend, she was a college housemate and a bridesmaid at my wedding. At last, I had an 'in' into the workings of the mind of someone who signs with a single initial. So I asked, and T sent me a long reply, noting that signing with an initial could indicate someone too busy to type their whole name, or it could indicate a friendly informality... I know you so well that my whole name isn't necessary. This cast an entirely new light on things, and I no longer felt that B and C were flaunting their busy importantness, now they were my good friends! The e-world was suddenly a friendlier place.

The article in the NYTimes, well, it didn't say much new (other than it's uncool to sign off with "Don't let the bedbugs bite"), but I was pleased to see that someone else in the world obsesses about these things.