I used AI to generate this title because I am hopeless at writing catchy ones

How to Decode the Secret Language of Email Signatures

Find out what people really mean when they write “Regards”

Annie Trevaskis
3 min readSep 14, 2023


Scrabble letters spelling out “Yours sincerely”. All are wooden tiles except the final “Y” which is plastic
Who knew that Scrabble only contains one letter Y? Photo by author.

A survey published this week predicts that “Yours sincerely” will be extinct in the next ten years. Apparently, it makes you sound like a 150-year-old, pining for the good old Victorian days.

It seems that the way people communicate in the workplace is changing, and informality is the way to go.

It made me reflect on how I choose to sign-off in emails, and I discovered that mine all contain a hidden message.

I have decided to reveal my secret code:

Regards. Translation = I have no regard for you at all. In fact, I think you are an idiot.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Translation = Could you please get off your backside because I needed this information YESTERDAY.

In kindness. Translation = You’ve got it wrong, and I am just being honest and pointing it out. I don’t want to offend you, but realise that you will probably take it the wrong way.

A. Translation = I’m busy, and I don’t know you well enough or like you enough to type more.

Ax Translation = I’m busy, but I love you

A😊Translation = I’m busy, and I like you, but am worried that if I put an x you will think this means I might kiss you in real life. And I definitely won’t.

Axxxx Translation = I really love you

A🙏💚 Translation = Thank you very much. You are super kind and lovely.

Lots of love. Translation = We are related OR I like you so much that you are like family to me.

Kind regards. Translation = I have no idea how to end this email, so I am just going to copy what you put.

Yours sincerely. Translation = I really wanted to put “Regards,” but I am worried that this may end up as part of a bundle of evidence in a court case, and I am just trying to cover myself.

Yours faithfully. Ditto



Annie Trevaskis

I came, I wrote, I conquered. That last bit might not be true, but at least I am putting up a good fight.