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Shocking Sign-offs:

Two weeks ago in the humor section we were treated by Keith Wolf to a pretty comprehensive list of various ways to end an email, as well as a translation for all you novices out there as to the true intention behind “later”, “toodles”, and the infamous “regards”. And believe me folks, it wasn’t pretty.

However, in these days of overflowing in-boxes, the power of the signoff as a window to the soul is frequently underrated. As a person who enjoys the written word, I am pleased to offer up some translations for communications of the amorous sort. I take my inspiration from countless hours of reading Cosmo as well as the recent “High Stakes Holiday”, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day, that just passed us by. Since this topic shockingly wasn’t covered in this month’s edition of Cosmo or any of the trashy UK mags, I thought there might be an untapped market.

Not that I’m claiming to be Dr. Love or anything, but I have spent countless hours myself studying word choice (scary, I know – what can I say), plus polled many of my friends in various stages of the love cycle to understand what various signoffs meant about the guy, as well as his opinion of where, you know, “things” stood. So here are some pointers for you guys and gals straining to write or interpret various missives, electronic or otherwise, that recently hit your mailboxes as V-Day loomed large. Yes, despite complaints to the contrary, I have no doubt that the love bug was daring some to express (*gasp*) affectation, send an eCrush (check it out at ecrush.com!), or send a carefully worded email to “maybe like have a drink sometime possibly.”

Since I am old-fashioned and all, I will make a SO non-women’s-lib assertion and suggest that our handsome fellows were (albeit perhaps reluctantly) the chasers as opposed to the chasees. So girls, here’s how to interpret his sign-off!** Also, as noted in Footnote 4 and Exhibit 7, you are required here to make the daunting leap of faith that we modern, professional, savvy girls are so enamored with relationships that we are ever striving to discern “where things stand”. And we all know that that is just not true! And for the record, for fairly obvious reasons, I have only listed printable terminations and what they most likely connote about the sender – use your imagination for the racier ones to amuse yourself (and potentially others).

Peace Out
Mr. Independent. The Magic 8 ball, when shaken, would read: “Try again later”.

Hasta La Pasta
This guy likes ’80s music, is a bit confused generally and probably owns all of Schwartznegger’s movies but is afraid to admit it. Compatibility quotient: 5

I’m audi like jetti-o
Old school and kind of cool. Not to be applied liberally.

Peace and hairgrease
He’s a little odd, girls, but creativity isn’t always a bad thing.

Later gater
This ending changes the “later” adolescent-surfer-dude game completely. It’s much more affectionate and playful, and typically implies that you do indeed want to see the person again sometimes. Status: still friends, doin’ the dance.

Missing you
Watch out. Sounds sketchy. Only acceptable if sent from another country at least 4,000 miles away.

Fondly
Like a clammy handshake, unless he has an accent.

Best
Pretty sanitary. “Like you” quotient = low. Set sail pronto for friendlier waters.

Cheers, mate
What British guys say until they have a few more beers. It’s a warm up to the main event.

Regards
RUN!!! RUN, Jane, Run. This is the most insidious sign-off – it’s everywhere!! And that’s not a good thing. Rule #1 for your love targets – She’s Special. This man is either not particularly expressive, a work-a-holic, or not aware yet of how hot you are.

Kind regards, warm regards
Ditto folks.

Warmest regards
There’s no warming this up.

Saludos
Also the kiss of death – even if it is in another language – run!

Xoxo
Green light! All systems go. Affectionate guy.

Besos
Kisses never hurt. Keeper rating: high, for now.

Besitos
Little kisses never hurt either.

Benevolently
This should never appear in an amorous epistle. Either he thinks he’s God, or he thinks you owe him something. Neither is a good sign.

Holy moley, you rock my world
’nuff said. Onward and upward.

Signed
Master of the Obvious. Don’t settle, girlfriend.

Bye
Hmm, taken literally, means “Shoo-fly”

Bye Bye
Worse – double trouble – literal translation: “Shoo-fly-Shoo”

I have signed an email or two – alright my homefry, muchas gratzies and chau chau: I think that means I’m weird, but you all already knew that.

Bling bling
Yeah, that’s a tough one. Double edged sword. The love affair might well be short-lived. Yellow light. The Magic 8 ball says: “Maybe”.

AND last, but not least:
Love – well, this is a pretty good sign, although not necessarily of a flaming love affair, seeing as I frequently receive emails signed, “Love, Mother” from Moms – thanks Mom!!

General (but very important) disclaimer: Actual user experiences will vary. Results are not typical. Do not try this at home!!!

February 18, 2003
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