Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yours truly

Blogger friend Karen Klein (smart woman, even if she can’t spell her first name), is also a business writer for, among other publications, Business Week and the LA Times. And she’s funny, too. I mean, sometimes you have to plow through blah-blah-blah-stock, and blah-blah-blah-smart investments to get to the good stuff, but I know how to speed read.

Her latest post is about branding your business through your email, particularly in the sign-off. Karen currently uses: “Best,” but might branch out; take that next step. I suggested:

•Truly, madly, deeply,


•Yours, in the name of Satan,

I haven’t heard back, but for all her “Best,” she’s a lot busier than I am.

I find it kind of goofy when an email or even a letter starts with “Dear Karin,” because, Dear is rather personal. How did that Dear business even get started, particularly when writing to strangers? Might just as well say Darling or Sweet Cheeks or Pumpkin Head.

Actually, I’ve been married a few times and never ever called anyone anything other than his given name. (If I remembered it. And if I didn’t remember, I could cover up with “Mister” or “Hey you in the plaid shirt.”)

I have a theory that the more conservative in our endearments with the human animal, the more outlandish we are with animals of all other sorts. My business letter to a canine might have a salutation like, “Poo-poo-booby,” or “Sweet Good Bottom.”

Well, why not. It can’t come back to haunt me; Unlike one other animal I could mention, dogs know the art of discretion. They rarely kiss and tell.


  1. PooPoo Baby,
    I love this. I like xx or Bises but that's cause I have the mistaken impression that I'm French, which I'm not.
    I have a few folks that I'd like to send one last email to and I have some pretty good closings that I can't print here. I'll bet you can figure them out though.

    XOX to my BFF,

  2. I don't like using "Dear" as a business letter salutation, but I don't know what else to write. So I suffer in silence, until you kindly shed light on the situation for all of us. As a signature, I use, "Sincerely," because, well, everything I write for business is sincere. Even if I don't tell the correspondent that my opinion is he's a bonehead. For emails overseas, I find that people use "Regards," "Kind Regards," or "Best Regards." Which of these I use is dependent upon how close the person is to making a purchase of our product, and sending us actual money instead of electronic correspondence.

    Dogs would be better correspondents, expecting no endearments, just cookies.

  3. No "Hunk Man" or "Sweet Gorilla Baby" or "Herculean Splendor"? And you wonder why there were "a few." You're gonna get demoted from the Cum Laude of luuuuvvvvv.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Sugar Pie Honey Bunch:

    It was indeed a pleasure to see that you had posted yet another scrumptious morsel of wit. I honestly and sincerely laughed out loud at "Mister" and "Hey you in the plaid shirt" that you so skillfully included in the piece.

    Your faithful servant I remain, and please patronize our sponsors,

    "Mister" Earl

    This email was paid for by a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, the Pasadena Humane Society, and your friends and neighbors who bottle Coca-Cola.

  6. Fun post. I'm very tempted to start my next email to an attorney asking our department for help "Dear Poo-poo-booby,". I have a French/English book on letter writing from 1918 and it's a fascinating study in how letters used to be written (I think Mr. Early has the same book). For business emails, how about try this ending: "Ever at your service, I remain, dear Sir/Madam, very truly yours". My favorite familiar ending is "Giving you a friendly shake of the hand".

  7. Dear Sweet Bottoms,
    I love these. And Katie, should I ever have the good fortune to meet you, please bring that book.

    You know, in addition to Virg, I have several other friends who end their emails with the lovely XOXO's -- all the more lovely because these friends are far more sophisticated than I am, so those endings are just like a sparkler. I find it thoroughly enchanting.

    With a friendly shake of the hand and bises and XOXO, I remain your obedient servant,

  8. My dear lovey bumps, click on that link and read Karen's post. It's funny, and the discussion's good, too.

    Virginia! YOU'RE NOT FRENCH? Shoot. I mean SHOOT!

    Katie, come and see us again. You too, V. Guille might come in July. We'll plan something.

    Best to you each morning,

    P.S. I'm not all that funny after dinner.

  9. That poor dog looks like he's being strangled.

  10. Dear Petrea,
    You'll do.

    Warmest regards, and hoping this finds you well,

    WV: Ackingeh. Ok, so maybe I'm squeezing him a little too hard.

  11. Greetings!

    Oh woe is me. I am late to the luv fest but do wish you all a lovely slumber. Really, I am delirious with fatigue, but want to take this opportunity to say it has been a pleasure to read your funny post and the subsequent witty comments.

    Yours in gratitude,

  12. Katie: Never been called "Mr. Early" before. Not sure I like that... ;-)

  13. Sweetie pie...
    When I hit my mid 40's...or should I say slammed into brain hit the skids. I was working in a facility where we had a turnover of around 20 to 30 kids per month, in a facility that housed about 85. My head started spinning...I couldn't remember kids names worth a, I resorted to the age old, middle aged woman's standby...sweetie!!! Now you'd think, working with gang type crazy kids on drugs, this wouldn't go over very big...but the kids responded all the better for this little endearment that I used...
    I have to admit, I now use it with my granddaughters...that and pumpkin!!! (ok...and an occasional sweetie pie!) Am I schmaltzy or what???
    Sincerely yours...

  14. This makes me laugh. I totally agree about that awful "dear" address! Surely it's never an appropriate moment in the relationship to call me 'dear'. Just...never.

    "To whom it may concern" is another one that always made me wince. I much prefer "To the person for which I am writing" or "To the party for whom this letter is addressed"

  15. Earl, I just thought she knew you really, really well.

    Susan, it's never too late. Or, apparently, too early.

    Chieftess, we ALL like Hunk Man.

    Sara, how about "You Guys." Guys by itself means males, but I've always consider You Guys as all inclusive and use it as such.

    Wishing you continued good health, I remain,

    PS: Sweet Gorilla Baby? Someone is out of control.

  16. I've always hated the dreary dear crap or should that be deer crap.....maybe that's why I avoid letter writing.

  17. I stopped in at the South Pas Senior Center to ask a question once (can't remember what, something parking on the street nearby), and the young lady at the desk called me "dear." I about smacked her. Instead, I called her "dear" in return and it really pissed her off. I wonder why.

  18. I worked with a guy who used to write a lot of complaint letters to restaurants and the like. He would always begin his letters "Dear Friends". Hmmmm...I guess it was the element of surprise he was going for.

    I generally use "Hi" in my business letters. It more aptly represents who I am to my clients, although I generally still sign off with "Sincerely" instead of the "xoxo", "Blessings", or "Love", that I reserve for closer friends & family.


  19. When I worked in a high-class grocer's in the Northeast of England we called all our customers, male and female, regardless of age, "pet lamb", as in "That'll be 10 shillings and five pence, pet lamb."

    Pepe is my pet lamb!


  20. Dearest, Darling, Karin, Sweetie Pie,

    "Yours, in the name of Satan"


    You maketh me giggle at this early hour of the morning because merely a moment previous to spotting your post, a friend shared a quote with me that relates:

    "If you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing".

    And just yesterday afternoon, I was accused of being in bed with Satan for my lifestyle not cooperating with a poor, misguided woman of some faith who felt it important to violate Matthew 6:6 and proceed to pray out in public in front of me.

    Ergo, would that my webcam were on, you would find me flapping about the floor, giggling (the dog thinks I'm having a conniption). Perhaps I'll have to take to "medicinal" remedy at this early hour to help resolve my "vapors". Or perhaps the vapors ARE causing the conniption...

    Yours, in the name of Satan,

  21.'s been awhile, but I'm spewing tea reading this one!!!

    Sweet Gorilla Baby

    (I love it!!)

  22. You THINK they don't kiss and tell. But Miss J has it on good authority from Jenky-poo and June-buney that the Altadena Hiker is known around the 'dena as extremely loosey-goosey with her doggie endearments.

    Lovingly forevs,

    Miss Janey

  23. Gentlepeople:

    I am charmed by the arcane salutations.

    Hugs (or for the Francophiles, kiss-kiss),


  24. I find that as I get older I'm getting a lot looser with the endearments. The other day I called one of my th grade Girl Scouts "sweetie." You would have thought I'd kicked her by the look my daughter gave me. Bu then, she's just a lump o'love.

  25. A big hello from plaid shirt #2.

  26. Ah, Little Chickadee Dumpling,

    Another clever post.

    Thanks much.


  27. Cuddly booboo pie,

    I don't think I could pull off "Yours, in the name of Satan," but "Truly, madly, deeply," has potential.

    x0x and an extra 0 because today's extra special.

    Fingers crossed for Pepe.

  28. I have come to believe that putting emo-cons after my comments (no matter how gag worthy I find the process) has been invaluable to avoid being misunderstood. ; )

  29. Karin, my adorable, sweet friend:

    I know. That's why I had to publish a disclaimer, to set the record straight, if you will.

    Your most humble servant I am was is and always will be,

    "Mister Earl"

  30. Worthy guests, Herculean Splendors, gentle pet lambs, dumplings, and other such sweeties:

    I should have known better than play against the pros.

    Regards. I remain your humble servant. XOXO. And I mean it, babe.

    (I'll check on the Pepesters Monday. This weekend feels lucky.)

  31. In spirit.

    The very best regards on your lucky Day.

  32. YO, you!
    Great post, excellent comments!
    I'm laughing and thinking...

    Giddying up on out of here,

  33. I'd leave a term of endearment, but I'm busy washing off spewed coffee from my computer screen lol. There's good stuff here.

  34. As you know, in some English-speaking countries, "dear" also means "expensive." In modern Hebrew, too, the word for "dear" and "expensive" is the same. My friends and I used to play a game where we'd translate Hebrew idioms or phrases literally into English. Usually the adjectives follow the noun. Hence, we'd start a letter,

    "Karin the expensive:"

  35. I had a boyfriend once who always called me Baby. I knew that he had always called every girlfriend he'd ever had Baby. And that word became so loathsome to me I started wanting to punch him in his sleep.

    But don't hate me. I'm a horrible nicknamer. I give everyone nicknames. Even people I don't know. I'm blaming it on my Southern upbringing.

    Pat wrote "Dearest Shithead" on several occasions when dealing with a professional who was giving her the runaround. I always adored her for that.

    I've never known what to do with business letters. Dear SO and So was what I was taught in high school business class. It was what Emily Post said to do, too. Just writing So and So: is what often happens -- which I find abrupt and jarring. The worst are those marketing letters that go on for fifty paragraphs with a lot of exclamation points and many sentences highlighted in bold red. Whoever came up with that trend needs a serious kick in his sweet poo poo bottom.

    Is anyone getting the god-awful holiday newsletters yet? The "Dear friends," from someone you only hear about during the holidays, and only so they can herald the arrival of little baby whoever or sing praises to whatever latest raise or accolade that has come down their family pike. I seriously want to write one of my own newsletters that says something like,

    "Yeah, we lost everything in the economic crash, I've refilled my valium prescription and that crazy uncle of ours is STILL unable to make parole. They're pretty harsh about pedophelia, after all."

    And I'm only half kidding.

    XOXOXOXOXOXOXO (sparkle!)

    Your (un)sophisticated Sweetbottom

  36. To His Royal Highness the Prince of Earl: My heart is heavy with my own injustice, that in a moment of bad typing, an errant letter escaped, and I called you Mr. Early. I was somewhat in the wrong, but who does not make mistakes in this world? Let us quarrel no more. Please accept my sincere apology on account of the grief I have given. Believe me, Sir, to remain, yours respectfully. Katie

  37. Princess Katie, the expensive:

    Oh thou paragon of beauty, please be assured that my royal highness, the Prince of Earl, did not take serious offense at thy errant letter, because the premise expressed by your error was so utterly beyond absurd. We all have been guilty of the errant finger from time to time. Apology accepted. All is forgiven.

    With must gracious thanks for your kind missive, I still am,

    Your Prince,

    "Mister" Earl

    PS - I wasn't that early was I?

  38. Laurie:

    Oh I hate those holiday letters and, like you, I've often fantasized a card with a photo of a family clearly engaged in all manner of drug use, promiscuity, and crime with an accompanying letter relating infidelity, violence, and prison stays.

    My late friend, the Prince of Gilroy, wrote the best holiday letters. They'd start out with: "This is the year we finally got rid of that old green Danish modern couch" and proceed to "This year Jane got her wish, a swimming pool. This transformed Oakhurst from an overheated, insect-infested hell hole, to an overheated, insect-infested hell hole with a pool."

  39. Sweet Baby Cakes,

    I just got back from a one week road trip with a good friend who is 60, but has white hair, plenty of wrinkles, and looks older. He's gotten to the age, and more importance, the appearance, where he calls every waitress "Hon." He figures no one will think he's hitting on them, just that he's a goofy old man. His wife thinks he's crazy. After a week, I can say all the servers, except one who appeared to be several years older, appeared unfazed or even appreciative.

    Yours in ________ (name your organization, religion, or cause)


  40. Last year, John and I did a holiday e-letter almost like that. Sent weird photos of ourselves (and one of Boz looking like a monster), and said very little--something like "We're still alive. How'd you manage this year?" Some people didn't get it.

  41. Petrea: You should post on your blog or somewhere!

  42. Oooooh, I think we should all post a holiday letter this year. I know many of you have reputations to protect, but I don't. You can post over here.

  43. "Dear Friends, Romans, Countrymen, and Gentleladies:

    Things got interesting very quickly this year. In late December I noticed a newspaper article in the South Pasadena Review... Soon, I was at my first City Council meeting... "

    Shit, did I just blow my cover?

  44. I don't normally use salutations in emails. That's because I'm lazy, but I think I could spin it as efficient.

    I tend to go the Best route too. Unless it's someone I know and then it's just my name. I like this Satan bit. It will certainly make my email stand out. Unless everybody's calling themselves Satan these days.

  45. Not a bad idea, Earl. By the way, you have no cover to blow.

    Hiker, I love it. Maybe we could all pick a day and do SGV blogger holiday family letters.

    Amy, you made me laugh.

  46. What am I thinking? Why SGV? Why not the world?

  47. I was gonna about Mono County???

  48. Ooooohhhh, a shout out in AltadenaHiker!?!

    I'm not worthy. ;-)

    My family used to die laughing over Erma Bombeck's annual Christmas letters. I wish I could find some online but her stuff was pre-Internet and apparently hasn't been transferred.

    Here's one example but it honestly doesn't do her justice.

  49. That's funny, Karen (with an "e"). Especially the Martha letter.

  50. mine is "hey there"

    Dogs don't kiss and tell, because they kiss EVERYONE!

  51. Expensive Mr are correct about dear and expensive...perhaps because modern hebrew speaking men know their jewelers dearly? ;-)

    perhaps Katie needs re-education about Earl vs early?

    My grandad used to call every woman Susie if he couldn't remember her name...then my uncle went and MARRIED a gal named Susie...oops!

    I took on the mantle as I grew older and tried dating more than one person at a time. "Baby" "Sweetie" "Honey" or "Darling" works well when you a)aren't in a position to open your eyes and focus on the person and b) just dang don't remember their name. It was in this period of time I realized I wasn't cut out for more than monogamy...hence, been married almost 20 years.

    Just wrote a complaint note my mother would be proud of. Wish I would have thot of "Dear Shithead" is how I was feeling.

    As a dear friend just pointed out on FB, Satan and Santa are not far apart...just sayin'