Duck-billed platitudes

What in god's name is the phrase kind regards supposed to mean? I'd never heard it until a year ago, and now everyone seems to be signing off their emails with it.

I'm all for pleasantries and crap like that, but think about it for a moment: how can you send regards that are kind? It doesn't make sense. You can send warm regards, and you can send affectionate regards, but kind regards? I don't think so.

And even if it were possible to send your regards kindly, who the hell are you to point it out? Surely whether you're being kind or not is down to the recipient or a third-party to decide. Would you dream of signing off an email with the phrase welcome regards? Well then.

But the worst thing about the phrase kind regards is that it's so bloody trite. The sort of people who write kind regards are the sort of people who buy Phil Collins albums. If they can't be arsed to sign off with an original or, at the very least, appropriate valediction, well, quite frankly, sod them!

Come on, folks, you're emailing real people out there. Don't insult them with platitudes. If you need to keep it formal, plain old regards is good enough. If you're on good (or even bad) terms with the individual concerned, however, why not show an ounce of imagination and sign off with something a bit more personal or humorous? Here are some examples you might like to consider:

  • Kind of regards,
  • Haughty regards,
  • Naughty regards,
  • Punctilious regards,
  • (Insert random adjective here) regards,
  • Graders (anag.)
  • Moustache! [must dash, geddit?]
  • Let's do brunch!
  • Let's make babies next time!
  • Fingers-crossed re. your clinic results!
  • I think I'm in love with your wife. There, I've said it!
  • We'll always have Cleckheaton.
  • Be there or wear flares.
  • Don't worry, I'm sure it will clear up. They have some wonderful ointments these days.
  • Must go—Natalie Imbruglia has just called round. I wish she'd leave me alone, she's turning into a real nuisance!
  • I could go on like this all day, but I'll be damned if I'm going to.
  • Let's just leave it at that, should we?
  • Toops!
  • Nooby-poots!
  • Wooooooooooooop!!
  • I take it the 'Princess Anne' situation is resolved.
  • It's your round.
  • On second thoughts, forget it.
  • What's that smell?

(I fully appreciate I'm asking for trouble here.)

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Mr Titcher should prefix his parting comment with 'may your balls turn into bicycle wheels and back peddle................'

    a favourite antipodean greeting from the world's biggest open prison (australia...dummy!)

  2. Have you heard the latest Chav comparison?
    Instead of 'mutton dressed as lamb'
    it's 'Whitney dressed as Britney'

  3. I have a gripe against abuse of the English language and this morning I got yet another email this morning signed off with the words "kind regards".
    So into google I typed: "people who write kind regards" and this excellent blog was the one result!
    It's spot-on! Without doubt, all the people who I know who sign emails like this (ok, both of them) are lower-management dullards for whom making a Pointless Powerpoint Presentation is the zenith* of their achievements, or are called Dave and have a Microsoft certification but not a clue how to work a PC.

    *Did I mean Zenith? I wasn't sure, so I googled for define zenith and it told me that:
    n. The point in the heavens directly overhead to a man standing or a growing cabbage. A man in bed or a cabbage in the pot is not considered as having a zenith, though from this view of the matter there was once a considerably dissent among the learned, some holding that the posture of the body was immaterial. These were called Horizontalists, their opponents, Verticalists. The Horizontalist heresy was finally extinguished by Xanobus, the philosopher-king of Abara, a zealous Verticalist.

    Good. Cleared that up then....

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *