Sign-off alignments

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  1. Joe said,

    August 15, 2019 @ 8:19 am

    Working with US military types, I see an abbreviated form of "Very Respectfully," a lot.

  2. Francois Lang said,

    August 15, 2019 @ 8:41 am

    Many years ago, I worked at a law firm. Back then (pre desktop computers), lawyers either hand-wrote letters for their support staff to type, or dictated them. The canonical signoff (handwritten or dictated) was "VTY", which of course was "Very Truly Yours".

  3. Brett said,

    August 15, 2019 @ 10:11 am

    What's so demonic about "Ciao"?

  4. Jerry Friedman said,

    August 15, 2019 @ 11:27 am

    Brett: I don't get any of the connections. My choice for Lawful Evil would have been listing one's full job title and all one's degrees.

  5. Ben Zimmer said,

    August 15, 2019 @ 11:48 am

    In case anyone is unfamiliar with these meme-ified alignment charts, which rely on character alignments introduced for Dungeons & Dragons in the '70s, Know Your Meme has got you covered. (And see Mark's post from last year, "Subdisciplinary alignments," for an earlier iteration.) The sandwich alignment chart is a variation on the theme, changing the "lawful"/"chaotic" axis to "purist"/"rebel" and introducing "ingredients" and "structure" as variables.

  6. Yuval Pinter said,

    August 15, 2019 @ 12:27 pm

    The most throw-me-off one to this very day is "Yours ever,", used by a somewhat known linguist.

  7. JPL said,

    August 16, 2019 @ 6:45 pm


    So, "Yours ever," throws you off if it's used by a somewhat known linguist, but doesn't faze you if it's used by a well-known linguist or a linguist toiling in obscurity? That's an interesting kind of reaction.

  8. Philip Taylor said,

    August 17, 2019 @ 10:37 am

    JPL — Would that interpretation of Yuval's words not require a "when" rather than a comma as written ? My interpretation of Yuval's contribution is that "Yours ever" fazes Yuval whenever he/she encounters it, and he/she notes in passing that it is used (presumably fairly regularly) by a "somewhat known linguist". For what it's worth, the one that fazes me is "Thanks" as a routine closing salutation to e-mails even if the author has no reason whatsoever to thank anyone.

  9. JPL said,

    August 17, 2019 @ 10:27 pm

    @Philip Taylor:

    Yes, that would certainly disambiguate it (but not completely), but I'm kind of interested in ambiguous expressions (in this case centered on the indefinite article). Likewise, adding "which is" in that position favors the no doubt intended interpretation (but doesn't quite eliminate the other one).

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