Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
Should you use a comma/period after “Thanks”/“Regards” in email signatures?

I see answers on how to end a letter putting a comma after for example sincerely, like:

Sincerely,
Name

Is it incorrect to write it without a comma, like the following?

Sincerely
Name

Does the answer change if one used: "Best wishes", "Regards", "Cheers", etc.?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Oct 22 '12 at 13:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you look at a How to Write A Business Letter manual, the comma will more than likely be there. For business letters it may matter. For personal letters, there are no strict rules.

No, the situation doesn't change with "Best wishes", "Regards", or "Cheers".

share|improve this answer
    
Worth noting that if read aloud, the comma should also be audible as a pause between the farewell and the name. As a native English speaker, if you didn't emphasize the pause I'd hear "Best of luck, Frank" as wishing best of luck to Frank, rather than Frank himself wishing best of luck to whomever he's writing. Which is kind of odd, now that I think about it, since both statements use a comma when written. –  KRyan Oct 17 '12 at 4:11
    
You're right about the pause. I think that pitch, stress, and intonation are also involved in the spoken version. If you're wishing the best of luck to Frank, then stress and higher pitch and rising intonation would be on "Best of luck" -- "luck" get primary stress -- and "Frank" would have lower pitch, much less stress (maybe tertiary or no stress at all), and falling intonation. If it's a closing salutation, "luck" has falling intonation, and "Frank" has secondary stress and no falling intonation. This may not be accurate for everyone, but it's what I hear when I say both sentences. –  user21497 Oct 17 '12 at 4:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.