About two months ago, I asked the question Can I put "Greetings" at the end of an email, and if so, how?, because I was having trouble to find the right wording and it seemed that English Language Stack Exchange was the right platform to ask for language advice. I also used the tag [word-choice] which states:

This tag is for questions about choosing the best word for a particular context or meaning.

This seemed to be a perfect fit for a question asking what phrase to use in the context of an informal email.

However, my question was closed fairly quickly (although I got good answers), with the reason taken from a comment by Kris:

This question is not about the English language. OTOH, it may open the floodgates to 'opinions.'

The closing statement was:

This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center.

I disagree with that, because to me my question seems to fit the [word-choice] tag perfectly and I was asking for a phrase to use in a specific situation. I was directed to the help center, but there I could also not find anything wrong with my question.

The user choster added some related questions that were going in a similar direction, but not answering my question, such as Is it appropriate to use "You're welcome," followed by my name in closing an email?, Which valediction should I use with my boss? or What complimentary close to use in continuous formal email?. These questions were not closed.

I have asked why my question had been closed in a comment, but as it was the sixth one and the question had already been closed, I think no one read it:

A question to the moderation: Is asking how to write a certain phrase (like how to end an informal email) not "word choice"? I also seemed to get quite good answers. Most of the questions posted above by @choster are similar (but not answering my problem) and are not closed.

Long story short: I'd like to know when a question asking for [word-choice] is allowed and when it is not.

In my opinion, since I was asking for advice on a specific situation, my question should be allowed, and I'd like to ask someone with the power to do so to reopen it. Otherwise, please explain to me why the question should not be allowed.

  • 2
    I completely agree with the closure. How are we supposed to know exactly what type of "email signoff" would be appropriate for you personally? And even if you're only restricting yourself to contexts where you've never actually met the person you're emailing, that will still cover a huge range of possibilities. My advice would be - don't email them at all unless they've emailed you previously. We all get enough "junk mail" already, and that's how I'd probably class missives from someone I don't know emailing me while on holiday. And if they emailed you before, just copy their signoff. Aug 12, 2014 at 22:15
  • @FumbleFingers Well, someone has to write the first email. If all emails are supposed to be responses to previous emails we'd have none. "Don't email them at all" doesn't seem to solve my question regarding word choice in the English language. I wasn't asking for advise what my actions should be, and I find it quite insulting to accuse me of sending "junk mail" just because I don't know the recipient personally. Regarding the first part of your comment: What word choice question is not opinionated?
    – Kodama
    Aug 13, 2014 at 0:01
  • I was asking for the specific situation of an informal email where the recipient is not personally known. I wasn't asking for wild guesses what's "appropriate for me personally", but what is a common phrase to use in the English language in that situation. The closing statement referred me to the help page that, again, did not state any rule that I have broken. If the question should remail closed, please tell me which rule it doesn't fit and how it is not a "questions about choosing the best word for a particular context or meaning." which seems to be the whole point of the word-choice tag.
    – Kodama
    Aug 13, 2014 at 0:04
  • The main part of the question was also whether using greetings to end an informal email was appropriate in English, and I really don't see what is wrong with asking that and how this could fit word-choice any better.
    – Kodama
    Aug 13, 2014 at 0:16
  • Insofar as the FAQ addresses your type of request, I suppose we could say it's Off Topic "writing advice". But I'd also say it's more a matter of etiquette / social customs than English usage as such. Essentially, no more appropriate here than "What's a good chat-up line for picking up English girls?" Aug 13, 2014 at 2:22

1 Answer 1


Your question has been answered, and very well too. The questions suggested by choster were, admittedly, not great ones and not very helpful. However yours is a duplicate of this question, which was closed for being primarily opinion-based:

Which expressions can be used to close an email?

Please, don't think that your question is being singled out for unfair treatment. In the end how one chooses to begin and end an email is dictated by experience and personal preferences.

I would also venture to say that your question is not really about "word choice" but rather about how to end an email which is covered by the valediction tag.

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