Clever Ways to Close a Letter

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There are different ways to close a letter -- from the formal to the personal -- but clever ways of closing them can have the most impact. A nice verbal flourish, pledge or an unfinished sentence leading up to one's name or signature can work well. Equally important, when trying to be clever, it is important to avoid the usual and unoriginal closes on which so many letters rely.

1 The Pledge

A pledge close can be a good way for the letter writer to bond with the recipient in meaningful ways. Such closings can provide a sense of the dramatic and reflect common backgrounds, or relatable challenges or triumphs. Closings such as "yours in adversity" or "yours in victory" may work well.

2 The Unfinished Sentence

Sometimes an incomplete sentence that can only be completed with your signature has a nice effect. In this way your name ends the letter, as well as being its close. An example might be, I am glad you accept a variety of people into your club as I can only be . . . your name or signature. Such a closing is clever and humorous as well.

3 The Verbal Flourish

The idea of the verbal flourish is to be literary, original or humorous. According to, some closings that might work well to accomplish this are the old curse propagated by the Chinese, "May you live in interesting times" and even the theatrical "Exit stage right." The recipient will certainly remember such closings when thinking of the letter.

4 Avoid Sincerely

To be clever in closing requires avoidance of the mundane and overused. Sincerely is used in so many letters it is doubtful to garnish any worthwhile reaction. Stay original and reflect your purpose for writing the letter instead. Use "Sympathetically" for condolence letters and "Inspirationally" for a letter to a friend to lift his spirits.

James Parducci has written professionally since 2001. He is a columnist for “Comic Box” and has been published in “San Diego Mission Valley News” and the “San Diego Comic-Con Souvenir Book.” Parducci also wrote the limited comic series “Nighthunter.” He is currently pursuing a B.A. at the University of Maryland University College where he majors in English and is on the dean's list.