the hypen used in email signatures

Here’s an example:

Hi there Bob,

I hope all is well. When do you think I could get my yellow matter transmuter back?


It’s kinda funny when people put hypens before their name when signing an email. Why is that? So your name is differentiated from the rest of email? Is it avoiding the use of a salutation?

The hyphen also functions as a minus sign. So it’s like saying “matt out” or “subtract one of me.” How weird. Maybe it would be more nice to sign emails with a plus sign “+matt” or even a MULTIPLY sign “*matt” No, that’s more an asterick–especially how the asterick is at the bottom of the email. How about a divide sign? “/matt” that looks very programmie.

Enjoyed this blog post?

Join the creatives who receive thoughtful Spudart blog posts via the email newsletter

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
tom sherman
18 years ago

I often sign e-mails with a double hypen “–tom”, i.e. a dash (the dash is not to be confused with its little brother, the hyphen!). I think the single hyphen is rather lame, the double hyphen somewhat better, sans hyphen a bit barren. But you’re right, we need something better. Square brackets “[tom”>” aren’t so bad, eh?

18 years ago

i’ve been signing my emails with a single hypen for years. here’s how it looks: -erik i like the idea how the hyphen is an extension of that horizontal line in the “e”. Though from that example it looks like the hyphen and the line in the “e” don’t line up. At least they line up in theory. i like signing with the lower case “e” instead of the upper case “E”. I don’t know why.

18 years ago

1. I think the tradition of the hyphen comes from those quotes dumb peple are always quoting: “‘Blah, blah, blah.’ -Einstein.” It should really be an em-dash, though. 2. The / is used in a lot of community blogs, and has a specific use. “I’m totally the best ever. /sarcasm” is one example. It’s like closing an html tag. 3. The word is [i”>asterisk[/i”>. /righteous prickery -telly

ode dennis adoga
17 years ago

please show how to sign my signature butwrong please correct me and proceed

17 years ago

I’ve been called “artistic” for using the tilde. ~Ken Oh, and erik, I think the lower case signature is unassuming and friendly. Or maybe, “you’re too cool to capitalize.” Also, the double-hyphen/dash will trigger Mozilla Thunderbird to grey the following lines as a signature.

17 years ago

Well, I for one would scream like a Beatles fan if I got an email from you. Just like I did when I got one from The Yarn Harlot.

17 years ago


16 years ago

I sign off my emails with <<matthew>> I usually don’t even start a new line or paragraph. It’ll go something like this okay, well I’ll talk with you later <<matthew>> When I got a new job that involves a lot of email communication, it was a bitch to stop myself from doing that at work.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x