Relationships

Do You Sign Emails xoxo?

For the past eight or so years, I’ve signed almost every email with an xoxo—to female and male friends, to strangers, to colleagues, to accountants, to lawyers, to people who are more or less my bosses. I can’t even help myself anymore; it has become totally automatic.

“I’m always afraid that I’m being unprofessional, yet I continue to sign all my e-mails ‘xoxo,’ ” Lena Dunham joked to the New York Times Magazine earlier this year.

A recent Atlantic article examined the phenomenon, which they say is feminizing the workplace: “‘I feel like xo has taken on its own kind of life,’ says Karli Kasonik, a Washington-based consultant. ‘I do it, most women I know do it,’ says Asie Mohtarez, a writer and social-media editor, noting that she prefers a single x to the full xo. ‘In my field, you almost have to use it,’ says Kristin Esposito, a yoga instructor in New York.”

Funnily enough, xoxo-ing has become such a habit that I feel kind of mean when I don’t include it. “There’s the matter of women’s tonal antennae, which pick up on even the smallest shifts,” continues the Atlantic article. “‘In e‑mail, ending a command with a period can feel brusque,’ says Anne Trubek, a professor of rhetoric at Oberlin College…In Diane Sawyer’s newsroom, staffers say, the anchor uses xo so frequently that its omission can spark panic.”

And it’s not just for women. My deep-voiced, bearded husband has started picking it up, and my dad’s classic sign-off is now a bold “xxOOO.” (I think those are bear hugs.)

After all, xoxo doesn’t actually mean “kiss” anymore (at least, I’m not planning to kiss my accountant, sweet as he is). It’s similar to “how the epistolary greeting Dear changed over time, originally just for addressing loved ones but eventually becoming neutral,” says Ben Zimmer, a linguist and lexicologist, in the article.

So, is xoxo unprofessional or a new industry standard? “I refuse to feel any shame for this widespread woman-trait,” Caitlin Moran, the British feminist and author of How to Be a Woman, told the Atlantic. “Statistics show we’re slowly taking over the world, and I’m happy for us to do it one xxx e‑mail at a time.”

What do you think? I’d love to hear… xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

(Thanks, Courtney)

  1. Kristin says...

    I would never use XOX in a work email! Maybe on the West Coast we are more reserved. Most emails I just finish with Thanks or Thank you as a closing. If I’m going for a light hearted tone I might throw in a :) . But I would no more use XOX than I would “love” or “love you.”

  2. carol says...

    i usually just go with a <3

  3. Carlie says...

    I don’t think xoxo is a good idea. If a women signs that to a married man I think his wife might not like that. You should have respect for that person.

  4. oh gosh! i only use XO to my boyfriend!

  5. I do not use xoxo, but always love it when my lovely British friends do.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  6. C. says...

    It’s funny, ’cause I’ve never experienced it here in Denmark. Most people sign their emails either with their names only or with a “med venlig hilsen” which sort of translates to “best wishes” (hilsen is more like “give my best” and venlig is kind) but a bit more formal. You would NEVER sign your emails with XO, as in you would never write “hugs and kisses” – at least, not unless you’ve been to the U.S. I think.

  7. أنواع كــشـف التسربات – تـســربـات الـمـيـاه – تــسـربات الـغـاز

    طرق الكشف عن التسربات بأحدث الاجهزة

    كشف تسربات المياه
    كشف تسرب الغاز
    كشف انقطاع الكهرباء
    عزل مائي وحراري بجميع انواعة
    تمديدات شكبات الغاز و المياة والكهرباء
    صيانه عامه للمنازل والشركات والمجمعات
    كشف تسربات المياه !
    عند تسرب المياه في خطوط ألانابيب ومع ضغط المياه يتدفق المياه من صدع الأرض ويهتز الأنابيب عند نقطة التسرب وتنتقل هذه الذبذبات بواسطة الأنابيب الي سطح الجدار ويمكن أيضا أن تكون لاحظت بعيد عن نقاط الاتصال على سبيل المثال التجهيزات هذا هو المعروف باسم هيكل الصوت المنقولة ويتم سمعة من قبل الجهاز الالكتروني والمياه النفاثة في الأنابيب في منطقة تسربات المياه تسبب اهتزاز في الأرض وتنتقل هذه الاهتزازات من خلال الانابيب إلى سطح الأرض حيث تعبر عن نفسها من الضوضاء ولا يمكن ان تسمع الأذن البشرية هذه الصوت إذا كانت الإشارات الاستمرار في الحصول على أعلى صوت يتم تبديل سماعات الرأس باتجاه آخر. وتلقائيا عملها مرة واحدة علي مصدر الضوضاء يصبح هادئة ويمكن سماع وظيفة الحماية مخصصة لبيئات التشغيل المختلفة ومختلف المستخدمين. الجهاز الالكتروني وظيفة المبتكرة المرشح الأمثل يجعل من الأسهل التحديد بدقة عالية تسرب المياه وهو مفيد بشكل خاص حيث الميكروفون الأرض قد حددت الضوضاء من التسرب ولكن الموقف الدقيق للتسرب من الصعب تحديد التأثيرات المحيطة بسبب الصوت العالي المتلقي يسجل عينة الضجيج باستخدام الميكروفون الأرض وتحللها في ذلك الوقت تلقائيا إلى مجموعة مناسبة التردد الذي يميز هيكل الصوت التي لا تزال تلعب دورا هاما في تحليل الضوضاء وتسرب المياه يفضل الـ عزل مائي. على الرغم من تحسن المساعدة في الشاشة مع خبرة الفني المتخصص في كشف تسربات المياه يمكن ان يميز بين ضجيج وتسرب المياه في الخلفية جهاز ايكيوفون ذات جودة عالية من الصوت من خلال سماعات الرأس ترحيل يساعد الاستخدام في هذه المهمة الجميع يفي صحة المهنية الحالية ومتطلبات السلامة كافية لحماية السمع أهمية وخاصة في الماضي كان غير جيد الضغط الصوتي وخطيرة في بعض الأحيان حتى إذا حدث تراجع قضيب اختبار قبالة نقطة الاتصال وتنشيط سماعات قريبه جدا أو بعيدة جدا أو شيء سقط على الأرض مباشرة بجوار الميكروفون كان يصعب عليك تحديد صوت تسربات المياه في الانابيب هذا هو شيء من الماضي ام الآن بفضل التكنولوجيا الجديدة ويتم رصد مستمر إشارة الصوت لتسرب المياه في الانابيب ويمكن تحديد نقطة التسرب بسهولة من خلال جهاز ايكيوفون والكشف بايدى فنيين متخصصين ومدربه علي اعلي مستوي

    علامات التسرب :
    يحدث التسرب عندما نرى الدلائل التالية :

    علامات التسرب :
    يحدث التسرب عندما نرى الدلائل التالية :
    1 – ظهور المياه على الجدران أو الأسقف أو الأرضيات .
    2 – ارتفاع فاتورة استهلاك المياه .
    3 – ظهور تصدعات في أجزاء المبنى .
    4 – الصوت الناتج عن التسرب في الأنابيب المخفية ولايمكن التعرف عليه

    إن الدقة التي تحدد بها شركة التقوي 0508253546 مكان التسرب في الأنابيب (الغاز/ السائل) المخفية هو تحد كبير ، فهذا يقود الى توفير المال و الوقت و التقليل من متطلبات الحفر ، كشف تسربات المياه بأحدث الأجهزة الالكترونية بدون تكسيرمع الضمان بضغط النيتروجين
    ( مـطابخ – حمــامات – شـــبكــات مياة – خــطوط غـازطــبيعي – – كشف انقطاع الكهرباء) و تستخدم زهرة السعودية التطبيقات التالية في تعيين مكان التسرب :
    1- أجهزة الاستماع الأرضية البسيطة باستخدام جهاز تحسس أرضي مفرد .

    كشف التسربات بالاستماع

    2 – تقنية (الكوريليشن ) باستخدام جهازي تحسس ، كل جهاز يوضع على طرف من طرفي مقطع الأنابيب الموجودة تحت الاختبار .

    قراءة الوقت الذي يستغرقه الصوت الناتج عن
    التسرب للوصول ما بين مقاطع الأنبوب

    وصول الوقت المتأخر جزء من الثانية
    رسم بياني يوضح علاقة الصوت الناتج عن التسرب

    3 – تقنية الاهتزازات باستخدام مجس يتكون من جهازي تحسس ارضي مرتبطين معا للكشف الأرضي .
    4 – تقنية القوة المترابطة باستخدام جهاز تحسس على الأنبوب أو الصمام و جهاز تحسس أخر للكشف و الاستماع الأرضي.

    كشف تسربات المياة

    غسيل خزانات
    نظافة عامة
    مكافحة الحشرات
    نقل اثاث
    عزل حمامات -عزل اسطح
    اتصل بنا
    الخدمة 24 ساعة
    هاتف :0508253546

    هاتف : 0562484316

    ترميم فلل – رش موبيد – غسيل خزنات مع العزل والتعقيم – عزل مائي – نقل ​​اثاث مع الفك والتركيب

  8. أنواع كــشـف التسربات – تـســربـات الـمـيـاه – تــسـربات الـغـاز

    طرق الكشف عن التسربات بأحدث الاجهزة

    كشف تسربات المياه
    كشف تسرب الغاز
    كشف انقطاع الكهرباء
    عزل مائي وحراري بجميع انواعة
    تمديدات شكبات الغاز و المياة والكهرباء
    صيانه عامه للمنازل والشركات والمجمعات
    كشف تسربات المياه !
    عند تسرب المياه في خطوط ألانابيب ومع ضغط المياه يتدفق المياه من صدع الأرض ويهتز الأنابيب عند نقطة التسرب وتنتقل هذه الذبذبات بواسطة الأنابيب الي سطح الجدار ويمكن أيضا أن تكون لاحظت بعيد عن نقاط الاتصال على سبيل المثال التجهيزات هذا هو المعروف باسم هيكل الصوت المنقولة ويتم سمعة من قبل الجهاز الالكتروني والمياه النفاثة في الأنابيب في منطقة تسربات المياه تسبب اهتزاز في الأرض وتنتقل هذه الاهتزازات من خلال الانابيب إلى سطح الأرض حيث تعبر عن نفسها من الضوضاء ولا يمكن ان تسمع الأذن البشرية هذه الصوت إذا كانت الإشارات الاستمرار في الحصول على أعلى صوت يتم تبديل سماعات الرأس باتجاه آخر. وتلقائيا عملها مرة واحدة علي مصدر الضوضاء يصبح هادئة ويمكن سماع وظيفة الحماية مخصصة لبيئات التشغيل المختلفة ومختلف المستخدمين. الجهاز الالكتروني وظيفة المبتكرة المرشح الأمثل يجعل من الأسهل التحديد بدقة عالية تسرب المياه وهو مفيد بشكل خاص حيث الميكروفون الأرض قد حددت الضوضاء من التسرب ولكن الموقف الدقيق للتسرب من الصعب تحديد التأثيرات المحيطة بسبب الصوت العالي المتلقي يسجل عينة الضجيج باستخدام الميكروفون الأرض وتحللها في ذلك الوقت تلقائيا إلى مجموعة مناسبة التردد الذي يميز هيكل الصوت التي لا تزال تلعب دورا هاما في تحليل الضوضاء وتسرب المياه يفضل الـ عزل مائي. على الرغم من تحسن المساعدة في الشاشة مع خبرة الفني المتخصص في كشف تسربات المياه يمكن ان يميز بين ضجيج وتسرب المياه في الخلفية جهاز ايكيوفون ذات جودة عالية من الصوت من خلال سماعات الرأس ترحيل يساعد الاستخدام في هذه المهمة الجميع يفي صحة المهنية الحالية ومتطلبات السلامة كافية لحماية السمع أهمية وخاصة في الماضي كان غير جيد الضغط الصوتي وخطيرة في بعض الأحيان حتى إذا حدث تراجع قضيب اختبار قبالة نقطة الاتصال وتنشيط سماعات قريبه جدا أو بعيدة جدا أو شيء سقط على الأرض مباشرة بجوار الميكروفون كان يصعب عليك تحديد صوت تسربات المياه في الانابيب هذا هو شيء من الماضي ام الآن بفضل التكنولوجيا الجديدة ويتم رصد مستمر إشارة الصوت لتسرب المياه في الانابيب ويمكن تحديد نقطة التسرب بسهولة من خلال جهاز ايكيوفون والكشف بايدى فنيين متخصصين ومدربه علي اعلي مستوي

    علامات التسرب :
    يحدث التسرب عندما نرى الدلائل التالية :

    علامات التسرب :
    يحدث التسرب عندما نرى الدلائل التالية :
    1 – ظهور المياه على الجدران أو الأسقف أو الأرضيات .
    2 – ارتفاع فاتورة استهلاك المياه .
    3 – ظهور تصدعات في أجزاء المبنى .
    4 – الصوت الناتج عن التسرب في الأنابيب المخفية ولايمكن التعرف عليه

    إن الدقة التي تحدد بها شركة التقوي 0508253546 مكان التسرب في الأنابيب (الغاز/ السائل) المخفية هو تحد كبير ، فهذا يقود الى توفير المال و الوقت و التقليل من متطلبات الحفر ، كشف تسربات المياه بأحدث الأجهزة الالكترونية بدون تكسيرمع الضمان بضغط النيتروجين
    ( مـطابخ – حمــامات – شـــبكــات مياة – خــطوط غـازطــبيعي – – كشف انقطاع الكهرباء) و تستخدم زهرة السعودية التطبيقات التالية في تعيين مكان التسرب :
    1- أجهزة الاستماع الأرضية البسيطة باستخدام جهاز تحسس أرضي مفرد .

    كشف التسربات بالاستماع

    2 – تقنية (الكوريليشن ) باستخدام جهازي تحسس ، كل جهاز يوضع على طرف من طرفي مقطع الأنابيب الموجودة تحت الاختبار .

    قراءة الوقت الذي يستغرقه الصوت الناتج عن
    التسرب للوصول ما بين مقاطع الأنبوب

    وصول الوقت المتأخر جزء من الثانية
    رسم بياني يوضح علاقة الصوت الناتج عن التسرب

    3 – تقنية الاهتزازات باستخدام مجس يتكون من جهازي تحسس ارضي مرتبطين معا للكشف الأرضي .
    4 – تقنية القوة المترابطة باستخدام جهاز تحسس على الأنبوب أو الصمام و جهاز تحسس أخر للكشف و الاستماع الأرضي.

    كشف تسربات المياة

    غسيل خزانات
    نظافة عامة
    مكافحة الحشرات
    نقل اثاث
    عزل حمامات -عزل اسطح
    اتصل بنا
    الخدمة 24 ساعة
    هاتف :0508253546

    هاتف : 0562484316

    ترميم فلل – رش موبيد – غسيل خزنات مع العزل والتعقيم – عزل مائي – نقل ​​اثاث مع الفك والتركيب

  9. I never sign a letter xo unless I might kiss that person. And if I received xo on a note, it should be from someone I would be ok kissing back.

    Right?

    Wayne

    reblogged on luvsiesous.com

  10. I never sign my emails with xoxo, but after reading this article I believe I will for my less formal/professional emails. I usually just sign off with “Renee” but I now believe that is a little arrogant. It makes it seem as if by signing off with my name that I feel my request or statement should carry more weight. Signing off with xoxo is the equivalent of batting your eyelashes or calling someone “Sugar-pie,” “Sweetie-pie,” or “Honey.” You might make them uncomfortable, but they might feel like a jerk if they don’t comply. Might become part of my “please do this” strategy. Thanks!

  11. I find that signing “xoxo” is very unprofessional. I would feel uncomfortable if a coworker signed an email to me with that.

    I think signing “xoxo” is only acceptable if your email is directed towards family or a significant other or a close friend

    http://bl4q.blogspot.ca/

  12. I’ve never done this. No one I know has ever done this. No email has ever come to me with this. And I live in the South! Certainly, and I don’t care where you live or work, it is completely inappropriate in a work environment; I don’t care what Diane Sawyer does.

  13. i hate it, that and LOL as well. . i am more ahahaha and “love” kind of girl and then only to people i know

  14. I used to never use “xo” in my emails, but when I came into the blogosphere, it was everywhere! So I contemplated using it for the first time. It felt strange, to be honest, and I almost didn’t like it. But it grew as a sign in affection to others, including those I didn’t know. After all, in my Mexican culture, it’s perfectly normal to hug and kiss someone you know or just met. So I decided to try it and it stuck.

    xo, Adriana. ;)
    horsesofares.blogspot.com

  15. totally agree!! i sign everything with a little ‘x’and i too feel mean when i don’t include one, even to my awful bank manager!! mel x

  16. I’ve never sent nor received an email with “xoxo” as the signature. I had no idea such things were happening.

    I include XOXO on the notes I leave in Scout’s lunchbox every day. That’s about it.

  17. The only place I have ever heard of xoxo as an e-mail sign off is on Gossip Girl. I have never seen someone add that to a message in real life.

  18. I have never heard of people using this for business, and it seems really inappropriate. I can kind of understand the yoga instructor’s comment as it’s probably more relaxed and all, but it just seems weird, and as though men were signing emails this way out of nowhere at work it might be taken strangely.
    The only times I see xoxos used anymore is on notes between parents and kids or friends.

    Seems unprofessional. I’ll stick to “Thanks!”

  19. I also think that ‘xoxo’ is absolutely OK for close friends and family, but completely inappropriate for business or strangers.

    I work in a pretty relaxed atmosphere in the arts, and I have never seen an email signed ‘xoxo’ and if I did I would be VERY confused.

    Jo, you might want to save this signature for your family, friends, close business associates, and the blog.

  20. it’s so interesting. if someone doesn’t end with a x, i know they’re pissed off with me! x (not pissed off)

  21. I sometimes do with people I know very well, but not for work things. On the flipside, my boyfriend puts <3s at the bottom of all of his emails, work included. We were working together when we met, and I remember noting that as a little odd. Now I just find it endearing!

  22. I could be getting too excited over nothing here — but is the “Thanks, Courtney” referring to my GIRLS comment (on your post about the trailer) and how I signed it xoxo?!? xoxo, Joanna! You’re so great!

  23. in the early ’80’s, i worked for the writer james patterson. he went by jim. he was the creative director of a group in a big nyc ad agency. jim had this tiny, squiggly handwriting and he would leave you notes on your desk and always sign them “xoxo.” i thought this was charming and different and so i picked up the habit. now i sign most everything that way. i like the idea of putting out a little love, in a world that can use all it can get. btw, he was a wonderful boss and man, and the women and men in the group all adored him.

  24. in the early ’80’s, i worked for the writer james patterson. he went by jim. he was the creative director of a group in a big nyc ad agency. jim had this tiny, squiggly handwriting and he would leave you notes on your desk and always sign them “xoxo.” i thought this was charming and different and so i picked up the habit. now i sign most everything that way. i like the idea of putting out a little love, in a world that can use all it can get. btw, he was a wonderful boss and man, and the women and men in the group all adored him.

  25. Two of my favorite email signatures are best or warmly..

  26. In a professional email? Never. I would think it highly unprofessional. In a personal email- sure.

  27. i sign almost everything xoxo. in the impersonal world of email and texts, i hope it adds a little extra something personal and cheerful. but you’re cracking me up that you sign EVERYTHING with it! i can’t imagine signing off to, say, my insurance agent with xoxo hahaha! or even a new client (but once i am in love with my client families and i know it’s mutual, i do for sure!)

    ps. the polarized responses to this are, as always, FASCINATING, joanna! xoxo.

    haha

  28. I have never ever seen anyone in my professional world (which is quite casual)sign an email off xoxo. Our standard is Regards or Best Regards, and I like that! This article surprises me!

  29. I think in general it comes across as very fake and generic. Not a fan at all.

  30. Late to the comment game here, but I love this post, Joanna. As long as I can remember, my Grandmother signed everything she wrote to us “xoxo, Grandma.” And I picked it up because I loved how it looked and I loved her. I even sign off every blog post with xoxo now. And a month or so before my Grandma passed away last year, I told her that I adopted her xoxo habit and the look on her face was just so sweet and happy, I could never let go of it now.
    xoxo

  31. I’m a corporate lawyer, and I must join the chorus of professionals above in saying this is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG for professional use! It’s not a matter of injecting femininity into the workplace; it’s a matter of communicating in a way that is professional, polite, and respectful to others. At best, XOXO in a professional e-mail signals that the writer doesn’t take themselves, the recipient, and/or the subject matter very seriously. At worst, it could come across sarcastic or harassing. Of course, it is perfectly fine for personal use.

  32. I never use xoxo in my work emails, maybe because I work in a research lab, except for the couple of close female coworkers that I have at work. I use xoxo or Xx or xo for a lot of my emails to friends. It’s funny that you post this because how to sign off is a problem for me with most emails I write. After living in France, I got so used to signing off emails and texts with Bisous, bises or another variation and felt messages were cold without them. Signing off that way is almost universal in France (among girls and between guys and girls, even friends) and back in the U.S., I feel like there’s no general consensus and if anything, we tend to just sign our names or nothing at all. One of my American friends recently stopped using Xoxo and it gave me a bit of a complex! Some of my American friends sign off with Love or Much love.

    Xoxo

  33. I work at a cable network where jeans are entirely appropriate workplace attire and I have never once seen a work email signed xoxo. It would strike me as bizarre.

  34. Totally unprofessional. No way would I sign a work related email in that way. Would be the equivalent of signing a business letter with “Love”. Nope. Not appropriate.

  35. I’ve never seen xoxo in a business email and would think it strange if I did. Pretty unprofessional. I would only use that for a sig other or very close girl friend. I guess I take the xo literally. ;) Perhaps in the arts/creative field it’s a different matter but I wouldn’t know.

  36. i kinda hate this…because when you emailed me once, i felt so special with the XO. Like, really. And now i know that everyone gets it, it kinda just ruined my Christmas.

    • This is exactly how I feel in the general sense (i’ve never received an email from Joanna) but when people write this to me and I know they also write it to everyone else it just seems so fake!

  37. Ya know, maybe it’s because of my age, but for me it’s just not important enough in the grand scheme of life to worry about how I sign my e-mails. Sometimes I xox it, sometimes I don’t.

  38. I once edited a woman who signed every email xoxo. She was so stringent, opinionated, sarcastic, belligerent, self righteous, scathing, withering, and bellicose that I could only believe that she was using the signoff in the same way that other people use the term “duly noted.” I have now adopted this practice (except with close family whom I also will probably sign “Love!” to) and whenever I sign something xoxo! it basically means, “now go stick it where the sun don’t shine.” So, just an alternative view here.

  39. I always wonder about ending emails or letters with “Cheers”…..it seems nice and different, but does the person assume I am going to go have a drink?

  40. I always do xoxo’s on personal emails and texts, too. I can’t just end a text, I need to send some love! My husband and I text just xoxo’s to eachother during the day. I would never ever put it in a professional email, though I have written out HUGS to someone I know is having a hard day. I guess that seems more professional?

  41. BTW- SWAKAH means: Sealed with a Kiss and Hug.

  42. I always sign my text or emails to my husband, family, and CLOSE friends with XO… but I would never dream of using it in the office, or even with an acquaintance. I picked this up from my mother and grandmother who always sign my cards with SWAKAH and XO.

    I’ve never seen Gossip Girl, I believe the XO was around way before the show.

  43. i do this ALL THE TIME. i can’t believe i’m not the only one! (and yes, i worried about being taken seriously/professionally recently…and came to no great conclusion about it…thanks for the articles!)

  44. As a women in a male dominated industry, I would be putting a big dent in my credibility by signing off “xoxo”. I put “Best”, “Regards”, or “Thanks” most of the time. I would get made fun of so badly if I used xoxo. I have quirky art in my office and a display tea set. I think my femininity is obvious enough without such a cheeky sign-off.

  45. I have never heard of this. I would find it highly bizarre to receive this sign off from a colleague (and FYI I am still in my twenties so I disagree this is an accepted cultural shift). My mother taught me to sign all personal letters with Love, and all others with Thanks, the same has carried over for me in email. I will say very occasionally when someone is being particularly trying, I consider leaving off the thanks and just signing it… but it feels so clearly rude, that I never go through with it. When someone has gone above and beyond, I usually modify it to Thank you! I do realize that most people probably don’t notice, but I do. :)

  46. I use xoxo only to people who are genuinely close to me. I do not use xoxo in business emails. For colleagues who happen to be my friends, I would use it depending on context of emails. One of my aquaintances xoxo-s to everyone including me. At first, I thought it was sweet but I found it a bit too much.

  47. Wow. I don’t know anyone who does this, nor have I ever signed an email that way. Maybe when I was a little kid I wrote XOXO on cards to my parents, but that’s about it. I guess I’m just not a very touchy-feely, huggy-kissy type of person.

  48. RD says...

    I’ve never seen this in the workplace. I think it would be inappropriate–and I’d feel very uncomfortable if my professional correspondence suddenly started sprouting xo’s. Is this a generational thing? I’m a 51 year old who keeps up with new trends fairly well. :-)

  49. Occasionally I sign xo, but more often than not I don’t. I usually just don’t think of it. I love how Caitlin Moran said that it’s just a trait of women, and for those who sign xoxo all the time, awesome! However, I do believe in certain industries it could be perceived as unprofessional. And maybe your signature should be adapted for that, if you’re apart of that industry.

  50. I’ve never done it, and don’t have any friends (female or male) who do it. I think if you do include it, it should only be to friends and loved ones. I think including it in all emails diminishes its importance, and if a colleague of mine sent that to me I’d be taken aback.

  51. Depends. If it’s a person whom I know personally I would use it. Otherwise I don’t.

    Reading Games

  52. I sign absolutely everything either: “xxo” (i like to think of it as the classic double cheek kiss followed by a hug) or “love love” (beacuse two loves are better than one… and it’s very “me” because I have “love love” tattooed across my knuckles). I don’t care who I’m writing to… my husband, mum, oncologist or insurance agent. They all deserve some love and or a double cheek kiss and a hug.

  53. I’m an English girl and, whilst I wouldn’t generally use xx at work, I will ALWAYS use it to my friends and family. If i forgot the kisses, they would possibly think that i’m annoyed or in a mood. I think the kisses add a friendly tone to my emails and text messags. I definitely think this is a British thing to do though; My boyfriend is American and never put xx until he met me :) Love this post and the comments are really interesting :) xx

  54. It still means hugs and kisses to me! I use it with loved ones, but it feels insincere coming from someone I don’t know well.

  55. I use xoxo with friends and some family members, but I would never use it in a business email or with someone I didn’t know well. It’s way too casual. Basically, I don’t use it except with people I’d actually hug!

  56. Never. I sign cards to family members with xoxo, but I’ve never used it on an email. I certainly would never use it on an email that was sent to a business associate, or to someone at a website I was purchasing something from.

    It doesn’t seem like a “female” thing to me – it seems very juvenile.

  57. Family only. I would never in a million years even consider it in a client email.

  58. my girlfriend and i started “signing” text messages with xoxo during season one of gossip girl, we were living on the upper east side and were addicted to the show. it kind of started as a joke, but for me it’s spread. i sign emails and notes with simply xo to nearly anyone female, and i’ll use xoxo when it’s someone i am super close with. too bad i am not nearly as unique as i thought i was!

  59. I would never put ‘xx’ or ‘xo’ at the end of anything to people I didn’t know very well (so anyone other than close friends and family), and certainly not at the end of anything work/university-related. But I’m English.. so maybe it’s something to do with us being ‘reserved’ and all that :P

  60. I am on a friendship-y basis with my boss (I am a nanny) but I always try to remind myself, that she is the one who fills my pocket with money. So I don’t write a whole text message just in small letters and I don’t throw in smileys or something. Xoxo is not that common in Austria, where I live but you write “Bussi” on the end of messages to friends and familiy. But definitely not to your boss.

    xoxo (have to do it once!),
    Charli

  61. Hugs and kisses are loved ones only, surely! How else can you show them that they are special to you?

  62. everything is signed xox here! on my blog, every single post is signed xox, d. and I’ll keep doing it :) probably wouldn’t do if I worked in a corporate but everything else is under the “xox” roof!!
    xox, d.
    http://www.inspirationrealisation.com

  63. I noticed that many women end with an “xoxo” but, personally, I do not. I’m not really sure why I don’t do it, I just don’t. However, when it comes to others using it or not using it, I’m generally too concerned with the content above the “xoxo-ing” to actually pay much attention to it. I think it’s the person’s call really. If you feel comfortable ending with xoxo, do it. If you don’t, don’t.

    http://thehonestfox.blogspot.com/

  64. i left once the xoxo signature in a business email (i work for the government) and can say it has been very little appreciated. ….

  65. i left once the xoxo signature in a business email (i work for the government) and can say it has been very little appreciated. ….

  66. Hmm! Interesting post! I don’t ever put “xo’s” in my writing…but it is kinda cute! Love the vintage pic at the beginning of the post! Cute!

  67. oh goodness! i work in finance so an “xoxo” would be completely inappropriate. i usually go with a “Thanks!” or “Best,”. one employee in our group signs his e-mails as “yours” which i actually really LOVE receiving. when i’m 55 and have been at the firm for 30+ years i think i’ll start rocking that sign-off. until then, it’s the generics for me.

    for friend e-mails it is typically some joke based on what antics the day has brought. i.e. “started my Monday morning with R. Kelley’s Remix to Ignition, Eileen”

    http://leanerbythelake.com

  68. I use ‘xo’ on everything, including my business cards! looooved reading this post, I say it’s the new industry standard- why not, right?! thank you, xoxo

  69. Interesting isn’t it. I use ‘x’ with friends and family, but not at work… unless it is a personal conversation with a colleague and not work related… even then I stop and think about whether or not it is appropriate. Maybe it’s so overused now it has lost its meaning.

  70. I absolutely would not sign off with (nor expect people to use) xoxo at work. It seems unprofessional to me. I still think xoxo means “hugs and kisses,” but I also still think that “literally” is not used properly all the time. I use xx to sign off personal emails, but only with close friends (or with whom I’d like to be closer, and am close enough), and only infrequently. I don’t think it’s too cold to sign off with one’s name. I think, in some ways, every closing line has lost its meaning.

    • It should be noted that I’ve always thought “x” was the hug, and “o” was the kiss. Apparently, it’s the other way around. Well, there’s another reason for me not to use it at all…

  71. Totally inappropriate for the workplace. With friends I find it juvenile. With spouse/SO or dear friends, fine

  72. I think it’s cute to friends or family, but totally inappropriate for business, whatever your business. I would think someone was a wack job of they xo’d me on a professional email. Just my opinion.

  73. One of your best posts because I love all of those women!

  74. I hadn’t seen that article in the Times so I’m so glad you commented on it! And yes, I do sign notes xox or even more compassionately xx, but definitely not in my corporate work setting. I find it’s shifting connotations fascinating, and I just remember my grandmother signed everything xxx ooo, which I loved. For me, it’s a way to express kinship without writing “love”. But if I really love someone, I’m sure to write “I love you” too. No abbreviations for that.
    xox Liz {celesteandpearl.blogspot.com”

  75. Nooo. At work, I’m extremely professional and a little formal. Personal emails are not much different, just with more exclamation points and happy faces. :o)

  76. I blame Gossip Girl.

    If I ever use “xoxo,” it is definitely as a joke.

    For friends, I’ll come up with a random saying or a funny summary of the e-mail, then my name. For anyone else I’ll use “All the best” or nothing at all, then my name.

  77. Hum. This made me really stop and think. I have never signed anything xoxo ever. I am wondering why I would…or would not???? Definitely something to ponder. ;)

  78. I think this is more of a Brit thing. I had never encountered it until interning in London in a fashion PR office. When I came home I had to stop myself from signing “xox” because I felt like people just didn’t “get it” in the states.

  79. I also have gotten into the habit of signing texts and emails to friends and family with a little xo at the end…Once out of habit I signed an email to my boss with it and immediately realized after I had sent it, so I promptly sent a follow up apology. He did not seem phased in the least! XO

  80. This is so weird. I would never ever ever do this.

    I don’t even sign e-mails to my husband that way but then again he doesn’t get them during the day so they’re more of a “just in case I forget to tell/show you something, here’s an e-mail that you’ll probably read sitting next to me on the couch” type of thing.

    I’m a chronic “no sign off whatsoever”-er actually.

  81. What??? I cannot believe you would use this as a sign off to a lawyer or an accountant…I think I almost blushed thinking about this. xoxo should be kept between loved ones ONLY…or it will loose its meaning altogether!!! x’s=kisses o’s=hugs.
    jennygggggggggggggg

  82. I sure do…unprofessional or not, it’s me. my initials are tt so i add that as well.

    xoxott

  83. Only with family or close friends – and only when I’m feeling it or think they need a little love!

  84. I think it’s unprofessional in the workplace but I can’t help myself too!! It just feels sweet and happy! Long live the “xoxox”!!
    xoxo
    Kate

  85. I am with you! I sign all my emails with an “xo” and maybe a few more if I’m showing a lot of love! I also completely agree that it’s taken on a new meaning, like dear, but I’m not sure it’s caught on to everyone else yet! We’ll see I guess!

  86. In my very conservative industry ‘xoxo’ is not appropriate in the least, but in normal correspondence for personal use, I definitely use it.

    Chelsea
    Haute Child in the City

  87. I agree with the majority of people on here in thinking it is compltely innapropriate for business purposes. I would never, ever sign off that way in an email to my boss or colleagues – it is overly-friendly and unproffesional and i think it could raise a lot of eyebrows about what your intentions are.
    That being said, i think if you are in a creative industry it is a lot more acceptable. For example, bloggers and etsy shop owners – Jo for example makes her living by being friendly and personable, so if she signs of with an xoxo it fits with her ‘brand’. Large companies and corporations (lawyers, civil engineers, construction workers, bankers, etc) are expected to be proffesional and courteous, not friendly and personable.
    To my friends, i always sign of xoox – xoxo reminds me too much of gossip girl!!

  88. I apparently have a whole hierarchy of sign offs that I haven’t really thought about until now. For professional contexts, it’s “Best,” or “cheers” if I know the person well (yes, with those capitalizations). With friends, it’s “love,” or “much love,” or “cheers” if we’re acquaintances. “xo” is only for those folks I’m closest to – my family, my best friend, etc. When emailing recently with a guy who I was (am?) hoping to date I only signed off with my name (-Sara), I think because I was subconsciously not (still am not) sure how to categorize him just yet.