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Dearest Divine Tertia,

I don't know what type of Americans you've been corresponding with, but most of us are crazy about affection. In fact, most of us dot our "i"s with hearts!!! Then we put on lipstick and kiss our letters and envelopes all over. So, please don't over generalize :)

All my mad, passionate love,
An American Adimirer XXXX <3 <3 <3 <3 xoxoxoxoxo

Clearly you will get a lot of crap for this post lol I do agree. Us South Africans...we can like a bit of hug and random kiss. (Except when we see my in-laws. Then I act like a real pommie and make as though I don't even like to kiss my own husband lol)

My husband has a coworker that addresses emails to clients with "Hiya"

It just about pushes my husband over the edge. He's the uber geek that signs his emails Regards, _______.

Regards. Wth.

Yes - in the US, its the safe but very boring "Thanks,Sue" or "Take care, Sue" Hate it! XOXOXO!

Yep. Us Americans are complete bastards.

Too funny! Yes, I think I might be an uptight American, because I only do the kissy thing with family. Hey commenter above, I say "Hiya" all the time. Only to people I know, though. Whatsamatter with that?? My kids do lots of smiley faces and kisses in their correspondence, though. I guess they will grow out of it unless we move to South Africa or Australia, where the fun people live!

Firstly, I'd like to tell you that I've been thinking of you this week and what you have gone through again, not fair that some people struggle with infertility. On the positive side you beat infertility by having two gorgeous kids even though the road to becoming a mother was not an easy one.

Secondly, I am South African and I sign off my emails to friends and family with an x or xxx, but my husband's side of the family have NEVER signed off an email with x, love or anything like that, AND we were living abroad for 3 years! Weird, they must have American blood in them ;-)

Take care
Dom x

In the US, xxx is associated with porn. If I saw xxx, I would not make an immediate connection to kisses, but rather busty ladies in double penetration.

Ya know, I (american) struggle with this very thing every time I send an email. I feel weird using "Love" but "xoxo" to friends via text all the time. My husband is in the military and I've noticed many of them sign off "v/r"...very respectfully. Really? Isn't it a little disrespectful to abbreviate respect?

None the less,
(minus the double penetration)

I often sign my letters with XOXOYYY. I add in the "Y's" and don't tell people that to me they mean a little gropping. Why stop at a hug and kiss?

I can't imagine feeling a kiss is less intimate than a hug! I hug all sorts of people I wouldn't dream of kissing (even a peck on the cheek) including the cleaning lady and male former co-workers.



Dearest Tertia,
Okay. We Americans might not be so affectionate in our emails, that is true. But, if I were meeting you in person I would greet you with a bear hug and a sloppy kiss. :)
Much Love,

Haha, I always debate over what to sign my emails. I sign my work emails "Best" or "Best wishes" and my personal emails "Love" or "XOXO", but what if it's a new friend, not too close? What do you sign then? Usually, I sign it with just my name b/c I can't find a suitable medium.

And in terms of the country code, the only explanation I can offer is that America is a huge country and many people don't have occasion to make international calls on a regular basis. I dated a Brit for awhile, and I had to jump through a million hoops to be able to call him. For example, I couldn't even call him from my phone until I signed up for a special international plan and when he called me, the caller ID didn't know how to process it and I usually got an error message.

And you think the country code thing is bad -- some small-town Americans don't even give their area code! They just give you 555-5555. Here in Los Angeles we probably have a dozen area codes in a relatively near vicinity, so we have to at least give our area code.

You know, Tertia, I think this is your personal style rather than something typical of South Africans. When I get emails from my aunts and uncles and cousins in South Africa, they sign off "love, So-and-so" but no effusive X's and O's. We are of British-stock rather than Afrikaans so maybe it's the English reserve which lingers on through four generations! When I'm visiting, I hug family and family friends, but generally don't do the kiss on the cheek except for aunts and elderly ladies. You would probably find us to be uptight pommies!

My South African grandmother taught me the XOXO thing (hugs=O and kisses=X). It's not exclusively American, trust me.

With my close American friends, I'll open an email with "Dear So-and-So" or "Hi So-and-so" and sign off with "love, Sakoro". I don't use "love" with strangers or people I only know online. I only use XOXO when writing letters on paper or birthday cards, which don't happen too often these days. (U.S. postage is going up again in May!) I guess I'm reluctant to do the XOXO and love thing for everyone because I think reserving it for my friends makes it more meaningful somehow.

In NZ it's considered really rude to start an email 'Tertia'. It would be like a terse telling off or issuing a missive. You must greet first. It also depends on the relationship as to how you greet. Start a bit formal and move to a place you are comfortable. Most Kiwi's end in 'cheers' when they know you. 'Love' is for your mates, family, people you are comfortabale with; the same applies with kisses. In past roles I've had to give workshops on appropriate email language and you wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've seen on emails!


I am an overly effusive American. But hugs are soooo much less intimate than kisses. ;)

I save "Love, Patty" for people I'm closer to, but almost all my messages end this way:

xoxoxo Patty

Dear Tertia,
You are out of your Goddamn mind, but that's why I come back day after day.

Love Always,

Thank you for loving us Aussies. We are g&d, truly. And we have sooooo many SA's coming to live here, you really DO love us. We love you too and I just lurve the SA accent. We are huggy kissy people and I always sign off with x.
Love Helen x

Dear Tertia,
So wait. Let me just make sure I got this. Even though I may have offered to blow a publicist for you, I haven't exactly reached kissing status? Is it because of the blowing? I understand. I mean with all that publicist DNA mingling with mine, surely there are too many possibilities for germs to take any chances. But tit for tat I say.



PS. I still like you. :-)

I've noticed that lots of people here sign off with "Best," - which seems so truncated and incomplete to me. Best what? Best wishes, best regards, best of luck, best friend? I always try to sign off with an actual little message, like "See you tomorrow," or "With utmost admiration," - something that actually means something and is relevant to the body of the message, rather than a generic whatever. Of course, at work I just use the old "Thanks," boring but at least reliable.

With smoochy kisses,

where are you putting those three kisses? charles wants to know.

Dearest Tertia,

You are a lovely friend in the computer and I feel compelled to end my emails to you with my xoxo because, I want you know that since I'm in the computer I'm not *actually* hugging you, only simulating it. Kind of like when I tell you I'm giving you a kiss with tongue when you do something really divine. See? No harm, no foul.

Now when I see you in person it will only be smooches (no hugs, no tongue). Unless we get really drunk. And then it is *not* going to be xxx, but there could be hugging, but no tongues either. No matter how much our husbands beg.



PS - I'm also thinking that I may no longer end my notes to tess with xoxo because she's commenting on blogs but not emailing me to set up time to IM & discuss matters of great import re: celebrity gossip and the like. *hmph*

I also sign with my name and then xx - but only to friends. I have such a habit of it though that I have had to check my sent mails a few times to check that I didn't put it on business emails.

you are so funny T... i giggled my way through that post... also not a big hugger... kissing will do just fine ;)

LOL!! Read your BLOG during my morning coffee. Found my way over through ohmystinkinheck's BLOG. I've enjoyed your stories very much.

Big Wave and two kisses from Northwest Arkansas, USA.


I saw a bowl yesterday that said around the rim - you are gorgeous, divine, etc. I wanted to buy it for you SO bad. It made me think of you.

WTF is a dialling code? Do I need to call Alabama? If not, then I'm not interested in knowing.

I am shocked and appalled that you, a germophobe, is chastizing us cold-hearted Americans for not swapping spit on each other's cheeks. And walking around with our skanky, smelly, toe-cheese-, fungus-, and bacteria-laden bare feet in each other's houses. My dear, as a germophobe, you would be safer over here. Less bodily contact.

Just because we don't walking around smacking complete strangers and co-workers on the cheek and signing all correspondance with "Love" does not mean we do not have passionate feelings. We are just more select about whom we share these things with.

I (an American) do sometimes feel that starting an email with "dear" seems wrong somehow, as though it is too formal, even though of course business letters start that way with no implication that the recipient is actually dear to you. But I do start most work e-mails with Dear. Personal e-mails, though, those mostly just start right in with the message!

However, I do always end personal e-mails with love or xoxox. Or in the case of my brother, we pretend that xoxox is a pronounceable word, and we write it phonetically.

I do love that you like writing about these differences in English usage all around the world. I was once at a business meeting in the UK that had representatives from South Africa, Australia, the US, the UK, and Canada, and a group of us got into a wonderful discussion about accents and usage. So fun!

Ox zocks, and love times a million,

Giddy in Indiana

Most beloved Tertia,
I would think that most Americans shy away from the 'love,' because it makes them feel silly to profess love for someone they don't. What if they don't 'love' us back? What if they read 'love' and think, 'Oh my. How intimate!' and then mock me with their posse? It also might make them feel silly to XXXX someone who may or may not think that it's just a little bit twee to XXXX - even though they themselves do not mind the XXXX in the least. AMERICANS DON'T LIKE FEELING SILLY because we're too busy feeling fat, loud, superior, and entitled. ;)

Yours in divinity,

My darling T, (and I nick-name everybody--it feels more intimate!)

I am one Sloppy-Kissy Southern Californian, and I love you and your family dearly! I like happy faces :):):) and hugs and kisses, too. XOXOXO Have to watch it on work correspondence, and sometimes I slip! :):):)

Laura :):):)XOXOXOXO

Not much of an xxxer, but a definatle Love signer.

never do any xxx stuff...not since i was a child writing letters to old friends. don't do 'love' either....except for hubby and kids. its just weird to me :-/

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