Thursday, May 05, 2005


Noticing more people signing off e-mails with "cheers"? (If you get e-mails from me, you probably have.)

A story from the Chicago Tribune (that I read at has a story about the "trend."
So is cheers a trend?

"If you notice cheers, and I notice cheers, it's a trend," confirms New York Times language czar William Safire. "My guess is cheers is a Britishism allied to 'cheerio' that we've picked up, but I wouldn't necessarily call cheers an affectation. It's more the globalization of language.
Why is it gaining in popularity? Here's an idea:
Cheers is a British form by way of Canada, originally voiced as a salutation before drinking. At some point, though, our Canadian neighbors turned cheers into a friendly, all-purpose exit line.


At 3:53 PM, May 05, 2005, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Gee, and I always thought it was just a wire-service thing.

At 8:40 PM, May 05, 2005, Blogger lllmiller said...

Huh? I've lived in Canada, worked in Canada and have beaucoup Canadian friends. I can't recall anybody saying "cheers." I think it's just Americans trying desperately to cheer each other up. It's a fun little greeting. That's it.

At 8:43 PM, May 05, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

Lord knows most of us need all the cheering up we can get.

At 5:21 AM, May 06, 2005, Blogger Steve said...

It wasn't (just) the Canadians who turned it into 'a friendly, all-purpose exit line'. It's is a fairly common valediction in Britain, particularly when leaving a pub, expressing mild gratitude.

At 11:04 PM, May 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Brits also use it in place of "thanks."

At 8:30 AM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Steve said...

We do indeed.


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