Hillary Should be Careful Using “Sincerely” to Sign Letters

Hillary Clinton Signature

The popular view of the word “sincerely” has been its possible link to ancient Roman times. The Roman administrators grew tired of the frauds by construction workers and devised an interesting supplement to the civil code. They required that contracts and other important documents be signed “Sincerely” at the bottom. Sincere is a combination of two Latin words “Sin” meaning without and “cere” meaning wax. So literally signing under something as “sincerely” meant there is no fraud and no wax filler.

In Roman times, the state contractors would fill in the cracks in the cement in the aqueducts and vessels that stored items with wax, blending it so that it was basically undetectable when inspected. However, eventually cracks would open back up through the wax and there would be a leak or a catastrophic failure. The state inspectors finally caught on to the scam. So the requirement to sign that there was no fraud or “no filler material made of wax” meant you signed the contract “Sincerely”.

Perhaps Hillary should switch to “Best Regards”, “Very Truly Yours”, or “Have a Nice Day”. They would have no legal meaning. Since she is a lawyer, she should be very careful about the definition of “Sincerely”. To this day, it still means:

  1.  free of deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness; earnest: a sincere apology.
  2.  genuine; real: a sincere effort to improve; a sincere friend.
  3. pure; unmixed; unadulterated.
  4.  Obsolete. sound; unimpaired.