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In which Rachel Simmons and I take on the Watergate of modern email etiquette: the workplace XO.
XO has surfaced in the digital correspondence of everyone from Arianna Huffington to Nora Ephron. Wendy Williams, the talk-show host, says she wishes she could stop using it, but just can’t. Anne-Marie Slaughter—foreign-policy wonk, Princeton professor, and she who still can’t have it all—doesn’t xo, but knows several professional women who do. In Diane Sawyer’s newsroom, staffers say, the anchor uses xo so frequently that its omission can spark a major panic.
“I feel like xo has taken on its own kind of life,” says Karli Kasonik, a Washington consultant.
“I do it, most women I know do it,” says Asie Mohtarez, a writer and social-media editor.
“In my field, you almost have to use it,” says Kristin Esposito, a yoga instructor in New York.