Please be aware that the following post is not a condemnation as much as it is an observation.
For the past year, I've had the pleasure of corresponding with new and varied people, thanks to the world of blogs. I comment online, but comment offline, as well, and thus new lines of communication are introduced.
Growing up, I was taught to sign my general letters with "Sincerely" or "Yours Truly" or "Cordially" or other humdrum signoffs such as those. If the person was a close friend or relative, I'd sign with "Love" or "Hugs and Kisses".
When I was about 14, I had a mad crush on Barry Manilow. A friend of mine told me that her friend had written to him and had received a personal reply. I thought that I might have the good fortune of receiving the same, so I sat and wrote him a letter, found an address and mailed it off. Some weeks later, I received a reply -- a standard, impersonal form letter with a stock photo signed (imprinted would be a better word, as it was not truly personal) by Barry. It said "All best, Love Barry."
WHAT!? I thought. The man can't even sign off right? What's "All best"? The expression is "All the best". I thought I'd gotten some subpar photo, or that Barry had needed a proofreader before he signed his name...or that perhaps in NYC they said that. Being that it was such a busy city, maybe people were also too busy to write a complete thought: "All best" instead of "All the best."
Well, this past year I've encountered yet another editorial change to that signoff. I've been getting correspondence signing off with the very skeletal "Best." I guess that means "Best wishes" or "Best regards" or even "All the best." Maybe it's even shorthand for not fully writing but implying "You're simply the best"!
You know, I like that last rationale BEST. So any time, any of you write to me, please do feel free to sign off with "Best" followed by your name.
Hey, and don't worry if I still sign off with "All the best." I'm just an old-fashioned girl at heart.