A few years ago, I started noticing that a number of academics didn't just launch into requests or whatever when writing emails. Instead, the emails began with the sentence "I hope you are well" or another courteous phrase unheard of back in the olden days.I saw this phrase, and some more courteous phrases generally, as an improvement on the necessarily somewhat curt messages we used to send in the early (pre-)Internet days when it was impossible to go up or down a line to correct typos in the email clients then in use.
And the complimentary closes of the emails became more polite, too. Although a lot of people still apparently prefer "best," I've seen comments at the Chronicle saying that this is too curt, and in the last couple of years, I've seen a lot more variety in this part of the email, too: "best regards," "warm regards," "all best," "with best wishes," "cordially," and so on.
I don't usually use this phrase, which is mostly reserved for--ahem--only the prickliest of correspondents--but I don't have anything against it.
But Dayna Perkins, a random person on the internet, wrote a clickbait-y piece full of opinions for New York magazine about it, saying we ought to stop using it.
And she links to Rebecca Greenfield, a media-friendly opinion consultant at Bloomberg, who says we also shouldn't be using "best." She cites another bunch of people with lots of opinions.
Well, I, too, am a random person on the internet, and I disagree with exactly as much weight of factual evidence and authority as they're showing.
I ought to know better than to fall for opinion clickbait at this point. I also know that negative clickbait (don't/never/these 5 things will kill you) generates more clicks than positive opinion pieces, so I really should have known better.
But since I want to be respectful and move along, I will sign this as follows:
I remain, dear madame, most affectionately,
Yr most obedient and faithful servant,