My friend, Tony, was included in a recent email that I signed with the valediction:
I must say the “Warmly, Matt” doesn’t seem like you.
Joan Acocella of The New Yorker recently wrote a piece on the various valedictions and said that she never uses “Warmly” because it sounds too fussy.
“Best” seems to be fairly popular these days, if a valediction is used at all.
I see “Cheers” a lot, too, but it always makes me laugh.
I use “Warmly” in honor of my former professor and poet, Hugh Ogden, who I have written about before and who tragically passed away in 2007. Hugh wrote letters to me about my poetry and signed them using “Warmly” and I adored it because warmly captured his spirit perfectly.
When he died, I decided to begin using “Warmly” in remembrance of him. And it’s worked. Every time I type or write that word at the end of a letter or email, I think of him.
I explained this to Tony. His response:
Nice gesture on the warmly but it isn’t the you I know. Perhaps the you that you aspire to be.
Aspiring to be as beloved and brilliant as Hugh Ogden would be foolish, but I like the sentiment.