Since my "With Best Wishes" post on January 21, someone wrote asking "Is it okay to end a professional letter with Best?"
That’s an interesting question. What do you think? So many questions have two answers–one involving our personal preferences and the other looking at what is standard in business writing.
As for my preference regarding best as a complimentary close–I don’t like it. Best what? When we mean "Best wishes" or "Best regards," let’s use the whole phrase. When we mean "Best wishes for your recovery," let’s say so.
In the body of a letter, we may write "Give my best to Mr. Washington." That’s a complete thought whose meaning is "Convey my best wishes to Mr. Washington." But closing a letter with only Best feels incomplete.
Looking at standards in business letter writing, Best isn’t among the standard complimentary closes, although the phrase "Best wishes" is.
Here’s the short answer to the question "Is it okay to end a professional letter with Best?": It’s not the best choice.
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