AA Gill On... Kisses

Dear Sir,

When, if ever, is it permissible for a man to sign off a text with "love" or "x"? And don't say "best" is best, because it isn't. Nor "yours" nor "faithfully" nor "peace".

Love Derek

Darling, sweetheart, cupcake. It's permissible, as you sweetly put it, to sign texts any damn way you like.

You're all so bloody fond of the internet and you bang on and on about messaging and techno and plugged-in stuff, and you say it's all about freedom and honesty, and the day after you get a Twitter account you're all constipated about the raised-pinkie etiquette of how to say "cheerio", and all the rest of the manners business and the after-you niceties.

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You sound like my grandparents. Why do you care? Why do you want to start making up rules and laws and a smirking snobbery about something you say is pristine, anarchic, and lawless, and naked?

If it's any help, Alexander Graham Bell suggested that you answered his implement with a firm and clear, "Ahoy." So why not start with that?