Letter: Closing - use of "fondly"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by figooo, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. figooo New Member

    French (France)
    I've received a email from a girl with who I had quite a complicated relationship. We both decided to remain distant for a while and to cool things down. She just sent me a rather cold email just asking for some service and she ends it with fondly. Does it mean anything or is it a very conventionnal way of ending an email?
    Thank you

    PS sorry to bother you with my private life ;)
  2. judkinsc

    judkinsc Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hmm. I would guess that she wrote "fondly" as a way of saying that you were once intimate, but she does not wish to treat you as a stranger...

    Is she English or American or what?

    "Fond" is more common in British English.

    "I'm fond of you" ...is somewhat ambiguous.

    Of course, if she was asking for a service from you, she might have ended with "fondly" so as to reduce the "demand" of the letter.

    The last suggestion is my best guess.
  3. figooo New Member

    French (France)
    Thank you for replying so quickly.
    She is American. Her request is really nothing big, she does not need to reduce it but anyway it looks that the more likely is what you said.
    By the way, what would you use to end the answer?

    Thanks again
  4. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    I would take it to mean that she doesn't want to start the relationship up again, but also doesn't have hard feelings about what happened.

    And if you need a simple way to end your letter, you could use the standard "Sincerely, Figooo", which doesn't commit you to any feelings about her, or just wish her all the best and sign your name (no ending salutation).

    I hope that helps a little.
  5. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    To me "fondly" means love. She still has feelings for you.
  6. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    For me, and rather in contrast to River's interpretation, "fondness" is quite a weak liking. I am fond of peanuts, but I could live without them.

    In terms of a person I find "fondly" a strange way to end a letter. "Fond" is what distant relatives usually are of their second cousins' kids. I tend to agree with Jinti. "sincerely" or "kind regards" would be ridiculous, and I suspect she wanted to avoid "love" for avoidance of doubt about the relationship being over.

    You could read different interpretations into this to your heart's content really - to be on the safe side I would just assume it is a neutral ending to avoid assuming the wrong thing.
  7. Isotta

    Isotta Senior Member

    English, Hodgepodge

    I would say it's not conventional, at least for not for young people. As for how she meant it, it depends on her age, her character, etc.

    Personally I use "love" as a closing for almost all my letters to friends, family, etc., but my family is from a part of the America where that's the standard. Thus for me, receiving the letter closing "fondly" from someone I was close to would sound tepid to cold to me, especially at the end of a cold email.

  8. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    I completely agree with this - we use "love" to end letters very commonly to people we wouldn't say "I love you" to. However I could understand wanting to avoid using it though in a complicated relationship where you don't want to give false hope - without meaning to be cold and distant.
  9. Isotta

    Isotta Senior Member

    English, Hodgepodge
    Very true, but it is so odd to choose "fondly" out of all closings, like saying "Best." The more neutral thing would be to write something like "Take care--" or "Hope all is well--" before signing the name.

    But you are right; we cannot know her and thus we cannot discern exactly what she meant by it.

  10. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    Agreed - I can understand why "love" might be avoided but "fondly" is a strange choice. I suspect that the true nuances of this one will forever be shrouded in mystery.
  11. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    Well, I still say "fondly" gives me a tingling. Maybe it's just too close to "fondle."
  12. JaneDoe

    JaneDoe New Member

    English speaking Canadian
    fondly says to me that there are more than just friendly feelings there, and she stills cares about you, no matter what that feeling would be, but she could also just be saying it to make the rest of the letter seem less harsh.
  13. JediMaster Senior Member

    English, United States
    An odd way to end a letter, especially one like that.
    I agree with most of the others who say that she views you as maybe a little more than a friend.

    "Sincerely" is the most common way to end businesslike/ not-as-personal letters.

    "Love", "With love" or "Your friend" is the most common way to end more personal letters.

    But there is still the chance she chose "fondly" instead of "love" as to not be confused with romantic love, but obviously her meaning is still unclear.
  14. figooo New Member

    French (France)
    Thanks to all of you!
    Since it is so complicated, I will remain very neutral.

    Best, figooo
  15. elwin00 New Member

    Sorry to post into such an old thread but what did you use in the end? :)
    'Cordially' comes to mind as possible closing for OP, if anyone ever runs into a similar situation :)
  16. Seusomon

    Seusomon Member

    New Mexico, USA
    English - US
    I would interpret it as her hoping to find a middle ground between an intimate, affectionate tone and a cold, businesslike one. (My opinion.) Hard to infer more than that.
  17. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    "Cordially" sounds quite cold in such a context, funnily enough :).

    I agree with Seusomon. "Fondly" sounds okay to me, with no real "fondling" connotations ;)(post #11). It seems to me that the lady wants to show she still feels some affection, possibly in a nostalgic kind of way, but not love. I hope they're both over it by now (ten years on:eek:).

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