I am not a fan of the valediction “Respectfully.” In fact, I don’t much like it at all. Never have.
It seems to me that “respectfully,” more so than any other common complimentary close, calls attention to all of the other ways the writer could be. Every time I read correspondence that ends “Respectfully,” the subtext I get is “yeah, right now I am, but I’ll jettison such regard without hesitation should I find it sufficiently inconvenient.” It feels like an ordinarily rotten urchin making way too big a deal of the fact that he managed to get through a meal or a play date acceptably, when his behavior has only been what should be status quo.
I don’t get that with “Thanks,” “Regards,” or even “Best.” Is it me?
Of course, we’re generally signing and reading email these days, not actual letters. Mrs. Thagard went over “Sincerely,” “Yours truly,” and such when I was in the fourth grade, and those would seem stilted on electronic communication.
I tend toward “Thanks” or no valediction at all, with “Regards” and “Best” reserved for people I don’t know (or don’t know well). What do you use? Do you have any prejudices or notions, like mine about “Respectfully”?