Back in December, I got an e-mail that said something like this.
You don't know me, but I know plenty about you due to your rather bizarre habit of posting your innermost thoughts on a public forum. Sorry that you have to dog-sit Murphy this weekend. I understand that you are heading to Kuwait soon. I was there not too long ago and here are some tips for you.
Okay, he didn't use eSwede. He used his real name. But you get the point.
A couple of months went by, and we exchanged plenty more e-mails. After a while, we quit signing our names.
Then, a few days ago, I got a note from Travel Writer P. Seems Travel Writer P—an Australian living in London—had just gotten a note from Travel Writer D, an American who lives in Stockholm. Travel Writer D had signed his e-mail like this:
/Travel Writer D
"What's that, D? Why do you use the slash?"
Travel Writer D, I imagine, said something like "it's what Swedes do. Isn't it cool?"
So Travel Writer P—knowing of the eSwede due to some obscure music thing they have in common—asked me "Does the eSwede do this?"
I wasn't sure. I'd been in a self-absorbed state of wallowing when he'd first e-mailed me and had barely noticed that a single 38-year-old Swedish man was e-mailing me, much less that he used a slash when signing his name. But I went back and had a look and yep, he signed it /eSwede.
I e-mailed the eSwede immediately.
"What's going on? Is this a Swedish thing?"
It's certainly the way
to end your messages here, and it does carry a number of advantages.
1. It's short. But still signifies an end - as in
2. It's language neutral - always a good thing.
3. It's kind of cool, in a being busy, sending telegram kind of way.
It is kind of cool. I like it. Travel Writers P and D are campaigning to introduce it to their correspondents. I am going to do this too.