“Thank You”…..“Thank You”
Check out these words in a dictionary.
Thank you: “an instance or means of expressing thanks.”
You’re welcome: “used as a polite response to thanks.”
In the past few years have you noticed how everyone seems to respond by saying, “Thank you” when somebody says, “Thank you” to them? I notice this especially in the media. For example, a host interviews someone, and then, at the end of the interview or news report, the host says, “Thank you.” And the interviewee inevitably replies, “Thank you.” This frequently seems to be true when news broadcasters get a live update from a reporter somewhere out in the field.
Or the interviewee replies with an exclamation, “Thank you!” as though they were the extremely grateful one doing the interviewing. On the other hand, responding with, “Thank you for having me on your show” is quite appropriate when the guest is promoting their latest book. Or, “Thanks for inviting me to share information about this project with your listeners.” But the one that really bugs me is, “Thanks for having me.” It just seems as though something is missing. Does the interviewee mean, “Thanks for having me on your show,” or, “thanks for having me” in some other way?
To respond by thanking someone who offers you their gratitude robs them of being able to gift you for what you have done for them. It sends a subtle message that their gift of thanks to you is of little value, nor are they worthy of receiving anything of value from you. Perhaps responding with a “Thank you” is a way of leveling the playing field, so as not to come across as being more important than the person offering their thanks to you. But I think that it belittles the proper reciprocation that is called for.
This weekend I heard Scott Simon on National Public Radio interview a reporter in Brussels where the terrorist attacks recently took place. At the end of her report Simon said to her, “Thank you,” and she very professionally and appropriately replied, “You’re welcome.” How refreshing! I would love to hear more of this proper form of verbal intercourse.
Thank you for reading this post about one of my pet peeves.
Oh, by the way, the correct response is to post a comment that simply says, “You’re welcome.”