Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The correct way to respond to a "Thank you"

Good morning lovely readers. Today I am addressing something that annoys me, even when I am guilty of it, inappropriate responses to people who thank you for doing something. I hear it all of the time on NPR, guests come on, the host says, Well, thank you for taking the time to join us" and the guest says, "no, thank you for having me" or "no problem, it was a pleasure". While these may sound fine in daily speech, it is a case of the eroding of the proper English language that irritates me.

The correct response would be "You're welcome, it was a pleasure, thank you for having me" or "You're welcome, thank you for inviting me." Notice, "you're welcome" always comes first. The reason being that when you say, "no problem" or "don't worry about it" you are implying that it was indeed a burden for you but that they shouldn't worry about it, quite passive aggressive, no? When you say, "you're welcome" or "it was my pleasure" you are implying that you are happy to help and that it wasn't a burden, therefore coming off as a genuinely nice person and not a passive aggressive score-keeper.

The problem with losing these notions is tied into something I hold near and dear to me, the use of so-called "text" speak in polite conversation, written correspondence, and essays. I understand that texts should be short and to the point, same with blog comments and their ilk, and in those cases text speak is perfectly acceptable, however, it should never bleed over into your other aspects of life. One should not write a school essay or professional paper littered with incorrect words that are written as they sound, just as one should not verbally say things like "obvs," "totes," "LOL" (especially LOL, either one is laughing or one is not). Please, protect our language, it may grow and we may add to it, but the core principles should not be forsaken!

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