Thursday, 2 August 2012

Thank you and You are welcome

Hello dear friends. I have come across an interesting article recently and this post is to comment on it.

All of us know beginning from childhood are taught  that to be polite we should always use Please and Thank You when asking for something and expressing how grateful we are to receive. Please usually does not cause many problems and misunderstandings, it is advisable to use it every time we are asking for something politely. The same can't be said about the usage of Thank You and the answer to it. So a little clarification of it wont hurt anyone I believe.

Thanks is a nice way to show appreciation for what someone has done. In  Malaysian  the meaning of Thank You is  Received with Love. Is there a better meaning than receiving something good with love? So saying Thank You to a person for something good he or she has done  is actually not just an atomatic responce- it is full of meaning.

The author of the article "Whatever happened to "You are welcome" Ben Yagoda suggests us paying more attention to the way we answer to Thank You. In his opinion, the You are welcome answer is very rare nowadays. He offers a number of equivalents that people are using nowadays to answer to Thank You. They  are :
Sure thing/sure, you bet/you betcha, you got it, my pleasure/the pleasure is mine, don’t mention it, not at all, no biggie, no problem/no problema/no probs, of course!, and the all-time favorite of National Public Radio  interviewees, thank YOU!
 The author doubts that the usage of No problem and No worries is appropriate, because when used to answer to Thank You they somehow turn out to be "the ungracious implication that the action inspiring the thanks was even potentially burdensome". The author feels like replying  “Of course it’s not a problem—what gave you the idea it might be?” to such phrases used in this definite case.

Having analized how the expressions mentioned above are used in literature, mass media and speech the author suggests us acting like deity when  being thanked.  And what does the deity say after being thanked? Nothing. One imagines, if anything, a graceful smile, with an implied “That’s why I’m here. Never “Not a problem!”

To finish off the author points out that he is eager to start  the NVYW (Non-Verbal You’re Welcome) movement.He offered  to acknowledge thank yous with a smile and a slight bow, possibly an arms-extended I-am-not-worthy gesture.

So, dear friends, in the light of everything written above I would like you to  think twice before giving an answer to Thank Yous. Remember what the real meaning of the phrase  is (Received with Love) and maybe you will abstain from using No problem or No worries and answer the traditional You are welcome or just give a slight bow with a smile in responce.

Based on "Whataver happened to "You are welcome"" by Ben Yagoda (


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