What Ever Happened to “You’re welcome”?
“You’re welcome” used to be the response to a thank you. Today, at least on the television news, a return “thank you” seems to be the more common rejoinder. This is both graceless and confusing. In some instances, it smacks of slapstick—thank you, thank you. The person being thanked, the academic expert for instance, should acknowledge the gratitude the other person, the TV host, is offering. That’s the appropriate, reciprocal response.
If the expert thanks the host, it’s unclear why the expert is appreciative. Is it for being allowed to express his opinion? For being invited to be on TV? If the person being thanked has something for which he is grateful, he should, first, accept the thanks, and then express his appreciation to the host for something specific. For example, “You’re welcome, and I enjoyed our discussion, thank you.”
Not using the full range of the language impoverishes it.
What do you think?
Douglass Seaver, Author of The Fourth Rule