“You’re welcome.”

That’s a phase we don’t hear very often. Have you noticed this?

It’s possible that the very first time someone said it to us was when we were young. Perhaps an aunt or uncle gave you a small gift or a Halloween treat, and, if we were too busy looking at it to respond, our parents might have prompted us: “What do you say?”

(1) We said, “Thank you.” (2) The giver of the gift smiled and said “You’re welcome,” and (3) life went merrily along.

That was then, but now? Not so much. Offer your thanks to someone and they are more likely to respond with:

  • No problem
  • Thanks
  • Thank you
  • My pleasure
  • No worries
  • Sure

During my extensive research for this blog post (20 minutes, tops), I found articles  and blog posts that suggest we should never utter those two words.

“Why?” you ask.

Well, it seems that some people think saying “You’re welcome” is rude. (Really?) “It’s like saying ‘You owe me one,'” a commenter wrote in response to an opinion piece on this same topic in The Boston Globe.

A woman thought that the problem with using the phrase is that it could sound sarcastic. However, I’d suggest that the problem is not with the phrase (just words), it’s with the delivery system (the speaker’s tone of voice).

I am an optimist, however. I still believe that someday I will hear a radio or television interview conclude this way:

Interviewer: “Our time is up. Thank you, Mr. Smith.”

Mr. Smith: “You’re welcome.”

I live in hope.

For now, I was going to end by thanking you for reading this post but then you would have to decide the best way to respond, so let me just end with the most banal, over-used phrase I can think of:

Have a good day….

(You’re welcome.)

6 thoughts on ““You’re welcome.”

  1. I hate the ‘no problem’ answer. If it wasn’t at least a minor problem, I wouldn’t have thanked you. It’s a non-sequitur response that makes no sense, and irks me as much as washroom doors labelled Ladies, and Men. If ‘you’re’ ladies, then ‘I’m’ gents! 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now you made me think about this and I realized I used to say it routinely when I lived in England but, here in the States, not so much. No problem seems to be my default, unless I am in a more formal situation, in which case I do use you are welcome.


    1. I first noticed it listening to interviews on NPR in the car. It became a little game to see if any guest would just say it. I’ll admit to using it whenever I hold a door open for someone and they just breeze through without acknowledging me. I say “You’re welcome” and go on my way.

      Liked by 1 person

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