What happened to that phrase? I don’t hear it much anymore, if at all. Do you?
I hear other replies to “thank you.” Nowadays, people on the radio, TV, and in person respond with their own “thank you,” or “yep, no problem.” All polite enough, without question, but that is different. Changing times and all, I guess. Call me old school, though. I still use “you’re welcome” regularly. If you do something for someone and they thank you, then why would you thank them back? Doesn’t it make more sense to reply with “you’re welcome?” With that phrase, aren’t you conveying that you were happy to provide a favor or service?
As you know, Gore Vidal passed away today at the age of 86. Tonight, on PBS Newshour, Jeffrey Brown interviewed Jay Parini, the D.E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College, about Vidal. Parini and Vidal were friends for over three decades (charming interview, by the way; you may want to check it out if you are so inclined and are a fan of Vidal. Another interview here). At the end of the interview, when Brown thanked Parini for his time and thoughts, Parini responded, “you’re very welcome, Jeff.”
I was just about dumbstruck. I liked the sound of that. Parini is a man after my own heart…that is, if Dearly Beloved were not already using the phrase himself.