You’re Welcome.

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.

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4 Responses to You’re Welcome.

  1. rita says:

    Nice. I remember hearing an interview with the creator of the Little 500 bike race in Bloomington. If you have seen the movie (one of my favorites) “Breaking Away” then you know the Little 500. The creator ended his interview with Scott Simon (?) by saying ‘Your Welcome’. His grace made such an impression that 10+ years later I still think – and try to practice it – often. xo

  2. DB says:

    Perhaps ‘You’re welcome’ has suffered a similar fate as that of ‘Hello’. The later being replaced by the insufferable ‘Hey’. If I were ‘Please’ or ‘May I…’, I would be shaking in my boots!

  3. pvedesign says:

    Such polite expressions seem like a lost art. Now the “no problem” or the word “guys” seems all to common. I do prefer to instill proper salutations as well as eye contact.
    Wonderful video. Now I want to read Vidal, Wurlitzer, James.

  4. As a preschool teacher I am a stickler for two things: “May I please have a glass of water” instead of “water”, and a “thank you” when something is done for you and you appreciate it. I am not sure I teach them about the “you’re welcome”. I am not even sure I use it myself. I think I do but I make no guarantees. I am sure I use the other, polite enough, answers and perhaps even a translated version of “de nada” in spanish morphing into a “no problem” answer. But I can sense the humility in the “you are welcome” and I will sure try to use it and instill it more often.

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