Why Has ‘You’re Welcome’ Gone by the Wayside?
I was taught, at a very young age, to say "You're welcome," when someone says "Thank you."
Weren't we all? And I would be reminded every time I forgot. I mean, once you get that "mom look" about something you said--or, in this case, DIDN'T say--you never did it again.
I remember one time, a long time ago--but still when I was an adult--we were vacationing out West, visiting family. My Aunt Jo thanked me for something--don't remember what--and I said, "No problem."
Well, you would've thought I'd leveled an R-rated word in her general direction and set fire to her van. For that effrontery, I got the double whammy--the "teacher look" (she's a retired teacher) AND the "mom look." (By the way, I didn't know that sort of thing ran in the family, because hers was IDENTICAL to my mother's.)
She said, "It's 'thank you'."
I said, "Thank you," and promptly backed out of the room.
Thing is, the phrase "you're welcome," kind of HAS taken on a diminished capacity in our language in the 21st century. And HuffPost.com is all over it.
And, you know, before I looked, I mentally ticked off all the substitutions before I saw that website's list and I got almost all of them.
Again, "no problem," which is probably the big one, "anytime," and the "thumbs up" emoji were my guesses. That last one didn't make the list, but it should.
HuffPo also lists "no worries," "sure thing," "of course," and "uh huh." My aunt would lose her mind.
But the site wonders why these phrases have supplanted the traditional response. And author Caroline Bologna did the right thing by checking with Lizzie Post, the great-granddaughter of Emily Post, the queen of etiquette. And it seems "you're welcome" has taken on a sort of mildly self-aggrandizing connotation. You know, like you're acknowledging that the person in question SHOULD have thanked you.
And if that's really the case, it sounds like another example of how overly sensitive some folks have become in the new millennium.
Frankly, I hardly ever say it either, because it sounds so formal. Honestly, it does have an "air" about it.
But if I ever do say "you're welcome," it's not because I think I'm better than you and deserve your praise.
It's just a phrase and it's one that's been around a very long time, thank you very much.