Please. Thank you. You’re welcome.
We teach these words to little kids to use at the appropriate times. You remember how you might have been prompted to say, “Please,” after you babbled, “Milk”? Apparently, when you join the ranks of NPR reporters and commentators, “You’re welcome” is expunged from the playbook.
A reporter finishes a short piece on the election, the economy, the World Series, whatever. The host says, “Thank you for speaking with us.” The reporter says, “Thank you.”
What? Did the host do the reporter a favor?
This sounds like one of those old Alphonse and Gaston routines in which both parties outdo each other in politeness. Said reporter did a good job. Said host says “Thank you.” Why the hell can’t the respondent say, “You’re welcome”?
The closest on-air response to a “Thank you” that approaches “You’re welcome” is, “My pleasure.” The respondent may as well say, “This what I’m paid to do, keeps food on the table, glad you liked it, you’re welcome.”
Answering “Thank you” with “Thank you” marginalizes what the reporter has just done - given us a cogent report that sheds light on a newsworthy topic.
I love getting praise or acknowledgment. Someone tells me “Good job” or “Thank you” if I hold open a door, or let someone into a line and I say, “You’re welcome.” It feels like the natural completion of social transaction. For a couple of seconds, I just made the world a better place.
The next time someone says, “Thank you,” what will you say? I want the truth now, so feel free to explain yourself .
Paul A. Tamburello, Jr.'s "Pet Peeve Department"