October 15, 2006

How to speak English in America - Part V

Today’s segment investigates the correct way to respond to "thank you". Whereas European, Antipodean and South African Anglophones say "pleasure" or "it's my pleasure", this can lead to confusion in America. They find it a very odd expression and I guess, upon inspection, maybe it is. Here, people say, "you're welcome!" and even "you're SO welcome?!" or "you're VERY welcome!" (note: the punctuation is not incidental. It forms an integral part of how the response is to be delivered.)

Oddly enough, I have a hard time saying that. I generally smile, whisper "pleasure" and turn away quickly. I don't know why I find it so hard to say, " you're SO welcome?!", but I always get shy and avoid it at the last moment. Besides...a smile speaks louder than 1000 words, no?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

an interesting Antipodean variation on the response to thank you: 'that's ok'. I don't really get that one, I must admit.