Language offers up almost limitless possibilities in terms of what can be said, and that is especially true with English and it’s bulging bank of vocabulary. It is always a little disappointing then when the same stock phrases are repeated, adding a certain predicable monotony to events. Life is just too short for that.
One such stock phrase is the almost ubiquitous (especially in the United States) “you’re welcome”. It’s the expression we roll out without thinking more or less every time someone thanks us for something.
“Thanks for arranging the meeting.”
Thanks for coming.”
It’s almost an instinct to reply in this way.
In fact, “you’re welcome” is so common in English, particularly in U.S. English, that the phrase has perhaps come to sound a little hollow. Certainly, using it is mechanical for many people: an instant response to when someone expresses any form of gratitude
Language becoming stale is always disappointing because it is one of the greatest gifts we have. Of course, saying “you’re welcome” is infinitively better than saying nothing at all, but why not try to instill a little bit of flavor, color and personality into your language with an alternative phrase; something that may make the other person’s day just that little bit more pleasant.
Of course, in a business context it is important to use the correct kind of formality and politeness with your language: colloquialisms and slang are not the right options here. But why not replace “You’re welcome” with any one of these pleasant, and professional, options:
“It’s a pleasure.”
“I/We/Business name am/are/is very happy to help.”
“I/We/Business name am/are/is very happy to be of service.”
“Just doing my/our job.”
“Always happy to be of assistance.”
In a social situation
Socially, there is no need to be quite so formal, and now you can start to inject even more colour into your responses. Let your personality break free and make someone’s day with any one of these options:
“I know you’d do the same for me.”
“It’s made my day helping you.”
“Don’t mention it.” (be careful to deliver this in a really light tone, or it could sound aggressive.
“No worries.” (beloved of Australians)
“No problem at all.”
“It’s truly a pleasure.” (be careful not to overdo it with the joy of helping)
“I know you’d do the same for me!” (be careful to sound sincere)
“You’re smile is thanks enough.” (you could be in dangerous territory here with the schmaltz)
In summary, there are so many other options to select from that is a crying shame to just carry on regardless with “you’re welcome”. You could even invent your own reply which becomes unique to you, but just be careful to try it out with close friends and family first before you go ahead with the public at large – you don’t want to offend anyone.
And remember, for help with the suitability of language, the Linguix AI-powered writing assistant will not only pick up mistakes and grammatical errors, but will also help shape your language in terms of using the right words at the wrong time. A simple spell-checking tool it isn’t!