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  #1  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:26 PM
SmashTheState SmashTheState is offline
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Alternatives to "thank you" and "you're welcome"?

I'll start with an anecdote which may prove instructive.

Years ago, I decided that I used the phrase "thank you" too much. I'd say it without even thinking about it, as nothing more than social lubricant. In an effect to make myself more mindful and to express genuine gratitude, I decided to replace "thank you" with an entirely different phrase which would force me to be conscious of when I used it. To that end, I decided on the phrase: "May your tribe increase." I first encountered the phrase in the poem Abou Ben Adhem and, after some research, found that it was a traditional form of well-wishing in India.

Things went well at first. I felt self-conscious using this phrase, but then, that was the point. I got some strange looks, but I was pleased that I used the phrase infrequently, and only when I felt genuinely thankful.

Then one day at the supermarket I used the expression on a cashier... who happened to be black. She was furious and ended up throwing my change at me.

After that I switched back to "thank you."

So, my question is, has anyone else tried this? Can anyone think of better expressions not quite so likely to cause offence, which can replace "thank you" and "you're welcome" in our daily lives?
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:39 PM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is online now
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How about "Rejoice in the knowledge that you're not me".
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:42 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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"Dude!" with the right inflection and a thumbs-up works for both "thank you" and "you're welcome."
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:50 PM
fructose1 fructose1 is offline
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You could always use "much appreciated" and "no worries."

But "Dude!" works rather well. Give it a try.
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2009, 05:00 PM
Shot From Guns Shot From Guns is offline
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I picked up "cheers" for "thanks" off a Scottish friend for a while once.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:04 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Blessings be upon you.

May you have sunshine on all your days.
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2009, 06:10 PM
Hyperelastic Hyperelastic is offline
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People do use thank you too much and I wish they'd cool it. Whenever you hear a guest on the radio or TV, when it's time for them to leave and the jost says "Thank you for joining us today," the guest invariably replies, "Thank you." I guess they mean "Thank you for having me" but what's wrong with "You're welcome"?
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:38 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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"Good job"
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:02 PM
Neverender Neverender is offline
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I go with 'Cheers' and 'No Worries', it's so much friendlier and less formal.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:23 PM
Jorge_Burrito Jorge_Burrito is offline
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fist bump
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:06 PM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shot From Guns View Post
I picked up "cheers" for "thanks" off a Scottish friend for a while once.
I lived in the UK for a year and picked up a similar habit. If it's a brief thank you to a stranger (holding the door open for me, for example), I say "Cheers". Genuine gratitude for something more merits a "Thanks".
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2009, 01:51 AM
Kneepants Erasmus, the Humanist Kneepants Erasmus, the Humanist is offline
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I think this is a noble cause, and I wish you luck. I just wanted to mention that after I read your message, the theme from Curb Your Enthusiasm popped into my head. Just me?

Last edited by Kneepants Erasmus, the Humanist; 07-29-2009 at 01:52 AM..
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:54 AM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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May you live to be a thousand years old.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:04 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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But thank you is the correct expression for show appreciation to your customers.

"May you're tribe increase?" What does that even mean? You bought a Twinkie from me and I am wishing more kids upon you? A population increase at whatever level can be a curse as well as a blessing.

Cheers? What is that? It's an English expression and not well known enough in America to use.

You could alternate "thank you," with "We appreciate your business, come again please."
Or "Your patronage is appreciated and look forward to serving you again.

Of course "Thank You," pretty much says the same thing and is shorts.

Just because "thank you" is thrown around in an insincere way doesn't mean that when you say it, it has to sound insincere.
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  #15  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:40 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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My standards are...

"Cheers"

"No worries"
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  #16  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:46 AM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is online now
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May you live to be a thousand years old.
...And may the last voice you hear be mine.
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  #17  
Old 07-29-2009, 06:17 AM
VarlosZ VarlosZ is offline
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I say "thanks much" to change it up from time to time, and sometimes "much oblige" (no "d" at the end). That's it for Thank You. On the other end, I guess I say "don't sweat it" from time to time.

Last edited by VarlosZ; 07-29-2009 at 06:17 AM..
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  #18  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:25 AM
elbows elbows is online now
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I often use, "You're too kind!", when someone pays me a compliment.
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  #19  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:39 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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May you live to be a thousand years old.
Someone who says that to me is going to get a much shorter curse in return.
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  #20  
Old 07-29-2009, 09:06 AM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is online now
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
...as nothing more than social lubricant.
It IS nothing more than a social lubricant. Trying to make it into something more is unnecessary and weird. Be as mindful of your gratitude as you like, but there's no call to make others uncomfortable.

And "thank you" is too formal? I'll never understand the cultural aversion to formality. What, you're best buddies with the grocery store cashier now, so if you treat them with a little respect it's like throwing your entire history of good times back in their face? I'm sure they'd much rather interact with you on a deeply personal level than move the line along.

Still, if you have to be different, you can try "Ta" (another British one) or stand out by saying "I thank you, Sir / Ma'am." It's not informal, but it's polite and will get you the extra attention you appear to crave.
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  #21  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:25 AM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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I'll take "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" for $200, Alex.
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  #22  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:30 AM
Mooch Mooch is offline
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I use "much obliged", even though I don't have a "howdy, ma'am" kind of accent.
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  #23  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:33 AM
villa villa is offline
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Boom shanka works for me. Or, to translate, "may the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman."
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  #24  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:39 AM
Meurglys Meurglys is offline
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Not just 'ta', but 'ta, much' is used over here a lot...

Cheers for now,
Meurglys
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  #25  
Old 07-29-2009, 12:52 PM
whole bean whole bean is offline
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Originally Posted by Meurglys View Post
Not just 'ta', but 'ta, much' is used over here a lot...

Cheers for now,
Meurglys
Lawrence: No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked for saying something like that, man.
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  #26  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:08 PM
zamboniracer zamboniracer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperelastic View Post
People do use thank you too much and I wish they'd cool it. Whenever you hear a guest on the radio or TV, when it's time for them to leave and the jost says "Thank you for joining us today," the guest invariably replies, "Thank you." I guess they mean "Thank you for having me" but what's wrong with "You're welcome"?
This practice used to me nuts (which is admittedly a short trip ). NPR shows do this all the time. I used to say to myself, "Why is Host X thanking Reporter Y just for doing his/her job? Why is Reporter Y thanking Host X, as if the airtime was a gift bestowed upon Reporter Y by Host X?" I don't do that anymore. Much.

Anyway, IMHO, when Host X says, "Thank you", Reporter X should say, "My pleasure."
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  #27  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:14 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Smash, you make your life way too hard, dude.

ETA: I like saying "obliged" or "much obliged" myself Or saying it in other languages, if I have reason to believe the other person will know what the Zeus I'm talking about.

Last edited by Skald the Rhymer; 07-29-2009 at 02:16 PM..
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  #28  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:18 PM
JThunder JThunder is offline
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"It's about time!" and "Took you long enough" work for me.
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  #29  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:20 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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"It's about time!" and "Took you long enough" work for me.
It's supposed to be "It's about goddamn time."
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  #30  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:25 PM
SmashTheState SmashTheState is offline
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"Ta" and "cheers" strike me as being too flippant. And "obliged" carries a certain level of hostility, as in, "You have gained face at my expense, and now I feel the unwanted need to perform an equal task to relieve myself of the moral responsibility I now bear toward you."
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  #31  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:26 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Lawrence: No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked for saying something like that, man.
Fuckin' A man.
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  #32  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:43 PM
enomaj enomaj is offline
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Good lookin' out, bruh!
Ain't no thang but a chicken wang!

Last edited by enomaj; 07-29-2009 at 02:46 PM..
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  #33  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:45 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
"Ta" and "cheers" strike me as being too flippant. And "obliged" carries a certain level of hostility, as in, "You have gained face at my expense, and now I feel the unwanted need to perform an equal task to relieve myself of the moral responsibility I now bear toward you."
Seriously, dude, you are putting too much thought into this. If you continue I will have no choice but to teleport you a fifth a jack, a bag of weed, and a dozen hookerbots to get you to loosen up.

The meaning of a word is not merely a function of its etymology. "Obliged" is merely an informal or regional equivalent to "thank you."
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  #34  
Old 07-29-2009, 03:11 PM
Shot From Guns Shot From Guns is offline
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Originally Posted by Hyperelastic View Post
People do use thank you too much and I wish they'd cool it. Whenever you hear a guest on the radio or TV, when it's time for them to leave and the jost says "Thank you for joining us today," the guest invariably replies, "Thank you." I guess they mean "Thank you for having me" but what's wrong with "You're welcome"?
Saying "you're welcome" as a response to "thank you for coming on the show" carries with it a connotation of, "you're so lucky to have me here because I am so awesome." Another "thank you" in response, OTOH, connotes "I appreciate the honor of being asked to participate in your program."
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  #35  
Old 07-29-2009, 03:42 PM
StinkyBurrito StinkyBurrito is offline
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Originally Posted by whole bean View Post
Lawrence: No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked for saying something like that, man.
It sounds like somebody has a case of the Mondays!


Sometimes I use different languages, such and merci or domo arrigato or gracias etc. (I don't know if I spelled those right.)
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  #36  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:05 PM
Drain Bead Drain Bead is offline
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I appreciate it / no problem.
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  #37  
Old 07-29-2009, 06:15 PM
The Devil's Grandmother The Devil's Grandmother is offline
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Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
Seriously, dude, you are putting too much thought into this. If you continue I will have no choice but to teleport you a fifth a jack, a bag of weed, and a dozen hookerbots to get you to loosen up.
I've been meaning to mention to you how very, very tense I've been lately.

Much obliged, dude.
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  #38  
Old 07-29-2009, 07:08 PM
statsman1982 statsman1982 is offline
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Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
I'll start with an anecdote which may prove instructive.

Years ago, I decided that I used the phrase "thank you" too much. I'd say it without even thinking about it, as nothing more than social lubricant. In an effect to make myself more mindful and to express genuine gratitude, I decided to replace "thank you" with an entirely different phrase which would force me to be conscious of when I used it. To that end, I decided on the phrase: "May your tribe increase." I first encountered the phrase in the poem Abou Ben Adhem and, after some research, found that it was a traditional form of well-wishing in India.

Things went well at first. I felt self-conscious using this phrase, but then, that was the point. I got some strange looks, but I was pleased that I used the phrase infrequently, and only when I felt genuinely thankful.

Then one day at the supermarket I used the expression on a cashier... who happened to be black. She was furious and ended up throwing my change at me.

After that I switched back to "thank you."

So, my question is, has anyone else tried this? Can anyone think of better expressions not quite so likely to cause offence, which can replace "thank you" and "you're welcome" in our daily lives?
I use "I appreciate it" for "thank you" quite often, and "Sure" for "you're welcome."

Were you surprised at the cashier's reaction? Nothing in your post suggests you were, but if you weren't, why would you say something like that knowing there was an excellent chance that it would be taken the wrong way?
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  #39  
Old 07-29-2009, 07:36 PM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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I was going to say that Have a great day! might work.

But frankly, I don't think that people say thank you enough. I like the social lubricant. As you're noticing, if people say nothing, there's a weird awkward silence and someone will say something. I'd prefer the something be something pretty standard and nice and not something weird and forced.

When I go to a cashier, I'd rather (s)he say thank you when (s)he hands me my receipt (to show that (s)he's representing the store and they thank me for being a customer) than the response I've gotten lately of cashier giving me my receipt and saying, 'here you go.' Here you go is not social lubricant.
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  #40  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:06 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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May your tribe increase? What the heck? How can you possibly have thought that would be well-recieved by the cashier at the Shop Rite?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
Can anyone think of better expressions not quite so likely to cause offence, which can replace "thank you" and "you're welcome" in our daily lives?
How about "thanks" and "'welcome."

Seriously, dude. You try WAY too hard to be different.
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  #41  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:24 PM
SmashTheState SmashTheState is offline
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Originally Posted by statsman1982 View Post
Were you surprised at the cashier's reaction? Nothing in your post suggests you were, but if you weren't, why would you say something like that knowing there was an excellent chance that it would be taken the wrong way?
Well... there aren't a whole lot of black folks in Ottawa, and I hadn't considered at the time I was trying to come up with a phrase to replace "thank you" that it might have racial overtones. When I came face to face with a black cashier, a little yellow warning light flicked on inside my head just as I was opening my mouth to speak. I had less than a second to decide, because I couldn't just stand there with my mouth open, and in my hasty reasoning I thought deliberately saying something different because of the colour of someone's skin might be actually racist rather than just running the risk of being perceived as racist.

And the rest, as they say, is history.
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  #42  
Old 07-29-2009, 09:16 PM
Jragon Jragon is offline
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"May the gods smile upon you." <-- Ill advised on a fundie
"May your flock never thin."
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  #43  
Old 07-29-2009, 09:20 PM
Crawlspace Crawlspace is offline
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"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - Carlin
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  #44  
Old 07-30-2009, 11:01 AM
Mooch Mooch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmashTheState View Post
"You have gained face at my expense, and now I feel the unwanted need to perform an equal task to relieve myself of the moral responsibility I now bear toward you."
This has a certain charm to it. I shall use it liberally.
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  #45  
Old 07-30-2009, 11:07 AM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by The Devil's Grandmother View Post
I've been meaning to mention to you how very, very tense I've been lately.

Much obliged, dude.
I don't care what you do with the weed and jack, but don't break those hookerbots. Those suckers are expensive, and it's getting harder and harder to embezzle from the US forces in Iraq. Stupid non-incompetent accountants.
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  #46  
Old 07-30-2009, 06:06 PM
Bam Boo Gut Bam Boo Gut is offline
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Originally Posted by Meurglys View Post
Not just 'ta', but 'ta, much' is used over here a lot...

Cheers for now,
Meurglys
Ta muchly!
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  #47  
Old 07-31-2009, 10:44 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Tone of voice and demeanor can make a difference in delivery, but I've been known to use these from time to time. Hard to go wrong with "Thank you" and "You're welcome," though, IMHO:

Much obliged.
Thanks!
'preciate it.
Great!
You're too kind.

No worries.
Don't worry about it.
No problem.
Ain't no big thang.
Glad to help.
My pleasure.
Not at all.
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  #48  
Old 07-31-2009, 10:51 AM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
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You could try: "Live long and prosper."

Not that I ever would.
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  #49  
Old 07-31-2009, 11:00 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
The meaning of a word is not merely a function of its etymology. "Obliged" is merely an informal or regional equivalent to "thank you."
In Portuguese, thank you is "obrigado" (obrigada if you're female), meaning "indebted." "You've done me a good turn, I owe you one."

In Spanish, it's "gracias," meaning "gifts." "May you get a gift like the one you've just given me." You're wishing good karma on people. If it's a big favor, sometimes people will say "te la debo" or "te debo una," meaning the same as the Portuguese obrigado.

"Cheers" is a wish for happiness, how is that wrong?

Seriously, SmashTheState, you're overthinking this waaaaay too much.
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  #50  
Old 07-31-2009, 11:20 AM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
In Portuguese, thank you is "obrigado" (obrigada if you're female), meaning "indebted." "You've done me a good turn, I owe you one."

This I know. I sometimes use "obrigado" with people who know what it means, simply for variety's sake; likewise "merci." Although I actually say "merci" more than thank you these days, because it's become such a custom in the Rhymer household that it's extended itself into the non-Rhymer world.
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