I asked this question and it is not well-received: What is happening to "Thank you"?

I want to ask the reasons before getting crushed under the wheels of the bandwagon. I would appreciate suggestions also. You can see in the question that I tried to give as much information as I can and I tried to avoid discussion as well.

In fact, Mari-LouA is the only person who tried to improve the question and give suggestions in a polite way.

Most people are arguing against it or down-voting; and on top of that, using a mocking and even belittling language.

Is this really nice where we are talking about being nice to each other and constructive towards questions?

Additionally, this question was well-received: What happened to "You're welcome?"

I was inspired by that question and I even tried to give more information to support my answer. So why do you think it is well-received and not mine?

I sometimes feel like there is a psychological pressure on this site but I'm trying to contribute well.

Note: I updated my question based on the suggestions of Mari-Lou A. Thank you again.

Thanks to medica for her answer to this meta question as well. It helped a lot!

I removed all my opinions. I would like to hear experiences from native speakers or people from English-speaking countries/environments. Not everything is about linguistics or evidences, it is about living with English!

I believe the question is more acceptable now. I would like to invite you to re-open.

Note2: I admit that the language that I used in the original question might have sounded too opinionated and my intention might not have been communicated clearly. But I'm always willing to improve the question if people are willing to help. It doesn't have to be through impolite and harsh criticisms. There are friendlier words and better ways.

You can even open a meta question on behalf of someone to ask how to improve a question. Why not?

Funny that, not long ago, ~60 people up-voted a speech that included these lines:

This will be a much better site if we all spend a bit more time looking for ways to save questions, and a bit less time looking for reasons to kill them.

Thank you.

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    I'm surprised at so many downvotes, but not surprised there was one. Erik's non-answer (calling out the peeving), if you read it objectively is not an attack against you as you seem to take it, but rather constructively contradicting the assumption of your reference. You are asking 'Is this the case?' and he's saying 'not really, people still are verbally thankful but maybe not as much through "thank you" '. – Mitch Feb 23 '15 at 14:15
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    Upvoted Mitch's comment. Six downvotes is excessive and unjustified. The question shows research, effort and its about usage. – Mari-Lou A Feb 23 '15 at 14:24
  • @Mari-LouA - I'm trying to understand the shifts in your position here. In one of your comments under ermanen's original question, you wrote: "You cannot say: Nowadays people don't say "thank you" any more and then provide links and quotes which contradict that statement, (people do still say it) even if you distance yourself from it e.g "it is said". You also reinforce that claim by saying "it seems like "thank you" is disappearing", well you need to show a graph or some sort of scientific paper to back up that statement, otherwise I will interpret that as being your own personal opinion.." – Erik Kowal Feb 23 '15 at 23:22
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    @ErikKowal I'm being objective, no shift at all on my part at all. I could see the underlying potential of that question and threw in some ideas. But, I realize my seeing both sides of the coin can be baffling to people who don't know me. In the same vein, I cannot say the post is flawless, but neither is it so awful as the downvotes seem to suggest. Comes to the crunch, it has the potential to attract good answers, and thoughtful observations. Why not?! – Mari-Lou A Feb 24 '15 at 0:39
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    Calling this "shifts in the position" is funny. That comment was part of the conversation about improving my post and it was an answer to my question: "What part is contradictory?". It was "helping", not "shifts in the position". – ermanen Feb 24 '15 at 1:13
  • I didn't comment or vote on the original Thank You question, but as soon as I read "two simple words which cost nothing to give" I experienced a negative response and almost automatically downvoted right then. At that point it felt like it went from "What happened to...?" curious inquiry to prissy, holier-than-thou moralising. (I see you've edited that part out now). Then when you acknowledged 'cheers, ta, thanks, cool' I was confused - "are you stating that society is ungrateful while discounting all the gratitude?". (I understand now. Respect for posting to meta. about it, as well). – TessellatingHeckler Feb 25 '15 at 22:12
  • @TessellatingHeckler: Thanks for the comment. My intention was to add a bit of flavor to the language I've used. However, I realized it sounded off hence I updated the question. Moreover, I made it as much neutral as I can and just focused on the usage of the phrase. – ermanen Feb 26 '15 at 1:02

Assuming you really do want honest feedback (always a risky proposition)...


What happened to “You're welcome? was a simple question, without editorializing, using a familiar, yet interesting example: "...when the interviewer says "Thank you" to the interviewee, the reply is also "Thank you." While that particular example is understandable, it was still thought provoking. It was reminiscent of When should “no problem” replace “you're welcome” as a response to “thank you”?, another simple yet interesting, highly up-voted question.

Your question, however, elicited a stronger reaction, and maybe that's part of the reason it wasn't well received. I must say "thank you" at least, i dunno, 10-15 times per hour (probably more) at work. To be ridiculously honest, I thank my dogs when they bring back an item I throw for them. Every time. When I catch myself, I feel stupid. But it's so reflexive.

So who wants to be told that their manners are falling by the wayside when they're probably dropping thank you's like balls on New Year's Eve?

No one.

People don't like stuff like that. It's like being asked if they stopped beating their wife yet.

I almost voted to close, but didn't have the heart after all the work you put into it. I certainly didn't down-vote it. But I understand the push back. It's probably unfounded, it's patently untrue in my experience, and it's clearly POB.

Most people are arguing against it or down-voting; and on top of that, using a mocking and even belittling language.

That's not true. There are an enormous number of users here, and you heard from a smaaall fraction of them. Which is enough to sting anyone.

Unasked for Advice

1) From the So Much Easier Said Than Done Department: Don't worry about it. Really, it happens to all of us. It even happens to Mari-Lou.

2) Always pay attention to Mitch. He's one of the most honest yet gentle truth-tellers on this site. It's almost impossible to piss him off, so always take what he says as friendly advice.

3) Never argue in comments. It always comes off wrong, because it usually comes from a lesser part of you [defensiveness/hurt/anger/indignation/whatever]. Just don't. We can all be better than that (not that I haven't fallen into that trap, but by golly, after the fiftieth time or so, I learned my lesson.)

4) Remember, you're on the internet. It's a place that allows all of us to leave our more likable traits at home.

5) Learn. You know, make lemonade. It's over already, even though it doesn't feel like it. No reasonable person is going to remember this.

(answered with good intentions, from an opinionated person who thanks her dogs, for cryin' out loud)

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    Thank you... :) – ermanen Feb 24 '15 at 12:42
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    @ermanen - Haha, I see what you did there! You're very welcome. – anongoodnurse Feb 24 '15 at 12:43
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    Maybe I should have mentioned earlier in the question but a part of the question is using "Thanks" instead of "Thank you". I mentioned as "replacing phrases". Also, some people might be using "Thank you" a lot of course but some not, and use other phrases. I could remove the into statement completely and ask the questions only but people don't give suggestions, that's the problem. And the very first comment was a good answer related to this, the kind that I wanted to see. Then of course, people killed the question. It is not only about linguistics or evidences, it is about living with English! – ermanen Feb 24 '15 at 12:58
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    Your dogs are kind of high maintenance. – Mitch Feb 24 '15 at 16:25
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    Hey there, ermanen. I'm new to ELU, and even newer to Meta, which is to say I don't have any incisive commentary to add, but I reviewed the question in question and I'd like to say a couple of things. My initial response was that the question kind of overwhelmed me with data. I was open to your question, as I am with every other question, but I bogged-down in the set-up. It seemed to me that you oversold it, as if you expected a bunch of flak and were trying to get ahead of what was coming. But I didn't DV. I don't know that I've DVd any post, yet. I have a hard time coming up with ?s ... – user98990 Feb 25 '15 at 2:49
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    I feel are going to be good enough to avoid the gauntlet you just traversed. That was already a bit intimidating before I witnessed the fate of your OP (and you by extension), more so now. I don't DV because I would prefer to "grow" a less than optimal post--be it Question, answer, or commentary--rather than cut it down. As I said, I have a hard time coming up with "good" questions, I've pretty much failed, by ELU standards, on all but one attempt. Excuse me if I invite @medica to join in, but I needed to tell her that I really warmed to the answer I'm commenting on. – user98990 Feb 25 '15 at 3:01
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    Made my eyes water, though that was probably just something I got in my (apparently, both) eyes. I want to say what she said about putting this behind you and carrying on. You're very smart and this just a bump in your road. I also don't think you should have been handled so brusquely. Anyway, nice chatting with you. Oh, I gotta say, to the both of you while I have you here - I've just discovered that going to Meta can be better than ELU. Sometimes it's like going to a really good movie. The kind that makes you laugh and cry and wonder, all wrapped up in one feature film. – user98990 Feb 25 '15 at 3:10
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    @LittleEva: Thanks for the comments. You are a valuable member :) – ermanen Feb 25 '15 at 3:31
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    A final point: no-one has actually refuted my criticisms of ermanen's question. Indeed, all (except the questioner himself) who have expressed opinions regarding the nature and quality of his question have either hedged or have tended to echo my own points. If those had not been reasonable, by this time someone else would certainly have pointed out the deficiencies in my response (and would have been right to do so). One has to be able to swallow one's pride in the face of valid criticisms; I've had to do so here many times. It's made me more careful to check my facts before I post anything. – Erik Kowal Feb 25 '15 at 8:55
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    It always happens to Mari-Lou :) I find anonymous downvotes far more objectionable, then a well-argued post. If I made a blunder, if something's not right, then tell me! One other thing, comments should not be answers, they should be about clarifications, and offering tips to the OPs when that person is clearly bewildered by the onslaught of downvotes. Cont'd... – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '15 at 9:28
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    Erik Kowal's post was I believe helpful, it was very analytic and pinpointed EXACTLY the weaknesses in the OP's post. But at the same time, it was confrontational. Yes, it was. Who would read that and think that's friendly? It was like being a witness in a courtroom drama, the Prosecutor nailed that case, hands down. And I've learnt through experience I make a lousy Defense Counsel. :) – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '15 at 9:29
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    I would probably feel a little hurt at some of your terminology. What you would call a lack of "sugar-coating" ie, peeve, masquerading, not genuine, trite, peeving, are words that are difficult to not take personally, and I must admit I was surprised you were coming so "directly" at things, and this is what I meant by "brusque." I would like to think you might handle me with a little more "gentleness?" But, I'm not really trying to second-guess you. If you feel your interaction with the person--not the issue--was optimal and beyond any criticism, whatsoever, then it's all good... – user98990 Feb 25 '15 at 9:41
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    @LittleEva - Well, I guess I must have been rather too irritable at the time I responded to ermanen's question. Rereading it, I can see that the tone of it (as in your examples) is more abrasive than it needed to be, and I'm sorry that this has caused him such lingering consternation. Incidentally, you need not worry about me taking offence at 'brusque'. You are evidently more diplomatic than I am; 'brusque' is pretty mild. :) – Erik Kowal Feb 25 '15 at 9:51
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    @ErikKowal: I admit that there were helpful parts in your criticism but even the very first sentence was just too negative and unnecessary, and it ruined everything in my eyes. Actually, I was shocked to see that coming from you, because I was always enjoying your answers and you are a valuable member. I moved on and improved my question, removed my controversial opinions and comments. (I even removed a comment that I thanked you actually). I don't want to end this with too much negativity, I'm just trying to make things better. But in the end, if it is going to make things better, thank you. – ermanen Feb 25 '15 at 9:53
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    @ermanen - Thank you for that gracious comment. I'm sorry to have caused you such distress: I hope we can put this matter behind us, and I'll try to be nicer in future. :) – Erik Kowal Feb 25 '15 at 9:57

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