Just now, as I write this, on the Rachel Maddows show guest host Alison Stewart started her interview with Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman by thanking him for coming on the show. Professor Krugman responded, ‘Sure.’
That caught my attention because a few weeks ago someone wrote into either Dear Abby or Ann Landers complaining that some young people today have no manners because they do not respond to ‘Thank you’ with the polite and proper response of ‘Your welcome.’ That got me thinking about why that is the only correct response. There is no objective reason why the words ‘your’ and ‘welcome’ are any more appropriate a response to a statement of thanks than any other word or phrase. It is just something we have all agreed to. There is no reason we couldn’t or shouldn’t undo that agreement and agree on something else.
For reasons that I cannot explain I would love for ‘You betcha’ to become the new polite and correct response to ‘Thank you.’ But if Nobel Prize winners are going around responding ‘Sure,’ then I suppose that response has the best chance of being adopted as the new standard . Oh well.