Thank you for having me

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Thu Dec 16 23:55:42 UTC 2010

The "literal" meaning of "you're welcome" is nothing more than 'I want you to know that I will do what you have done at the next opportunity'. One can say it sincerely even if one is not particularly pleased at having had to so it. Or if one just wants to seem polite, and is neither pleased nor displeased. One can even say it ironically and sarcastically and the "literal" meaning stays the same, even if one intends to convey just the opposite.

Alternatively, one could call this the "idiomatic" meaning (suggesting that it has no literal meaning at all).

"Thanks for having me" strikes me as a rather graceful way of projecting modesty, conveying gratitude for having been asked to take part in the event. It parallels the English formality, "Thank you for your custom."


Bill Mullins wrote:

I think "you're welcome"'s literal meaning is more akin to "I am pleased
to have provided you a service," not "I am pleased you are in my
immediate vicinity".

"You're welcome" is, as you say, a convention.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

The American Dialect Society -

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