Thursday, October 8, 2009


Thank you is undoubtedly one of the most important phrases in the English language. To allow a favour, some hospitality or a present to go unacknowledged is both selfish and uncivilised. But it is not just saying thank you that matters, it is how one does it. While today it is perfectly acceptable to send thanks for an informal supper in an email it is important to ensure that the message does not get lost in the medium. One should never resort to abbreviations that require teenage translations. A text that says " Thx it woz gr8 " is wholly inappropriate. A message saying "Thank you so much for supper last night - everyone had such fun and the pudding was to die for" is far more befitting. Thank you letters seem to be getting rarer by the day. It is such a joy to receive something hand-written and heartfelt in the mail, a tangible confirmation thats one's present, effort or good turn was appreciated. Writing promptly is also important; unlike revenge, appreciation is most certainly not best served cold. What one says is, of course, as important as how one says it. If you have been to a large gathering, your host is bound to receive scores of letters and notes, so you would be wise to ensure yours is not dull. This is one occassion when focusing on truth is much less important than writing something warm, amusing and generous to give the recipient a warming glow. So, if the soup was cold, the fish underdone and the company frightful, then concentrate on saying how beautiful the table looked and how delicious the pudding was. The same is true for presents. No matter how hideous, useless or plain insulting, one must still acknowledge them in the same way as something truly delightful. I should finish with a note of warning. Gratitude should always be kept in discreet proportion to the act in question. So , should you find yourself sitting quiet, grab a good pen and some special note cards and make someone's day by cultivating the Art of Saying Thank You.