Yesterday I began to think of how many ways there are to say thank you. For the purposes of the exercise, I deleted the options that are available from foreign languages. Two questions emerge: what’s wrong with a simple thank you and why investigate the alternatives?

To my mind, sometimes a basic thank you is insufficient. When someone has gone way out of his or her way to assist or in some way improve your life, saying a simple thank you doesn’t quite express adequate gratitude. We always have, “thank you so much” or “thank you so very much.” But I’m searching for something better.

You have really made a powerful impact on my life. There really aren’t enough ways to express my thankfulness. I will always remember what you’ve done for me. Your generosity is amazing and thoroughly appreciated .

All of those effectively say thank you. In the days gone by, we were in the habit of sending thank you notes and I recently (happily) saw that these notes are still available. It reassures me that the tradition of sending a paper thank you in the mail is still something that some of us do.

For those who work within the word business, at least one of us will continue to find new and precise language for expressing thanks. If words are not your passion or greatest strength, finding a thank you replacement probably never crosses your mind and doesn’t need to do so.

The point to all of this, you ask? It doesn’t really matter how you do it, the frequency, the words you use or the actions that accompany your thanks. My most treasured client displays his gratitude in three short words: Take great care. Most folks like to hear the words, “thank you.” If you look that person in the eyes and mean it, so much the better.   And while I’m on the subject, to those who follow me here and add comments, thank you. Shalom.



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