The Grammarphobia Blog

Thank you notes

Q: So often a radio host will thank a guest for appearing and the guest will respond, “Thank you for having me.” What do you think of that response? It annoys me, and I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps it feels like an incomplete sentence. PS: I really enjoy listening to Pat on the Leonard Lopate Show. Informative, and fun!

A: If this is a crime, then Pat must be guilty of it. She often thanks Leonard when he thanks her for being on the show. We don’t see anything wrong with it, though.

It’s as if someone had invited us to dinner, then afterward thanked us for coming. We would naturally say, “Thank you for inviting us.”

If we simply said, “You’re welcome,” we would be implying that we had done him a favor. In fact, he is doing us a favor by having us for dinner. 

As for those radio guests, “Thank you for having me” is an elliptical way of saying “Thank you for having me as a guest.” So you’re right in one sense: it’s a condensed way of expressing the thought.

Now, does it still bother you? We hope not. And thank you for enjoying Pat as a guest!

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