Why Today's 'Thank You' Is Different from an Ancient 'Thank You.' Gerunds.


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902. Language reflects culture, so it's no surprise that giving thanks hundreds of years ago was different from giving thanks today. We have the fascinating history. Plus, since "Thanksgiving" is a gerund, we looked at all the interesting things you can do with gerunds in general.

| Transcript: https://grammar-girl.simplecast.com/episodes/thank-you-history/transcript

The Thanksgiving history segment was written by Valerie Fridland, a professor of linguistics at the University of Nevada in Reno and the author of the forthcoming book, "Like, Literally Dude," about all the speech habits we love to hate. You can find her at valeriefridland.com or on Twitter at @FridlandValerie.

The gerund segment was written by Neal Whitman, an independent writer and consultant specializing in language and grammar and a member of the Reynoldsburg, Ohio, school board. You can find him on Facebook, on Twitter as @literalminded, and on his blog at literalminded.wordpress.com.

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References for the Thanksgiving history segment:

Culpeper, Jonathan and Demmen, Jane. 2011. Nineteenth-century English politeness: Negative politeness, conventional indirect requests and the rise of the individual self. Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 12 (1/2). pp. 49-81.

Jacobsson, M. 2002. Thank you and thanks in Early Modern English. ICAME Journal 26: 63-80.

Taavitsainen, Irma, Jucker, Andreas H. 2010. Expressive speech acts and politeness in eighteenth century English. In: Hickey, R. (Ed.), Eighteenth Century English: Ideology and Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 159-181.

"thank, n.". OED Online. September 2022. Oxford University Press.

"welcome, n.1, adj., and int." OED Online. September 2022. Oxford University Press

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