I listen to NPR Morning Edition on my way to work and All Things Considered on my way home from work. My home NPR station is WAMU, which means if I’m in the car during the middle of the day, I might hear the Diane Rehm Show or even Kojo Nnamdi. So I hear a lot of interviews with people – celebrities, politicians and regular people through the course of a week of radio listening. Here’s something that’s struck me and has begun to get on my nerves. At the end of the interview, the interviewer will say something like, “John Doe, from Raleigh, North Carolina. Thanks for your time, John.” And then the interviewee will almost invariably say something like, “Thank you Mark.” Whatever happened to saying “you’re welcome,” or even “my pleasure?” Why does a thank you have to elicit a thank you in response? I suspect this happens in interviews not on NPR or even in real life, but I think I only notice it when I’m captive in my car listening to NPR.
I say, if you have to thank the interviewer, your response to his or her thanks for the interview is to say, “It’s my pleasure Mark. Thanks for having me on.” Thank you is not a response to thank you. Quit taking the short cut people!