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Thanks in advance
Thanks in Advance.

Before italki, I had only ever heard of this rather cryptic message once before. It was in an American classic on good writing: "The Elements of Style", by Skrunk & White. Well, I am still unable to decipher it. Any ideas, please, Italkiers?
Thanks in advance!
May 3, 2018 11:06 AM
Comments · 18

Wow, you guys are a tough crowd.

While it certainly might be useful in italki to ferret out those who might be ungrateful users of the system, generally speaking "thanks in advance" or the more formal "thanking you in advance" should not be read as pushy, ungrateful or obnoxious.  In business letters I have always felt it a better ending than "Sincerely yours", and felt the phrase more akin to "thank you for your consideration" or "thank you for your time".

I really don't understand the harsh reaction here and I do not think it an impolite phrase in general use.

May 4, 2018
Katarina is absolutely right. While some people do use this obnoxious phrase as a translation from their native language, the good students read discussions and soon discover it’s completely inappropriate in English. If you look at the profile of people who use this presumptuous phrase, they ask questions all the time, never help anyone else, and never bother to acknowledge any corrections. Clearly, it’s perfectly fair to draw conclusions. I actually love when people write “thanks in advance.” It has saved me hours of answering questions for people who don’t really need an answer. (Am I being harsh? Actually, I usually use the time to answer someone else’s question — of which there are plenty.) At first, I was a bit concerned that Bluebottle had let the cat out of the bag (revealed the secret), but luckily, the worst offenders usually don’t even read anyone else’s discussions :)

May 4, 2018
@Katarina. I agree with you. For those who know the language, it is the lazy way out.
@Richard. Aha! This is a little too machievellian, maybe. Although, admittedly there are Machievellis out there.
@Haru. You know the dangers. Yes, play safe and say 'thank you'. This causes no offense.
@Aliph. Sorry, but I did not know this discussion was already made. Anyway, you have decided wisely to drop the expression.
@Anton. Maybe you are onto something new and exciting? I guess 'thanks in advance' and then 'thank you' is logical, but normally we say 'please' and 'thank you'.
@Marcin. Aha! A new interpretation. I had not considered that at all. Maybe that is what they are thinking? I don't know. It is a gentle intepretation.
@Hanji. I think you are right to feel impelled. It is a rather pushy expression. Clearly, the boss can ask it in a pleasant way. But how much easier if he said simply 'thanks'?
@Strunk and White: "Thanking you in advance. This sounds as if the writer meant, 'it will not be worth my while to write to you again.' ... "
@bluebottle. A thank you for everyone is a thank you for no one, nothing special.
Thanks (not in advance) for everyone for your wonderful, every so varied, opinions!
May 3, 2018

Whenever I see the phrase"Thanks in advance" in the notebook section, I feel awkward. The meaning might be "Pleased do it" though, I prefer "I'd be glad if you corrected my notebook." When my boss texts me and asks some tasks, he always finishes with "Thanks in advance", I feel I have to do it immediately. I don't think it is rude or wrong but you could think about what impression you give to others. Polite way is much better than a casual way when you ask something.

I think various reactions happen in culture difference, so if there were people who don't like it unlike you,  you could use alternative phrases to improve international communication. "Thanks in advance" is easy and handy to say. But I'm wondering if the expression of appreciation could be measured by how much convenient it could be.

May 3, 2018
I've seen and heard this phrase many times (both in English in the internet and in Polish). It's something like 'Thank you for thinking about that'. You read my notebook entry, so you are thinking now 'Should I correct it or not?'. So I thank you for thinking (and I hope you will do it for me, since I've already said 'Thank you'... and probably I will repeat it after getting the correction).
It's something like the other thing people often say: 'I will be grateful!' ('Will You? I'd like to see it. You will rather stop recognising me in the street when you will not need me anymore!').
May 3, 2018
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