Thanks much. (Not 'Thanks very much')

Discussion in 'English Only' started by HSS, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    I lived in eastern Indiana in the U.S. some thirty years ago, and my friends in high school used "Thanks much" a lot (without 'very'). I mean a lot. However, one day I realized it was a rarity, and to date I tried not to use it even in casual conversation. But just the other day I heard people using it. Should I not use it at all, even in colloquial situations? To tell you the truth, it pops out of my mouth automatically, especially when chatting with my friends, my close friends.
  2. In colloquial conversation when chatting with close friends you can say whatever you want to say. Who's going to stop you?

  3. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Hullo HHS

    Maybe "Thanks much" is not as common as "Thanks very much/Thanks a lot", but let's not forget that "very" is just an intensifier, and I can say either "Sue's a pretty girl" or "Sue's a very pretty girl" without a great change in my evaluation.
    What I think would hardly be heard is "Thank you much". Dunno why, tho.

    Meruri Kurisumasu

  4. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    I would say Thanks a lot, Thank you very much or Thank you so much. These are my favorite.
  5. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    But how commonly, or uncommonly, is 'Thanks much' used? Or, is it ever?

    Oh, yes, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
  6. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    It's hard to determine how often a phrase is used in speech. I usually say "Thanks a lot." But in the cavalier days of my youth among my college buddies in NYC we often said "Thanks muchly"—especially after having been given a beer. This subtle attempt at being funny may have been entirely peculiar to our circle.
  7. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    I've never heard 'Thanks much' but Cyberpedant's 'Thanks muchly' is/was not restricted to NYC. It was also to be heard in the English Midlands during my youth :)
    Whether it is still in use, I have no idea.
  8. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hi Hiro

    I've noticed some AmE speakers here using "Thanks much" - eg here and here.

    I don't think I've come across it in BrE.

    Happy Christmas to you too!:)
  9. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    The version that I heard, 'Thanks much,' may have been derived from 'Thanks muchly.' It may be, may have been, rather, a derivative of that. My senior year in the Ohio border town is the only time I heard it used often, besides the recent encounter....
  10. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Interesting. I haven't heard this before. I'll be aware when I do it's used in some places.
  11. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    and mine. I've not heard it in years; I suspect it passed away peacefully in the late 1970s.
  12. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I've never heard "Thanks much".
  13. I've heard it occasionally in America.

    It always reminds of

    'For this relief much thanks' (Hamlet).

  14. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Hi, Loob. I looked in the posts hoping to see in what age brackets they were unsuccessfully. I presumed it could be generation-specific.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  15. ribran

    ribran Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    English - American
    It's been discussed before on other sites, Hiro.

  16. boozer Senior Member

    Now this is already damn shocking :eek: :D I would correct whoever said that even if it were Her Majesty herself! :) Has anyone really heard that too? :eek:
  17. Embonpoint Senior Member

    I've heard "thanks much" from native speakers now and then. I live in Boston and it definitely has a bit of a "not from around here" ring to me.

    But it doesn't sound at all wrong to me, in fact I think it's rather charming sounding. If you really like it, go ahead and keep saying it!

    I personally say "thank you so much," more often than "thank you very much," or "thanks a lot" because the latter two are so often used either perfunctorily or sarcastically that they are a bit polluted for me. That is completely just a personal preference.

    I've heard "thanks muchly." I associate it with geeky people. I would hazard that the likelihood of a person saying "thanks muchly" is directly proportional to the number of Star Trek episodes that the person has watched.
  18. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    As a joke, yes. Don't you play with words in Bulgarian just to have fun? ;) Sometimes we deliberately make mistakes as a form of humor; weak humor, admittedly, but humor just the same.
  19. boozer Senior Member

    Oh, that. :) Well, I would accept "Thanks muchly" if given to me with a suitable smile, surely. :) I was shocked by the thought it was said in dead earnest...
  20. lancer99 Banned

    English - U.S.
    "Thanks muchly" was used quite commonly in the Midwest U.S. (Wisconsin) where I grew up.
  21. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    I have heard it but with a funny intonation, not in serious situations. Merry Christmas to Everyone.
  22. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    I asked, thinking someone in my generation would be putting up a message, in the Indiana forum of

    It may be generation-oriented, and region-oriented. My friends must have been imitating their parents and grandparents etc.
  23. cmom

    cmom New Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Portuguese Brasilian (PT-Br)
    Just to close this subject, please would somebody tell me if "thanks much" is grammatically correct?
    Thanks much!:)
    Claudio M.O. Moura aka cmom
  24. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    No, it is not. (But the thread will remain open. I doubt this is the last that has been heard of the phrase.)
  25. cmom

    cmom New Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Portuguese Brasilian (PT-Br)
    Thanks Paul. Appreciate your so incisive and definite answer.
    Very truly yours,
    Claudio M.O. Moura aka cmom
  26. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Then we should probably say that "Thanks a lot" and "Thanks very much" are equally incorrect, no?
  27. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    No. :D..............
  28. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    But why not? If "Thanks very much" is okay, why is "Thanks much" not okay? I can agree that it's not typical but I don't see how one could be "correct" and the other not.
  29. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    "Thanks a lot" and "Thanks very much" and a variety of similar phrases are set, ritualised expressions of gratitude and, thus are parts of the language. Being "Part of the language" they must conform to a grammar of some sort, albeit their own1. They are accepted as correct. I don't think that "Thanks much" has yet reached that stage of acceptance, as has been evidenced above by various posters saying how that phrase has gone in and out of currency.

    A reasonable test might be "Does it attract my attention beyond its intended meaning?" Thanks a lot" and "Thanks very much" do not.

    We therefore set aside "Thanks much" from the canon of set phrases and look upon it as we would any other two words placed together and, regrettably, and even for the generously minded, it fails.

    You might consider set phrases to be units on their own - hence grammatical in any case.

    Without stretching into the realms of strawmen, acceptance of such, as yet not established, phrases as an accepted or correct form of grammar would prevent the grammarian from advising on any strange or random combination of here-today-gone-tomorrow words/phrases as might be found on the internet or in Urban Dictionary.

    Is "Me and my friend like cars." a set phrase? No. Were it, then it would be accepted and grammatical and greater minds would explain why.

    It may well be that an argument could be raised on the grounds that "Thanks a lot" = "[I give] a lot of thanks [to you]" and "Thanks very much" = "I thank you very much" and thus "Thanks much." = (i) "I give you much thanks." or (ii) "I thank you much." -> can you see how it should be (i) "many thanks." and (ii) is simply wrong?

    "Thanks much" may well go viral and be more than a passing fad and then my earlier answer will then be changed to "Yes, it has recently become a set phrase and thus acceptable grammar, though the actual structure behind it is unclear. Take it as a set phrase: these have a grammar of their own."

    There is a very unsafe line of reasoning that relies a lot on "What is sauce for the goose...", better is "Each case on its own merits." and "Thanks much" is lacking merit.

    Finally, to have a non-native speaking English Language student going around insisting on the correct grammar of "Thanks much" is not going to help them with their teacher and will raise eyebrows (if currency is not reached) when they and their friends start saying it in business letters or to native-speaking strangers.

    Not every trendy phrase is grammatical.

    1 And this is not so strange, we have poetic licence, we have headlines, we have idioms.
  30. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    As I read your response, what I understand you to say is that "Thanks very much" is grammatical because it is common. That seems like a weak argument.

    I have no problem with saying that "Thanks very much" is idiomatic while "Thanks much" isn't (for most people). But to say "Thanks very much" is grammatical while "Thanks much" isn't stretches the meaning of the term "grammatical" too far, in my opinion.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  31. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I suppose one definition of something being grammatical as its frequency or its acceptability.

    But going back to 'Thanks much' to being derived from 'Thanks muchly', I just wanted to say that I haven't heard of 'Thanks muchly', though I do hear (and also use) 'Ta muchly'.
  32. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    "Thanks much" is quite common in my experience. And I've both heard and said "thanks muchly."
  33. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Superficially, yes, but (i) if a construction1 becomes accepted (rather than common, although common does not hurt) for sufficient time, does it become correct and if it is correct, does that not imply the grammar is correct? I think my main thrust was acceptability on the "Does it attract my attention beyond its intended meaning?" scale - has it been accepted into currency?

    1I think of the drastic change from "Think you that he be afeared?" to "Do you think that he is afraid?" - there came a point at which there was an acceptance of the grammar for the latter. An interesting point is "Does a construction become ungrammatical through lack of use?" The question is usually avoided by saying, "We don't say that nowadays."
  34. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    One aspect of many idiomatic phrases is that they do not follow conventional grammar, yet they are accepted and common for quite a long time. I don't think that's a test for whether something is grammatical or not. We may simply have a different definition of "grammatical". "Long time no see" is a common idiomatic phrase in AmE but no one would argue that it is grammatical.
  35. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    I think no one, other than when "Long time no see" is specifically examined in isolation, would mark it wrong or wrong for grammar1.
    but something like "He have one sister." will be pounced upon.

    1 not the finest example for my argument as "Long time, no see." is rarely encountered outside of direct speech in which much is forgiven.
    2 I suppose I should add, "for the wrong reasons."
  36. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    We obviously have very different opinions. I believe it is acceptable because it is idiomatic and "idiomatic" often means "those ungrammatical expressions we accept as part of the language."
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  37. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Although I am beginning to feel like a dog with a bone, one final attempt to convert you, and I will try another tack. So as we do not lose sight of it, here is the question and how it arose:
    Thus my claim is that "Thanks a lot" and "Thanks very much" are grammatical, whereas "Thanks much" is not.

    The following is from the OED:
    This shows what, when spoken or written, the word represents as a whole and thus that it is grammatical.
    You will see two points

    1. “Also many thanks, best thanks.” -> we know therefore that “Thanks” is a countable noun and thus “much” is going to be ungrammatical under current guidance. Much cannot qualify the verb and it cannot qualify the noun “thanks”.

    2. that if “thanks” relates back only to a noun and yet “With intensifying advs. and phrases, as thanks awfully, ever so, a lot, a million (orig. U.S.), very much, etc.” then "Thanks a lot" = I give you my thanks, a lot of them.” and "Thanks very much" = I very much give you my thanks.” Or I give you my thanks: very much so.” are grammatical.

    Here is another interesting use:
    Which must equate to “I give you my thanks, loads of them.”

    All we need now do is ask if any of the standard additions or qualifiers to “Thanks” alter the correctness of its grammar, and they do not.

    The question then is, that if "Thanks a lot" and "Thanks very much" (and ‘Thanks loads.’) are founded in good grammar and thus are even now grammatical3, isn’t it so that “Thanks much” cannot be grammatical when “much” qualifies neither verb nor noun?

    1 that was optimistic...
    2 and that, prophetic.
    3 Even though much altered.
  38. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    We seem to have two discussions running concurrently: one about whether it's grammatical; the other about whether people say it.

    The people who say it are more inclined to accept it grammatically than those who don't, which is hardly surprising.

    I've never heard anyone say it in BE. It clearly is used in AE.

    In these short expressions of gratitude or of formal politeness, I'm of the same opinion as James: the grammar is justified by the idiom.

    I've suddenly thought that I've never paused in surprise at the line in Act I, Scene 1 of Hamlet (it's about the fourth line of the play, up on the battlements) - For this relief much thanks. In BE many thanks is common, of course.
  39. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I think you are a dog with a bone. :) The change you make to "Thanks very much" is different from the change you make to "Thanks a lot". To make them parallel it would be:

    "Thanks a lot" = "I give you my thanks, a lot of them" :tick:
    "Thanks very much" = "I give you my thanks, very much of them" :cross:

    If thanks are countable, the second one obviously doesn't work. If we are allowing "so" to be used as well as "of them", we would have to deal with yet another common variation -- "Thanks so much". This one doesn't translate using either of your conversions.

    I think you're working very hard to justify an idiomatic expression that simply is idiomatic. It has no real justification in grammar. It exists because it exists, but that doesn't make it any more grammatical. It just makes it part of the language.
  40. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    May I stop you there? There is no claim to being parallel, neither should we think that there is. There is more than one origin as there was more than one phrase - OED makes this point.

    Anyway, as you see me working hard, I, of course, see a non-drinking horse. :D I think we must go our separate ways on this one.
  41. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    Amen to that. :)
  42. Blinked New Member

    English - England
    I have never, ever heard "Thanks much", as far as I can remember. You would sound very strange if you said that where I live.
  43. Everglory New Member

    Thanks Much and its Phonetic abbreviation Tango Mike are fairly commonly used in the US Army.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014

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