For your reading pleasure

The always enlightening and entertaining TMQ (Tuesday Morning Quarterback) – Gregg Easterbrook of

Americans Now Hear the Word “Pleasure” 100 Times for Every Actual Experience of Pleasure: TMQ is being driven crazy by the modern affectation of saying “my pleasure” in formal settings that have nothing to do with pleasure. When you call a Hyatt hotel and ask to be transferred to a guest room or the front desk, the Hyatt operator says, “My pleasure.” Lots of corporate-run chains are instructing workers to say “my pleasure” in situations far removed from what the word means. It’s even catching on with intellectuals; recently David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, signed off from an NPR interview by invoking this phrase. (NPR: “Thanks, David.” Remnick: “My pleasure.”) “My pleasure” is a ridiculously overloaded surrogate for “sure” or “happy to do it” or “you’re welcome.” More, its adaptation as a hollow chestnut of mundane interaction seems part of the overall cheapening of the meaning of words. Pleasure is one of the greatest and highest experiences of life; in our short stay on this Earth, we know far too little. And pleasure is almost always intimate in nature. Using the word “pleasure” in contexts that have nothing to do with intimacy or delight seems a cruel little joke in a world of too much work and too little enjoyment.


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