Maybe it’s the Oscars and “I would like to thank the academy” speeches; maybe it’s the primary election and the frequent use of “I would like to introduce” or other conditional phrases. Whatever the reason, I’m sick and tired of hearing that people “would like to thank” or “want to thank” someone for something.
If I hear that from someone I know, here’s warning — I’m likely to say “Then thank me!”
If you want to do something or would like to do something, that leaves open the possibility that it won’t happen.
For example, I would like to write this in German — but I couldn’t spell it and most of you couldn’t read it, so I will stick to writing in English.
I would like to visit my cousins in many different states, but I don’t have that kind of money (nor that many vacation days).
I would like to watch the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup another time… but they have to finish the season and play the playoffs first.
So if you catch yourself saying (or writing) that you would like to do something, try just taking out the “dead would” — and compare:
I would like to thank you for reading this. (and)
Thank you for reading this.
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