If there is one internet-related idiom that has infiltrated society which I could reverse, undo, or otherwise negate and obliterate, it would be these three words:
Thanks In Advance
The usage of this preemptive strike of gratitude, for example, in a discussion group when asking for help, actually demonstrates to me that the writer is so important and so busy that he will not have time to thank someone who generously gave their own time to help the original writer. If he cannot give his own time to thank me for giving him my time, why should I bother giving him my time in the first place? How hard is it to say a simple “thank you” after the fact, anyway, even if it’s a blanket “thank you to everyone who helped me!” after your problem is resolved?
It has always been my assertion that there are really only two fundamental desires of most people: to be appreciated and to be listened to. (How do you phrase that without a dangling preposition? Thanks in advance! NOT!) How the heck do you appreciate someone “in advance?”
Anyway, to all my friends and colleagues, be sure that if you help me out, it’ll be “thanks in arrears.” Wait, that doesn’t sound right either…