Many years ago, so far as I can recall, when one purchased something, the clerk would say “thank you” and one would reply “you’re welcome”.
For quite some time, however, one has often heard “have a nice day” instead of “thank you”.
Just lately a variant of “have a nice day” has somehow appeared: “Have a nice rest of your day”.
I do not know how this latest phrase originated or why anyone would say it. Besides being awkward and ungrammatical–surely the best way to express the felicitous thought would be “May the rest of your day be nice”--it seems quite limited. What about tomorrow? Don’t you want my tomorrow to be nice, o solicitous clerk? Or are you acknowledging the fairly obvious fact that you cannot wish me to have had a happy previous portion of my day?
Why not go even further? Why not say “have a nice life” or “may you be happy until you die, and then go to heaven”? Perhaps we could venture into fairytale phraseology: “May you live happily ever after.”
Or maybe we could just return to “thank you” or “thanks for your patronage”, and reply “you’re welcome”?
–Brian A. Libby, 2023
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