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On rare occasions, you are in a situation where a simple Thank You seems like you're undermining the other person's help. You know, instances where you are too grateful to express your feelings of gratitude. When this happens face to face (or even over the phone) your body language/voice carry that feeling and the other person understands the full gravity of your expression.

However, many a time, all you have is online/email interface for expression. And words are all you can use. So my question(s) is(are):

  1. Is there a superlative form of Thank You which one can make use of in such cases?
  2. Will you advice using the same during face-to-face(or voice)?
  3. Which is the highest degree of gratitude you have seen/expressed?
  4. Is there any chance that the other person might think you are exaggerating?

(If you are wondering about the last question : see my comment (3rd one) below this SO answer. Its not that there are no good books/authoritative articles/sources on theory of Object Oriented Programming. I have read few, if not many, of them. And I do feel strongly about the answer the user has given. But at the same time, I don't want to overdo it)

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Voting to close. This isn't really about language at all. We're being asked to advise OP how effusively he can thank someone before he socially embarrasses himself. The depth of gratitude conveyed by saying "Thank you" is not necessarily intensified by any other form of words, and it's fatuous to imagine OP can be taught how to thank people more "accurately" by offering "stronger" phrasings. –  FumbleFingers Aug 11 '11 at 0:39
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Is it wrong to ask how to express a feeling in proper words? You do not have to lecture me on how intense I should feel about thanking someone. And as answers given below suggest, I disagree when you say The depth of gratitude ... any other forms of words. I am asking about what words to use, not what to express. –  Sudhi Aug 11 '11 at 7:07
    
I think you overdid it in the specific example you linked... OK, the person gave a very very nice answer. You upvoted it, you accepted it. A "Hey, that's a great answer. Thank you a lot!" would have been sufficient. On the other hand, I don't think what you wrote could have been seen as offensive, just a bit too baroque so to say. –  nico Aug 11 '11 at 14:23
    
@Sudhi: I've only just followed your link, and I agree with nico that you probably overdid it there. But this is a matter of social mores and politeness, not language as such. Remember that your choice of phrasing should reflect all aspects of the context. That includes the reasonable expectations of the person you're thanking, as well as the depth of your gratitude. Instead of asking here, you'd have been better off looking at other posts on SO and taking note of how other questioners there express thanks for such exhaustive and painstakingly-produced answers. –  FumbleFingers Aug 11 '11 at 16:12
    
@FumbleFingers and neco : hmm, I agree. I guess this problem stems from the fact that non-native English speakers have their own ways of expressing such emotions, different measure of intensity of such expression. I think I confused myself by assuming that English must have something for this. I must learn the ways of English usage more by observing than by asking 'How can I say this?'. Thanks for your efforts to explain me all this :) –  Sudhi Aug 11 '11 at 20:51

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You could use "Many thanks". This would sound weird in person, though.

Also, emphasizing with another sentence would work: "Thank you. I genuinely appreciate it."

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I think "really appreciate" would sound a little more genuine. –  simchona Aug 10 '11 at 21:37
    
@simchona: If spoken, I totally agree. When written, "bigger" words continue to feel natural to me, though. –  wfaulk Aug 10 '11 at 21:43
    
Thanks, I think both genuine and really can be used interchangeably. –  Sudhi Aug 11 '11 at 7:10

Being that the "superlative" form of some idea is one in which the intensity or strength is at its greatest (an upper bound in some sense), I believe logically we're left with no choice but:

I cannot thank you enough.

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+1 haha I wasn't really in favour of the question at all, but I think you've brilliantly hit upon the ideal superlative. Which mostly won't be seen as ott because to a large extent it's also a well-worn cliche. On OP's behalf, I cannot thank you enough for resolving this question so deftly! :) –  FumbleFingers Aug 11 '11 at 21:13

In order to make Thank you a more serious phrase, you can say:

Thank you very much

This adds an extra layer of expression, which most (if not all) people will interpret as implying a higher level of thanks. You can use the same phrase in face-to-face conversations, and you can add further gratitude by using the same tone of voice as you might when saying a highly grateful "Thank you".

This is the highest level of thanks I have seen expressed, but the right tone of voice and body language can make this carry a lot of weight. I don't think people will think you are exaggerating--the phrase that can throw people off is just "thanks", which may sound curt.

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My instinctive expression was extremely thankful. But on second thought, I could not decide if it was correct (grammatically/usage wise). And not to disagree with you, but Thank you very much seems quite normal to me. Perhaps because I have used/heard it too many times. –  Sudhi Aug 10 '11 at 21:25
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If you use a phrase like "I'm extremely thankful", people will believe you disingenuous. –  simchona Aug 10 '11 at 21:26
    
I think the point is that "thank you" is somewhat overused and trite, and that almost any effort to emphasize it will make it seem more genuine and less just a general response. I would agree with @simchona that you should use an imperative verb, though. –  wfaulk Aug 10 '11 at 21:33
    
okay, good that I did not use it. But the extremely is describing the extreme of my feeling. Hence the question –  Sudhi Aug 10 '11 at 21:34
    
The extreme of your feelings translates into a genuine thank you very much. –  simchona Aug 10 '11 at 21:36

You could try Thank you so much, but I would say it is more natural to elaborate a bit, as in Thank you so much for your advice, it was really helpful.

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That's a run-on sentence. Maybe you meant to use a semicolon? –  wfaulk Aug 11 '11 at 0:13

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