I often get messages that end in "thank you in advance". Is it a recent trend or is it my imagination?
This expression strikes me as misused in many situations. One example was a recent post on this website(no offense intended to the author). The question posted was ended with "thank you in advance". What if the comment to the question is insulting or condescending. The writer would not be grateful.
Let's say my sister tells me she would like a sweater for her birthday and ends the message with "Thank you in advance." It is more like an order. Emails from work ask for reports to be written by the end of the day. "Thank you in advance" is often the included. If there is an emergency and the report is not completed, is the sender still thankful?
In informal situations, it is useful. If you can't thank someone because you will be away or busy, the phrase fits. Is is presumptuous in formal situations, or am I blowing this out of porportion?