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If we each take a mo­ment to think of all the peo­ple we’ve had a rea­son to thank to­day for ex­am­ple, it’s sur­pris­ing how many there might be.

Per­haps the barista who served up your morn­ing cof­fee on the way to work? Or the stranger who helped pull your heavy lug­gage onto the train?

Then there are life’s big­ger mo­ments of grat­i­tude – oc­ca­sions that call for some­thing a lit­tle bit ex­tra.

They might not come along as of­ten, but when they do they de­serve to be recog­nised.

Ac­tress Greer Gar­son cer­tainly be­lieved so. The screen star de­liv­ered the long­est ac­cep­tance speech in Os­cars his­tory when she was given the Best Ac­tress award in 1942 for her role in Mrs Miniver, clock­ing in at an im­pres­sive six min­utes.

MEM­O­RABLE In fact, Cad­bury founders Ge­orge and Richard Cad­bury de­liv­ered a mem­o­rable ‘Thank You’ of their own. De­ter­mined to help im­prove the lives of work­ers at the Bournville fac­tory, the broth­ers set about build­ing a site full of green space, play­ing fields and homes with gar­dens where work­ers could thrive away from city pol­lu­tion.

Such fa­cil­i­ties were sim­ply un­known in Vic­to­rian Bri­tain.

Cad­bury Roses were even named af­ter the beau­ti­ful rose gar­den in the grounds of the Bournville fac­tory.

There’s no doubt that how you choose to say “Thank You” is very per­sonal. But ev­ery ges­ture, big or small, will al­ways be ap­pre­ci­ated.

So­cial me­dia and the wide­spread use of smart­phones have rev­o­lu­tionised the way we com­mu­ni­cate grat­i­tude, de­liv­er­ing the op­por­tu­nity for a very timely and prompt ‘Thank You’ com­mu­ni­cated with a quick emoji or a short text mes­sage. They add another di­men­sion to the, still very wel­come, hand­writ­ten note or lit­tle gift.

AP­PRE­CI­A­TION In fact, with so many dif­fer­ent ways to say “Thank You”, it can be a lit­tle bit con­fus­ing know­ing the most ap­pro­pri­ate way of do­ing so! Cad­bury Roses has been help­ing peo­ple say “Thank You” for al­most 80 years. Whether cho­sen as a small to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion, or gifted to mark a more poignant oc­ca­sion, gen­er­a­tions of fam­i­lies have en­joyed giv­ing and re­ceiv­ing this iconic treat. And with World Grat­i­tude Day ap­proach­ing next Thurs­day (Septem­ber 21), we thought it would be a good mo­ment to re­mind read­ers to reach out and thank some­one – be­cause a lit­tle ‘Thank You’ goes a long way.

HUGE IM­PRES­SION Per­haps a friend has in­vited you over for din­ner, a col­league has helped you at work, or a stranger has un­ex­pect­edly come to the res­cue in a dif­fi­cult mo­ment? While a small gift or ‘Thank You’ note is a lovely way to show your grat­i­tude, our busy lives can mean it is easy to for­get. But as eti­quette ex­pert Grant Har­rold ex­plains, small ges­tures like this will make a huge im­pres­sion and con­tinue to give plea­sure to the per­son re­ceiv­ing them long af­ter they’ve been de­liv­ered. “I have all the hand­writ­ten ‘Thank You’ let­ters friends have writ­ten to me in a folder, where I can look at them again and re-read them,” he says. Bri­tish man­ners, punc­tu­al­ity and po­lite­ness are con­sid­ered by many across the world as na­tional traits.

But how has the Bri­tish “Thank You” evolved over the years?

Ac­cord­ing to the Ox­ford English Dic­tionary, the English word “thank” de­rived from the word “think” around 450AD.

Up un­til this time, peo­ple would typ­i­cally ex­press their grat­i­tude by say­ing: “I think of you kindly.”

This evolved to be­come “I Thank You” which was then short­ened to “Thank You” around the 14th cen­tury.

That later be­came “thanks” and, by the 18th cen­tury, sim­ply “ta”.

HERO Matthew Rees (right) with the run­ner he helped, David Wyeth

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