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Language is like a living organism: it grows and changes and, once in a while, changes so drastically that we are confused.

So, I've read a detailed explanation of how and when to use the expression "Thanks for the invite," but I haven't found any explanation of whether I can use "Thank you for the invite."

Here's the situation I would like to discuss:

I've been contacted by the recruiter and invited for a behavioral interview. I received the link to the GoogleMeet in an email. I want to reply with the phrase, "Thank you for the invite." My understanding is that, in this particular situation, the invite is less formal because it's a) a digital one, 2) because of the field (I neither work for any legal company nor any traditional financial institution.)

I would be grateful if you could explain your reasoning behind it.

2 Answers 2

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invite

The verb dates from Tudor times and the noun from the 1650s. (Etymonline)

Crabbe's Dictionary of English Synonymes [1816] differentiates between invite and similar verbs:

"The senses are allured; the understanding is invited [...] We are invited by the advantages which offer; we are engaged by those which already accrue."

Here the verb seems closer in meaning to persuade than to our present-day invite.

Between 1850 and 1950 the use of the noun seems (Google Books) to have been restricted to certain trades; its meaning obscure: "Mr. Bell pays you for the invite he gave, and the rest remains at present unpaid?" [1851].

At times it seems to have morphed into an adjective!

  • ...a most valuable Manure for the invite attention to their improved TILE MACHINE [1846]
  • ...for the invite application from CHEMISTS [1951]

So -

I think the noun itself disappeared from everyday use early in the C20th and was then invented again - just as it had been 300 years earlier - in the late '50s. That's when I first heard "Thanks for the invite."

This was around the time of the American TV detective drama series "77 Sunset Strip", whose cool, rock-and-rolling Kookie character was a big hit with kids here in the UK. They adopted some of his slang, which may have included the noun invite. My parents considered it slangy. It's still considered informal.

I personally wouldn't use it when writing to someone I didn't know, but to a friend I might. You could make "Thank you for the invitation" less formal by saying, "Thanks very much for the invitation."

But "Thank you" doesn't sound formal! It can be said with various tones of voice. It can express profound and sincere gratitude but it can also be offhand and perfunctory. When I get off the local bus I quite often say "Thank you" to the driver. But if the passenger in front of me has just said that, I say "Thanks" so as not to sound like a parrot.

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As you have been invited for an interview by someone you don't know, I would keep the email formal. I think "thank you for the invitation" is preferable here, or "thank you for the invite" if you want to sound less formal.

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